Fitzgerald Contraction

Definition

Astronomy

  • Effect whereby a stationary observer sees objects moving at velocities near that of light shrink along their line of motion. The Fitzgerald Contraction becomes significant only near the velocity of light, like other relativistic effects. Bodies shrink to half their rest length at about 50 per cent the velocity of light. The contraction can be observed experimentally in particle accelerators where matter is brought to relativistic velocities.
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