Coordinates in Motion – Problem 2
The relativity of simultaneity is captured by the example of the treaty signing ceremony: from the perspective of those on the train, the presidents both sign at the same moment while from the perspective of those on the platform, President Forwardland signs first. Nevertheless, it is easy to get confused regarding what this really means. The asynchronous nature of clocks in a moving frame provides a good way to gain clarity.
To that end, imagine that the UN Secretary General, to commemorate the historic ceasing of hostilities, has given each of the presidents an identical watch, both identically set to New York time, which they both wear as the signing ceremony gets underway. The light bulb goes off. Each president receives the signal and signs the treaty. According to those on the train, each president’s watch reads exactly 2:00 PM when they signed the treaty. You are stationary on the platform. Let’s analyze this from your perspective.
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When President Backwardland signs the treaty, what time do you say his watch reads? (In case you are confused, ask yourself why I've not provided any information such as the distance between the presidents or the speed of the train.)CorrectIncorrect
From your perspective on the platform, which answer below characterizes the reading on President Fowardland's watch when President Backwardland signs the treaty?CorrectIncorrect
When President Forwardland signs the treaty, what time do you say his watch reads?CorrectIncorrect
From your perspective on the platform, which answer below characterizes the reading on President Backwardland's watch when President Forwardland signs the treaty?CorrectIncorrect