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Thread: Question on Length Contraction...

  1. #1 Question on Length Contraction... 
    Forum Freshman
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    Hi,

    This seems obvious but, what's always talked about is how the stationary person measures a moving object and that moving object contracts in length. So there's a basketball on a passing ship. Stands to reason that if the stationary person, say on a planet, would see a flattened basket ball in that passing spaceship, that the spaceship would see an elongated (in the direction of travel) planet and person, no? Or have I got this all wrong?

    I hope this question is in the correct forum.

    Rusty


    Rusty Williamson
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  3. #2  
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    No. Person om spaceship sees flattened planet. It is all relative.


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  4. #3  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrw4rusty View Post
    I hope this question is in the correct forum.

    Rusty
    It's really a physics question.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  5. #4  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rrw4rusty View Post
    Hi,

    This seems obvious but, what's always talked about is how the stationary person measures a moving object and that moving object contracts in length. So there's a basketball on a passing ship. Stands to reason that if the stationary person, say on a planet, would see a flattened basket ball in that passing spaceship, that the spaceship would see an elongated (in the direction of travel) planet and person, no? Or have I got this all wrong?

    I hope this question is in the correct forum.

    Rusty
    Any observer measuring an object that has a relative velocity with respect to himself will measure that object as being length contracted. The key word here is "relative", as it is meaningless to talk about which of them is "really" in motion.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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