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8/8/2015 SpecialRelativityPracticeProblem14Solution

>CollegeofScience>PhysicsDept>TatsuTakeuchi>SpecialRelativity>PracticeProblems>Solution14
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TrainsinaTunnelSolution

1. Thefrontendoftrain1entersthelightfieldatQ.QissimultaneouswithandPandRinthetrain1frame.
Therefore,thefrontendoftrain1isatQ,andtherearendisatP.
2. Therearendoftrain1exitsthelightfieldatF.FissimultaneouswithandEandGinthetrain1frame.
Therefore,thefrontendoftrain1isatG,andtherearendisatF.
3. Therearendoftrain2entersthelightfieldatV.VissimultaneouswithandS,T,andUinthetrain1frame.
Therefore,thefrontendoftrain2isatU,andtherearendisatV.
4. Thefrontendoftrain2exitsthelightfieldatA.AissimultaneouswithandB,C,andDinthetrain1frame.
Therefore,thefrontendoftrain2isatA,andtherearendisatB.
5. Eventhoughtrain2isshorterthantrain1inthetrain1frameofreference,ascanbeseenbycomparingthe
lengthsofABandCD,itspendsmoretimeinthelightfield.Therearendoftrain2startsenteringthelight
fieldatV,andiscompletelyimmersedinlight(QR)bythetimethefrontendoftrain1startsenteringthelight
fieldatQ.Therearendoftrain1exitsthelightfieldatF,butatthattimetrain2isstillcompletelyimmersed
inlight(EF).SotheeffectofLorentzcontractioniscompletelycancelledoutbythefactthattrain2spendsa
longertimeinthelightthantrain1.
Theimportantthingtonoticeisthatthelightsinsidethetunneldonotturnonandoffsimultaneouslyineither
ofthetrains'frames.Inthetrain1frame,whatyouobserveisabandoflightmovingfromtherighttotheleft.
Sincetrain1ismovingintheoppositedirectionasthebandoflightwhiletrain2ismovinginthesame
direction,train1spendslesstimeinthelightthantrain2.Bytheway,thebandoflighttravelsataspeedfaster
thanthespeedoflight,butthatdoesnotviolatecausalitysincenothingisreallymoving,norisanyinformation
beingtransmitted.

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8/8/2015 SpecialRelativityPracticeProblem14Solution

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