Lorentz contraction

The contraction of length in the direction of propagation in Minkowski space

The Lorentz contraction, also called Length contraction, Fitzgerald contraction or Lorenz-Fitzgerald contraction, is the phenomenon that a moving object becomes shorter than it was when measured in its rest frame.[1] This is because of relativistic effects seen between observers moving toward or away from one another. The size of one object as seen by someone moving toward or away from it it is decreased along their line of movement by an amount mathematically related to their speed and the speed of light.

In his book, One, Two, Three...Infinity, physicist George Gamow quoted a limerick (a kind of poem) that is said by some to have been changed from a more naughty poem. There are several other cleaned up versions:

There once was a young man named Fisk,
Whose fencing was extremely brisk,
So fast was his action,
The Lorentz contraction,
Foreshortened his foil to a disk.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Dalarsson, Mirjana; Dalarsson, Nils (2015). Tensors, Relativity, and Cosmology (2nd ed.). Academic Press. p. 106–108. ISBN 978-0-12-803401-9. Extract of page 106