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Unformatted text preview: Truth and Consequences The Truth we are referring to here is the seemingly innocuous and plausible sounding statement that all inertial frames are as good as each otherthe laws of physics are the same in all of them and so the speed of light is the same in all of them. As we shall soon see, this Special Theory of Relativity has some surprising consequences, which reveal themselves most dramatically when things are moving at relative speeds comparable to the speed of light. Einstein liked to explain his theory using what he called thought experiments involving trains and other kinds of transportation moving at these speeds (technically unachievable so far!), and we shall follow his general approach. To begin with, let us consider a simple measurement of the speed of light carried out at the same time in two inertial frames moving at half the speed of light relative to each other. The setup is as follows: on a flat piece of ground, we have a flashlight which emits a blip of light, like a...
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