Understanding the Detonator Paradox: A Relativity-Based Explanation

  • Thread starter fizzzzzzzzzzzy
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Paradox
In summary, the conversation revolves around the detonator paradox, which involves two figures (one U-shaped and one T-shaped) and a bomb button. The question is whether the two figures, when brought together, will cause the bomb to detonate. The standard answer is that it will, as the T-shaped figure will continue moving and hit the button before the U-shaped figure collides with it. However, there is a different perspective where the U-shaped figure collides with the T-shaped figure before the button is pressed. This is due to the relativity of simultaneity, where different frames of reference can perceive events in a different order. The two events in question are not causally linked, meaning one event does not cause the other
  • #1
fizzzzzzzzzzzy
44
1
theres this problem in my book that talks about the detonator paradox, where there's one U shaped figure and one T shaped figure and there's a button for a bomb at the bottom of the U shaped figure, and the question is if the 2 figures go toward each other so that they fit, will there be a detonation. well the standard answer to this is that it will detonate because in the refrence frame where the bomb does not detonate, the end of the T will continue moving and hit the button since forces only move at the speed of light, so the bomb will detonate.
However i looked at the other refrence frame and noticed that in the RF of the U structure, the legs of the U will collide with the legs of the T before the button is pressed while in the RF of the T, the legs of the T collide with the legs of the U after the button is pressed. could someone explain this for me?
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Since the two events--(1) bottom of T hitting the button and (2) top of T hitting U structure--are not causally linked* there's no problem in different frames seeing them occur in different order. (The relativity of simultaneity at work.)

*By that I mean that one event is not the "cause" of the other.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
You haven't explained the problem very well. Also, you've misrepresented the solution (there is no "refrance from where the bomb does not detonate").
 

Related to Understanding the Detonator Paradox: A Relativity-Based Explanation

1. What is the Detonator Paradox?

The Detonator Paradox is a thought experiment that explores the concept of causality and the idea that an event can cause its own existence. It poses the question of whether a detonator can set off a bomb that destroys the detonator itself.

2. How does the Detonator Paradox relate to science?

The Detonator Paradox is often used in scientific discussions as an example of a paradox that challenges our understanding of causality and the laws of physics. It can also be seen as a way to examine the principles of cause and effect in a controlled and hypothetical scenario.

3. What are the implications of solving the Detonator Paradox?

If the Detonator Paradox were to be solved, it could potentially revolutionize our understanding of causality and the laws of physics. It could also have practical implications in fields such as engineering and technology, where the ability to create self-destructing systems could be useful.

4. Has the Detonator Paradox been solved?

The Detonator Paradox remains a thought experiment and has not been definitively solved. Scientists and philosophers continue to debate and explore the concept, but there is no consensus on a definitive answer.

5. How can the Detonator Paradox be applied in real life?

While the Detonator Paradox is primarily used as a thought experiment, it can also be applied in real life scenarios as a way to think critically about causality and the potential consequences of certain actions. It can also serve as a cautionary tale when designing and implementing complex systems that have the potential for self-destruction.

Similar threads

  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
24
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
14
Views
774
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
60
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
3
Replies
78
Views
4K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
47
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
12
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
48
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
40
Views
2K
Back
Top