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 contract, 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 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.
- Pub Date:
- Physics: General