Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 35 - Think and Discuss: 100

Answer

See below.

Work Step by Step

Let $L_{o}$ represent the original, rest length of the car, and L the measured length of the moving car. $$L = L_{o} \sqrt{1-\frac{ v^{2} } { c^{2} }} $$ This is discussed on page 676. For ordinary speeds, even 200 mph, the difference is not measurable, less than an atomic diameter. On the other hand, for speeds that are appreciable compared to the speed of light, the decrease in length is substantial.
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