25  Special Relativity                                                    Table of Contents     Previous       Next

Hendrik Antoon Lorentz showed that if it was assumed that moving bodies contracted very slightly in the direction of their motion then the observed results of Michelson-Morley experiment could be accounted for. FitzGerald also derived it independent of Lorentz. This phenomenon is now known as Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction. In 1904, Lorentz developed a firm mathematical description of this, the Lorentz transformation. Einstein later showed that this emerges naturally out of his special theory of relativity. The Lorentz transform was the “magic” ingredient that enabled light to have a constant velocity c independent of relative velocity. 

DWT has a rather straightforward explanation for why bodies contract very slightly in the direction of their motion.  The answer is that all energy and matter experience the phenomena of diffraction when accelerated to a velocity, this diffraction causes a slight contraction in the direction of motion that can be accounted for via the Lorentz transform. This way of looking at relativity gives a new way to visualize velocity effects and the bending of space-time. 

Section 26 for further insights into relativity.   

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