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Special relativity assignment - pole moving in two dimensions

  • Thread starter luisf
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  • #1
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Hi!
I'm a bit stuck with this special relativity assignment, heres is the problem:
In a frame S a pole moves in the [itex]x[/itex]-direction at speed [itex]v[/itex] such that [itex]\gamma(v)=3[/itex] and in the negative [itex]y[/itex]-direction at speed [itex]w[/itex], while remaining parallel to the [itex]x[/itex]-axis and being of aparent length 6 ft. The centre of the pole passes the centre of a 9-ft hole in a plate that coincides with the plane [itex]y=0[/itex]. Explain, from the point of view of the usual second frame S' moving with velocity [itex]v[/itex] relative to S, how the pole gets trough the now 3-ft hole.
So the problem here is that not only does the hole shrink in S', as stated in the problem description, the pole should also be wider by a factor of 3 in this frame. So we have an 18 ft wide pole that has to move through a 3 ft wide hole. Since it will obviously fit through the hole in S, there must be an explanation for how it would fit in S' and usually there's some quirk of some physical law that will just take care of things. I can't really think of any law that would aid me in this situation however, the only explanation I can think of is that the pole is perhaps skewed in S' because of length contraction in both [itex]x[/itex]- and [itex]y[/itex]-direction. I'm not at all sure how that would work though, hopefully I could get some guidance from you guys.

Thanks.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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See if the ends of the pole will pass through the opening.
 

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