Length standards and the Twin Paradox in the Special Theory of Relativity
Abstract
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 synchronizationthe conventionality of oneway 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 lightspeed conventionality, I prove that any transform which preserves synchronization consistent with MichelsonMorley 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.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 1997
 Bibcode:
 1997PhDT........44C
 Keywords:

 Physics: General