MadSci Network: Physics Query:

Subject: How to draw a spactime diagram for the T and U paradox.

Date: Sat Oct 11 22:52:59 2008
Posted by Cady
Grade level: 10-12 School: Canturbury High
City: No city entered. State/Province: No state entered. Country: No country entered.
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1223790779.Ph
Message:
```
I saw a question on this site about it:
http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/2001-09/1001434136.Ph.q.html and it is the
same question (6-5 from Spacetime Physics) except that now, I have to draw a
spacetime diagram for it:

A U shaped structure made of the strongest steel contains a detonator switch
connected by wire to one metric ton of explosive TNT. A T-shaped structure made
of the same strong steel fits inside U, with the long arm of T not quite long
enough to reach the detonator switch when the two collide. Therefore there will
be no explosion.

But, look at the same situation in the rest frame of the T structure . In this
frame the arm of the T has its rest length, while the two arms of the
U-structure are Lorentz-contracted. Therefore the arm of the T will certainly
strike the detonator switch and there will be an awful explosion.

Q: ==> Make two spacetime diagrams (the bigger the better) representing the
motion of the objects in the T frame and in the U frame. Take the relative
speech to be 87% of the speed of light --then the contraction is half of the
rest length. Label the front and back of the T structure P and Q respectively
and A and B the front and back of the U structure. Determine from your diagram
whether there will be an explosion or not. And explain Why your diagram gives
your answer.

How do I draw this spacetime diagram? Will it explode? And What will the
spacetime diagram look like?

Please help me if possible, Thanks!

```

Re: How to draw a spactime diagram for the T and U paradox.

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