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Sign swapping - spacelike intervals

  1. Dec 21, 2014 #1
    Hello guys!

    I´ve seen that for spacelike intervals, ie [itex] s^2 < 0 [/itex] you´re able to swap the sign of s = x-y = y-x. Why is that?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2014 #2
    Supposedly there exists a continous transform between x-y and y-x for spacelike intervals, but not for timelike ones. Can anyone show me that?
     
  4. Dec 21, 2014 #3
    Figured it out! The reason is that for spacelike intervals it is possible to choose a reference frame such that the two events x and y occur at the same time. This however is not possible for timelike ones.
     
  5. Dec 22, 2014 #4

    Dale

    Staff: Mentor

    Take the axis which is 45° between x and y. Rotate 180° about that axis. Now you have swapped x and y, and since every rotation about that axis less than 180° is also a valid transform, the transform is continuous.
     
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