Special Relativity

Special Relativity - Special Relativity: Synchronizing...

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Special Relativity: Synchronizing Clocks Michael Fowler , UVa Physics 2/29/08 Suppose we want to synchronize two clocks that are some distance apart. We could stand beside one of them and look at the other through a telescope, but we’d have to remember in that case that we are seeing the clock as it was when the light left it , and correct accordingly. Another way to be sure the clocks are synchronized, assuming they are both accurate, is to start them together. How can we do that? We could, for example, attach a photocell to each clock, so when a flash of light reaches the clock, it begins running. If, then, we place a flashbulb at the midpoint of the line joining the two clocks, and flash it, the light flash will take the same time to reach the two clocks, so they will start at the same time, and therefore be synchronized. Let us now put this whole arrangement - the two clocks and the midpoint flashbulb - on a train, and we suppose the train is moving at some speed v to the right, say half the speed of light or so. Let’s look carefully at the clock-synchronizing operation as seen from the ground. In fact, an
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Special Relativity - Special Relativity: Synchronizing...

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