Are these really just two ways of explaining the same thing?
Both are different aspects or outcomes of the theory of relativity.Are these really just two ways of explaining the same thing?
That would be DaleSpam:I forget which frequent poster said it, but they called length contraction and time dilation two sides of the same coin.
I can't determine if the "coin" is distance or speed, perhaps there is little difference in this context.
You cannot have time dilation without length contraction, they are two sides of the same "coin" (the Lorentz transform).
Both are results of how Lorentz transformation work. It's pointless to ask for verbal descriptions;
The length contraction is actually more of a result of relativity of simultaneity; the coordinate along the direction of motion is expanded just like time is dilated (with same gamma factor), but the coordinate intervals taken *at same moment* are contracted. To measure length of a moving object you need to measure positions of it's ends at same time, and the 'same time' is different for different observers.