Relativity for people who insist on having a "true physical time" OK, here is the promised thread, on how to have both relativity and a "true physical time" and "true physical distance". The basic idea is really quite simple. Pick a frame of reference. Pick any frame of reference.. Say that that particular frame of reference is the one that keeps "true physical time". Say that the rods in that particular frame of reference have "their true physical length". Treat lorentz contraction and time dilation as "true physical effects". Use the usual equations for them. Any rod that is not in the "one true physical frame" has it's length contracted by virtue of its motion by a factor of gamma = 1/sqrt(1-(v^2/c^2) (the lengthis divided by gamma). A clock that's moving is slowed down by the factor of gamma as well. Make sure that all clocks are synchronized in the "true physical frame". Make sure that if you apply Newton's laws of motion, you only do so in the "true physical frame". The result will be equivalent to relativity. The biggest drawback is being able to apply Newton's laws only in the one frame. There may be a way to fix this, but it's not clear to me yet what it is. Of course, the choice of which particular frame is the "true physical frame' is completely arbitrary, as long as one is consistent. The "true physical frame" must of course never accelerate, it must always be a frame in the Newtonian sense. ps - personaly, I think this approach is a bit of a dead end, though it does have a very few proponents, such as Bell, who insists that this general approach helped him formulate the Bell inequality. But we seem to see a small but significant number of peole who seem to be "stuck" in absolute time, this viewpoint would be one way for them to do special relativity correctly. (I don't think the approach will generalize well to general relativity, however).