The Historical Asymmetry of Acceleration in Special Relativity
Year: 2008 Pages: 3
Newton's first law of motion states, ?Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless acted on by a force.? Special relativity theory assumes such motion. Newton's second law states, ?The change of motion from a straight line is caused by acceleration due to a force.? Changes in velocities are caused by accelerations. General relativity follows the second law. Modern technology has enabled individual objects to know their velocities using accelerometers that measure increments of acceleration or deceleration and record them. If two or more objects have this capability, each object has an on-board history of its velocity. An historical asymmetry between moving objects can be measured. Consequently, the statement in special relativity that no single object can measure its uniform velocity is not valid anymore. In addition, the principal of relativity that each object can claim to be the fastest is no longer reasonable to assume. Since length contraction, time dilation, and the twin paradox are process changes, all three occur during acceleration or deceleration and are sustained during the ensuing state of uniform motion. The only thing that is special about special relativity is that special relativity applies to point-to-point conditions of uniform motion, rather than processes that occur between the points. It is time to re-examine the role of special relativity in the 21st century paradigm of physics. TOPIC AREA: Special Relativity.