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Special relativity problem (conceptual)

  • #1

Homework Statement


A spaceship is travels in a straight line (to the left) past a space station that is at rest. the spaceship is speeding up relative to the space station. inside the ship, there is a block attached to the end of a light spring. the spring is extended by a fixed amount, as indicated by the spring scale mounted at its center.

picture of block/spring:


|----scale----[] block
wall

<-----------
ship moving in this direction


An observer is standing at rest on the space station. what is the direction of acceleration of the block in the observer;s reference frame?

Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution



At first i thought that maybe the acceleration would be to the left since the spring would appear contracted but then I wasnt sure because it says that the ships velocity is increasing relative to the observer so then I thought maybe it would be to the right?? Im clueless. Any hint would be much appreciated.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Matterwave
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,965
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Special relativity works only in inertial reference frames as far as I know. I think when there is acceleration, you need to apply General Relativity...but maybe this question doesn't require it...
 
  • #3
ok.

what if there is someone on the spaceship. will they see the same thing as the first observer or will it not appear like its accelerating?
 

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