What Happens When Things Go Near the Speed of Light?

Advanced Analysis: Deriving the formula for g

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Look at a different kind of plot.

Minkowski Diagram

Physicists commonly use a Minkowski Diagram to look for patterns in relativistic data. They plot the lifetime vs. the decay length for each particle. The lifetime is defined as the separation in time as measured by the detector between the creation of a particle and its decay. The decay length is the separation in space between the creation of a particle and its decay.

Each particle has four values which define its existence:

location of creation = Sc location of decay = Sd
time of creation = Tc time of decay = Td
These four values describe the creation of the particle by the ordered pair (Sc, Tc) and its decay by (Sd, Td).

The Minkowski Diagram is a plot of the differences in these ordered pairs. The points on the plot are:

(Sd - Sc, Td - Tc)

Look at the plot.

Hermann Minkowski (1864-1909) was a physicist who worked on resolving paradoxes in electrodynamics. He was also one of Albert Einstein's instructors in Zurich.