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Some Paradoxes
of
Relativity

There are no real "paradoxes of relativity", but so many people are still baffled by some or other view that points out that, especially special relativity, is paradoxical. This page and its downloads will dispel the controversy from an engineering perspective.

Of the so-called paradoxes, the twin paradox of special relativity is probably the best known. It is about how high speed travel can result in one of the twins ending up younger than the other one. There are various ways to tackle this "problem" and three different views will be given.

There are others, but from an engineering perspective, the Sagnac effect is perhaps the most "troubling" to engineers. This effect is stock-standard Newton dynamics, but many people misinterpret it and then say that this proves Einstein's theory of relativity to be false.

There are quite a few misconceptions (or misleading views) being published on the above issues. Some reputable texts even attempt to use general relativity to solve the "paradoxes"!

It is true that the cases mentioned are not pure special relativity. They are however also not general relativity. Such an explanation just confuses the issue and is totally unnecessary.

The pages linked to below are short, crisp articles on the so-called paradoxes of relativity, with some "puzzles" thrown in for fun.

1) The Twin Paradox Part 1

2) The Twin Paradox Part 2

2A)Twin Paradox - New Graphical Solution

3) The Sagnac Effect

4) The Ladder Paradox

5) The LED Puzzle

6) Space War Puzzle




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