Files in this item



application/pdf1997_carrubba.pdf (5MB)Restricted to U of Illinois


Title:Length standards and the twin paradox in the special theory of relativity
Author(s):Carrubba, James G.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stone, Michael
Department / Program:Physics
Subject(s):length standards
twin paradox
special theory of relativity
Abstract:In this Thesis I work towards a discussion of several resolutions of the Twin Paradox by exploring the Lorentz transformations. I begin by asking what it means for a moving length to contract1 a question which obviously cannot be divorced from the propagation of length standards from one reference frame to another. I emphasize the conventionality of definitions of length. I go on to argue that it is the imposition of clock synchronization-the conventionality of one-way speeds-and not the effects of acceleration which leads to the asymmetry of light speed observed in the Sagnac effect; and further, that this asymmetry leads to apparent paradoxes which are easily resolved when we take into account general covariance. In subsequent discussion of light-speed conventionality, I prove that any transform which preserves synchronization consistent with Michelson-Morley must be a similarity transform; and use this to demonstrate that not all results which appear to depend on Special Relativity actually do. I conclude this Thesis with an argument that the Twin Paradox cannot be resolved consistently if we impose simultaneously all ·'physical" conditions which various resolutions impose in part.
Issue Date:1997
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Other Identifier(s):4055726
Rights Information:©1997 Carrubba
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-04-26

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics