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Relativity of distances/lengths

  1. May 22, 2009 #1
    according to einstein's theory, lengths of objects around you become shorter as you travel close tot he speed of light. does the distance that you travel also become shorter? or does this theory only refer to the length of objects horizontal to the direction you are going in?

    because if the distance in front of you becomes shorter then you could theoretically travel a lightyear in less than a year... i dont think that is supposed to be possible
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2009 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    All distances along the direction of motion will be contracted according to your measurements. So yes, it is definitely possible to traverse a distance of 1 light year according to Earth observers (for example) in less than one year of your time if you go fast enough. (But nothing is observed to move faster than light in any frame.)
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