The Paradoxes of Special Relativity


Paradoxes occupy a special place in modernphysics and especially in Einstein's theory of relativity. From the beginning,friends and detractors tried to build thought experiments to prove theinconsistency of Einstein's physics. Even though all these attempts have failed,there remains a long list of exciting brainteasers.


For this week we want to build acollaborative project to explore the place of paradoxes in special relativity.The point of this exercise is not to reproduce Wikipedia or to compileexplanations, but rather to explain how special relativity paradoxes functionat different levels: physical, cultural, historical, philosophical etc. The aimof the exercise is to create a cognitive map of SR paradoxes. Ideally we willwant to find the best structure and connections between SR paradoxes.


Main Tasks:


l        Explain some paradox. Using anymaterial that seems appropriate, write an explanation for a paradox that shouldbe accessible to your peers. Please do not copy/paste, but make sure youunderstand the explanations and rephrase them in your own words. Please useonly one post per paradox to avoid overlaps. If someone already started a postfor a paradox, please add your comments there.

l        解释一些悖论。使用任何似乎合适的材料,写一个似是而非的解释,应该让你的同龄人理解。请不要复制/粘贴,但一定要懂的解释,用他们自己的话。请每份悖论使用一篇文章以避免重叠。如果某人已经开始了一个悖论的帖子,请在那里添加你的评论。              

l        Ask questions. Use the postcorresponding to that paradox to ask questions.

l        提问。使用与这个悖论相对应的帖子来提问。              

l        Classify. Identify how SRparadoxes work: what is the general scheme of these paradoxes? How are theyconstructed? What are the invalid concepts? Could you construct aclassification of them?

l        分类。确定SR悖论是如何工作的:这些悖论的总体方案是什么?它们是如何建造的?什么是无效的概念?你能把它们分类吗?              

l        Analyze. What is the impact ofthe paradoxes? You can analyze them historically (who generated them and why?),philosophically (how do they further or challenge our understanding of somefundamental concepts?), culturally (what role do they play outside physics?).

l        分析。悖论的影响是什么?你可以从历史上分析它们(谁产生的,为什么?)哲学上(他们如何进一步或挑战我们对一些基本概念的理解?)在文化上(他们在物理之外扮演什么角色?)。

These are just some examples of thedirections in which you could go, but we encourage you to explore any avenuethat is most exciting for you. You can add new paradoxes, topics, or categoriesto the project.


You can contribute to the project at anylevel. You are not assigned any particular task, but you should choose to writeabout what excites you the most, or about topics that are still missing or arenot properly explained.