Time and Distance

  • Norbert Dragon
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Physics book series (SpringerBriefs in Physics)


An elementary geometric fact, stated as the intercept theorem, makes an observed clock run visibly slower, if it moves away in the line of sight and to run visibly faster by the inverse factor, if it approaches the observer with the same velocity. This Doppler effect of light in the vacuum is particularly simple, because, different from the Doppler effect of sound, it depends only on the relative velocity of the light source and its observer. We employ a referee to determine whether moving clocks are equal and how the times between pairs of events compare. This time endows spacetime with a geometric structure, the distance, which is similar to but also different from Euclidean distance. From the Doppler effect we determine the addition of velocities, time dilation and length contraction and clarify the related paradoxes.


Euclidean Geometry Time Dilation Pythagorean Theorem Length Contraction Orthogonal Line 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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