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Space time interval

  1. Jul 31, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I am bit confused about the expression for finding the space time intervel. Some books say it is,
    (spacetime intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex]=(time intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex] - (space intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex]
    while some books say it is,
    (spacetime intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex]=(space intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex] - (time intervel)[tex]^{2}[/tex]
    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2009 #2

    Cyosis

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    Homework Helper

    It's just a convention, pick one and stick to it. The physics will be the same.
     
  4. Aug 1, 2009 #3
    As mentioned above it's just based on the adopted convention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sign_convention#relativity - This wiki article on the sign conventions employed may help clear things up. It is something of an arbitrary choice though as long as you remain consistent.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2009
  5. Aug 1, 2009 #4
    The criteria for an intervel being time like or space like just get interchanged. Maybe it is not a universal fact as u say. Anyway, thanx guys.
     
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