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What will I see in this scenario? (involves rockets traveling near light speed)

  1. Dec 29, 2011 #1
    What will happen in the following scenario?

    I am standing on the earth.

    Right next to me, a small rocket containing a clock blasts off and accelerates to 90% of the speed of light almost instantly (within its 1st millimeter of travel).

    As the rocket passes my head, I look at its clock and see that it is running very slowly.

    Attached to this rocket is a second smaller rocket (which I will call "rocket #2). This rocket also contains a clock.

    As I watch Rocket #1 pass my head, rocket #2 blasts from rocket #1 back towards earth (rocket #2 is going in the opposite of direction of rocket #1). Rocket #2 also accelerates to 90% of the speed of light within 1 mm, so that relative to me, rocket #2 ends up resting motionless beside my head.

    The time of rocket #1 is running slowly relative to me.
    The time of rocket #2 is running slowly relative to rocket #1.

    When I look at rocket #2 sitting motionless next to my head, what will I see? Will I see rocket #2's clock running even more slowly than rocket #1's clock?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2011 #2

    ghwellsjr

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    No, rocket 2's clock will be just like your own clock ticking perfectly normally.
     
  4. Dec 29, 2011 #3
    Thanks for the answer.

    Was I correct in thinking that I will see rocket #1's clock running slowly, and that someone on rocket 1 will see rocket #2's clock running slowly?
     
  5. Dec 29, 2011 #4

    ghwellsjr

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