How to Understand the Twin Paradox
Advances in Sciences and Humanities
Volume 1, Issue 3, December 2015, Pages: 55-59
Received: Aug. 18, 2015;
Accepted: Oct. 20, 2015;
Published: Oct. 20, 2015
Views 4124 Downloads 173
Mark Louis Ricard, Independent Researcher, Monroeville, United States
Follow on us
The twin paradox is often misunderstood, both in textbook and science popularizations. This article is intended to help clarify misconceptions involving the famous thought experiment. Of special importance is how we define the inertial frame in special theory of relativity. Another common factor that is overlooked involves the difference between time dilation, which is a consequence of the Lorentz transformations and the concept of look back time, which is independent of that. The concept of the invariant space-time interval and Minkowski diagrams are used in making these issues clearer.
Twin Paradox, Time Dilatation, Inertial Frame, Space-Time, Minkowski Diagrams, Special Theory of Relativity
To cite this article
Mark Louis Ricard,
How to Understand the Twin Paradox, Advances in Sciences and Humanities.
Vol. 1, No. 3,
2015, pp. 55-59.
C. W. Misner, K. S. Thorne, and J. A. Wheeler, Gravitation. W. H. Freeman & Company, New York, USA (1973).
A. P. French, Special Relativity. W. W. Norton & Company, New York, USA (1968).
M. Born, Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Tr. by H. L. Brose. Methuen & Company, London, UK (1924).
J. Ogborn, Introducing Relativity: Less May be More. Physics Education 40, 213-222 (2005).
E. F. Taylor and J. A. Wheeler, Spacetime Physics: Introduction to Special Relativity. W. H. Freeman & Company, New York, USA (1992).
H. A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, H. Minkowski, and H. Weyl, The Principle of Relativity: A Collection of Original Memoirs on the Special and General Theory of Relativity, with Notes by A. Sommerfeld, Tr. by W. Perrett and G.B. Jeffery. Dover Publications, New York, USA (1952).