Philosophy Of The Cosmos - Paradoxes
With our recent topic of Einstein's Special Relativity, I thought it prudent to raise the issue of the paradoxes it creates and especially see if there are any actual solutions to them. I understand the clock and twin paradoxes that we discussed but there are also others out there (wikipedia lists a few) and one that particularly puzzles me is the 'garage' paradox that I raised in my tutorial. A 5m long garage has 2 doors on opposite sides of each other that are rigged to close (really quickly) when something fits perfectly inside them. If a 10m long car wants to fit inside the garage, to the obersever in the same reference frame as the garage, the car just needs to accelerate to speeds close to the speed of light so it undergoes length contraction and can fit inside. BUT to the observer in the car, it is the garage that will undergo length contraction so now the car cannot possibly fit. Is there a solution to this?
Adam B
i think the solution to this one is that from the reference frame of the driver in the car the doors don't close at the same time. while they may appear to be simultaneous in the reference frame of the garage, they aren't in the reference frame of the car.
Reyner - u 4674572
That sounds right to me. There's a lot written about this one, although I can't find anything good just at the moment. Participation points for anyone who can find a detailed explanation on the web.
The UNSW Physics Website seems to be quite useful, in particular under the "Time Dilation" section, which has the "pole paradox (garage)".
Hope that is of any use.
YES! That stuff is all excellent. It's by Joe Wolfe, who's one of my heros, and a good musician too. I recommend everyone to read everything on his web site, if they've got time.
I'd forgotten where I'd seen this … even though I'd put it on the further reading page! Duh! (The further reading page is Philosophy Of The Cosmos - Further Reading, in case any of you haven't found it yet.)