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Homework Help: Time dilation graph

  1. Jan 21, 2010 #1
    Can anyone tell me what exactly do the variables "Time Dilation" and "Velocity of a fraction of the speed of light" represent (in this graph) from the lorentz contraction?

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/cship/figures/gr_timedial.gif [Broken]

    Does the x-axis represent "v/c" or is it "v^2/c^2"? What does the y-axis represent? Which "t"? Or is it one "t" over another?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2010 #2

    kuruman

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    Both axes represent dimensionless quantities. The x-axis is v/c, what some textbooks call β. The y-axis is, as you say, "one t over another". More simply, it is the relativistic factor

    [tex]\gamma=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}[/tex]

    I guess what you are supposed to take home from this graph is that when v/c is greater than 0.95 or so, the time dilation factor starts getting really noticeable.
     
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