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Name: Kwanalouie
Status: student
Grade: 9-12
Location: TX
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2011-2012

I do not see how this relativity problem is explained. Its a variation of the barn pole paradox. Can you offer insights?

Kwanalouie, Einstein’s special relativity theories apply to constant VELOCITY situations. This means no change of speed or direction. An observer on the ring is constantly changing direction. After half of a revolution, the observer’s direction has exactly reversed. Length contraction is much more complex in such a situation. General relativity is needed for this situation.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf Physics Instructor Illinois Central College

You are mixing relative effects with non-relative effects to create the paradox. In creating what you think is a paradox, you are placing unrealistic constraints on the system (e.g. how do you decouple this massively energetic ring from the silo?).

Hope this helps, Burr Zimmerman

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