Keywords: length contraction measurement, time dilation, general Lorentz transforms, uniformly rotating frames, particle accelerators
Application of particle accelerators for the experimental measurement of relativistic length contraction
The subject of length contraction appears very early in textbooks (Moller, 1957) as well as in various forms in papers dedicated to teaching relativity (Weinstein, 1960; Rindler, 1961; Sherwin, 1961; Sears, 1964; Redzic, 2008). Unfortunately, no experiment has been possible to date due to the fact that the predicted effects are very small. In the current paper, we extend the treatment to the case of the arbitrary orientation between two inertial frames. The Michelson–Morley experiment has been viewed as an indirect proof of length contraction, and in the current paper, we describe the experimental set–up for a direct measurement of length contraction, a relativistic property that has eluded so far experimental verification. We show how modern technology, in combination with the theory advanced by our paper, makes this experiment feasible.