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Volume 11: Pages 521-523, 1998
Reinterpretation of the Fitzgerald‐Lorentz Contraction
Minoru Harada 1, Mendel Sachs 2
1Institute of Liberal Arts, Otaru University of Commerce, Otaru, Hokkaido 047‐8501 Japan
2Department of Physics, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14260 U.S.A.
We discuss the interpretation of the Fitzgerald‐Lorentz contraction in special relativity theory. We suggest removing logical inconsistencies inherent in the conventional interpretation such as a paradox relating to a meter stick sliding on the ice with a hole. The proposed interpretation points to the introduction of different units for length in each reference frame. Our result comes closer to the basic premise of relativity, the principle of covariance, asserting that a universal law of nature must be independent of the reference frame in which it is expressed.
Keywords: Einstein, special relativity, Lorentz transformations
Received: June 18, 1997; Published online: December 15, 2008