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Another Point... (after Thinking For A Bit) : )

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Posted by nåte on October 27, 1998 16:18:03 UTC

: I was under the assumption that as you speed up, your length increases. This is true. I don't think that objects shrink, but rather lenghten out. It can be looked at like this, with your less photons being released thing. The faster you go, the more "space" you occupy at that given instant in time, now, as your photons are slowing down, i.e. not being released as fast, one would see the same number of photons, except over a greater distance, therefore making the speeding object appear longer, not shorter.

This sounds more like doppler shift that your describing to me. maybe i'm wrong... dunno..

but here, let me see if I can make my point a bit more clear.

As an object approaches 'c', it begins to travel curved space more and more untill it is perpendicular with a stationary reference frame. Now, one way this is visualized is to (see graphic) imagine, as velocity increases, that your vector of motion goes steeper and steeper into the "gravity well". Even though we aren't talking gravity here, just using the graphic to depict curved space. Imagine that the object (if possible) was traving at 'c'. The position that it would occupy in the picture would be that of infinite steepness, or rather perpendicular to this dimension. Now, if this is so, the amount of space the object occupies is always constant, however! Depending on the reference of the observer, that very piece of space that the object occupies is distorted and appears to be shorter.

You can do this simple experiment at home. take a piece of paper, draw some lines that make up a graph that are say, 1" appart. Now roll the paper into a cone or tube, hold it up to your eye and observe how the distance "appears" to measure up across the square boxes... it seems shorter... and 0" if viewed at a perfect 90° reference point.

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