World Science Scholars

34.4 The Pole in the Barn: Spacetime Diagrams - Bart's Skateboard

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    • What do you think will happen in this version of the Pole in the Barn Paradox? Bart is riding a skateboard whose rest length (between the front and back wheels) is 1 meter at a velocity so high that those on the sidewalk say his skateboard is contracted to a hundredth his rest length, 1 centimeter. Directly on his path is a sewer drainage cover, embedded in the road, with gratings that are 10 centimeters apart. Observers on the sidewalk think he’s going to fall in. But from Bart’s view, his skateboard is still 1 meter long and it is the separations in the drainage cover that are Lorentz contracted down to .1 centimeters apart, so he can simply skate right across them. What happens?

    • Bart will simply ride on it

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