Harrison Danneskjold Posted May 16, 2013 Report Share Posted May 16, 2013 (edited) You cannot actually measure length contraction. Any ruler which is brought about to measure the contraction of something else will also be contracted and therefore the effect is cancelled out and cannot be measured. The same sort of thing applies for the movement of a clock, if the hand of a clock has slowed down, your bodily movements and ability to read the clock have likewise slowed down to a similar degree making you oblivious to any such effect. This is all when you are moving at a constant speed without accelerations, like in your scenario of the ship and police officer. There have been experiments done where a pair of atomic clocks were synchronized nearly-perfectly and then one remained stationary as the other was flown around the world in a plane. When the plane landed, the moving clock was running slow. I would call that a specific measurement of time contraction. For one thing, this confirms relativity; for another it demonstrates how human beings are capable of working around it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tests_of_general_relativity He claimed that a creature living in a free floating box in outer space will experience "gravity" if the box is suddenly accelerated by a string attached to the outside. Some "force" compels him to the bottom of the box where the reaction force allows him to stand up. He thought that was analogous to what we experience on the Earth as gravity. The force is called Centrifugal force; the reason why a bucket full of water, when spun along its vertical axis, will force the water up the sides of the bucket. This has been verified long before Newton and can be demonstrated at home, by any average person with a bucket full of water. Gravitational force is the motion of space and time as it "falls" into matter, continuously. This is why someone standing on the ground is accelerating against the flow of space while a parachute-enthusiast in freefall is at rest, relative to space. With centrifugal force, your motion in one direction forces you in a different direction, which overall creates the effect of radial gravity. The same is true of gravity-gravity (and they are analogous) except that within a gravitational field, in order to be standing still, one has to be falling. If you stop to give it some honest consideration you'll see it really doesn't contradict Objectivism, the primacy of existence or the rational faculty in any way. It's counterintuitive but it is NOT subjective and it can be understood by anyone who's willing to try. If you'd like a much more detailed (and doubtlessly more accurate) explanation then you should try reading Brian Greene's books. He's a physicist who has written several books specifically for the purpose of enabling normal people with little spare time to understand quantum physics, relativity, et cetera. Edited May 16, 2013 by Harrison Danneskjold Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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