Special Relativity

1. Sep 29, 2005

A meter stick moves past you at great speed. Its motion relative to you is parallel to its long axis.

If you measure the length of the moving meter stick to be 1.00 ft (1ft=.3048 m), for example by comparing it to a one-foot ruler that is at rest relative to you, at what speed is the meter stick moving relative to you?

The only thing I can figure out is that one foot is the proper length. I'm completely confused about the rest.

2. Sep 29, 2005

Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
OK, here's a hint: This is a problem in length contraction.

What do you know about length contraction?

3. Sep 29, 2005

Staff: Mentor

No, the proper length is the length that would be measured by someone who is moving along with the meter stick (like a witch riding a broomstick ). So the proper length of a meter stick is one meter.