Top Document: (SR) Lorentz t', x' = Intervals Previous Document: 2. Table of Contents Next Document: 4. The 'just coordinates' argument See reader questions & answers on this topic!  Help others by sharing your knowledge Special Relativity's spacetime circus is based on the 'transformation' equations by which it is believed one can relate a nominally 'stationary' system's space and time coordinates to those of an inertially (not accelerating) moving other observer. That moving observer's own physical body and coordinate system might have been identical in size to those of the stationary observer before the traveller began moving, but are 'seen' as very different by the stationary observer when the relative velocity of the two is great enough, a high percentage of the velocity of light. Concerning ourselves  as is customary  with just the spatial coordinate axis that lies parallel to the direction of motion, and with time, Einstein arrived at these formulas that relate the moving system measures or coordinates (x' and t') to the stationary system coordinates (x and t): x' = (x  vt)/sqrt(1vv/cc) (Eq 1x) t' = (t  vx/cc)/sqrt(1vv/cc) (Eq 1t) The v is for the two systems' relative velocity as seen by the stationary observer, and is positive if the dir ection is toward higher values of x. By concensus, the moving system x'axis higher values also lie in that direction, and all axes parallel the other system's corresponding axis. We used vv to mean the square of v but might use v^2 for that purpose below. Similarly for c. Because it is believed that no physical object can reach or exceed c, the squareroot term in both denominators is presumed always less than one, which means that the formulas say both x' and t' will tend to be greater than x and t, respectively. However, SRians call the x' result 'contraction'  which means shortening  and the t' result 'dilation'  which means increasing. User Contributions:Top Document: (SR) Lorentz t', x' = Intervals Previous Document: 2. Table of Contents Next Document: 4. The 'just coordinates' argument Single Page [ Usenet FAQs  Web FAQs  Documents  RFC Index ] Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer: Thnktank@concentric.net (Eleaticus)
Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM

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