# What is Lorentz transformation?

Iv been reading about general and special relativity and then I came across Lorentz transformation but I cant seem to find out what it is could you please help

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Hi, What I know is that : Just like a rotation is 3-D space, Lorentz transformation is a rotation in 4-D space-time.

a rotation in 3 space, is a transformation upon which the length of the initial vector is unchanged.
a Lorentz transformation, is a unique transformation in 4 space that preserves the length of the 4-vector of any line in 4 space, and it necessarily holds if there is a limit to translational velocity.

phinds
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2019 Award
Iv been reading about general and special relativity and then I came across Lorentz transformation but I cant seem to find out what it is could you please help
There is this really neat facility on the internet called Google Search. You should learn how to use it.

https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=3588 [Broken]

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Try wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_transformation

The Lorentz transform is a way to bring observers of different velocities at different places together so they can 'compare notes'...see things from a common frame. It is a way to take into account the fact that the speed of light is constant,and finite, but distance and time are not constant!!

As a simplistic example, if you are right alongside a house and a friend is a mile away how do you compare observations about the size of the house?? You need some sort of a transform, an adjustment to reflect your different positions. In relativity this gets more complicated since distance and time are not constant.

ghwellsjr
Gold Member
Iv been reading about general and special relativity and then I came across Lorentz transformation but I cant seem to find out what it is could you please help
The Lorentz Transformation is how you convert the four coordinates of an event in one inertial Frame of Reference into the four coordinates for the same event in a second inertial Frame of Reference moving at a constant speed with respect to the first Frame of Reference.

There is this really neat facility on the internet called Google Search. You should learn how to use it.

phinds
Gold Member
2019 Award
That's quite astounding, since I went there and found far more information than I have any interest in reading, starting off with a quite long Wikipedia article. Obviously you did not do a Google search for "Lorentz transfromation" if you found nothing. What DID you search for?

atyy
The key idea is that you can drink coffee in an aeroplane moving at constant speed just as well as when you are stationary on the ground, as long as the aeroplane is flying at a constant velocity relative to the ground. This means that moving very fast is just as good as standing still. This means the laws of physics "look the same" under a "change in velocity". The Lorentz transformation is the proper way to "change velocity" so that the law of physics "look the same". (Prior to special relativity, it was thought that the Galilei transform did this, but it turns out to be only a good approximation to the Lorentz transformation for slow speeds.)

In Special Relatiovity an important part of the Lorentz transformation is the Lorentz contraction. If someone is moving relative to you, then his dimensions in the direction of motion will contract. His rocket ship will be shorter in your reference frame. If her approached c relative to you, his rocket would contract to a flat disc. But all linear motion is relative, and he will see you contracted too.

Mike

That's quite astounding, since I went there and found far more information than I have any interest in reading, starting off with a quite long Wikipedia article. Obviously you did not do a Google search for "Lorentz transfromation" if you found nothing. What DID you search for?
i did find the wikapedia aster but i really did not want to read the whole thing to find out 1 question so it was easier to do it this way

ghwellsjr
Gold Member
i did find the wikapedia aster but i really did not want to read the whole thing to find out 1 question so it was easier to do it this way
You got a whole lot of answers to your 1 question but did you get the answer you were looking for?

no way, tbh relativity can only be understood by dedication, if you dont feel like reading things, then you wont learn it