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Gamow’s Cyclist: A New Look at Relativistic Measurements for a Binocular Observer

Cryer-Jenkins, E.A and Stevenson, Paul (2020) Gamow’s Cyclist: A New Look at Relativistic Measurements for a Binocular Observer Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences.

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The visualisation of objects moving at relativistic speeds has been a popular topic of study since Special Relativity’s inception. While the standard exposition of the theory describes certain shapechanging effects, such as the Lorentz-contraction, it makes no mention of how an extended object would appear in a snapshot or how apparent distortions could be used for measurement. Previous work on the subject has derived the apparent form of an object, often making mention of George Gamow’s relativistic cyclist thought experiment. Here, a rigorous reanalysis of the cyclist, this time in 3-dimensions, is undertaken for a binocular observer, accounting for both the distortion in apparent position and the relativistic colour and intensity shifts undergone by a fast moving object. A methodology for analysing binocular relativistic data is then introduced, allowing the fitting of experimental readings of an object’s apparent position to determine the distance to the object and its velocity. This method is then applied to the simulation of Gamow’s cyclist, producing selfconsistent results.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors :
Cryer-Jenkins, E.A
Date : 1 May 2020
Funders : UK STFC
Grant Title : UK STFC Grant
Copyright Disclaimer : c The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved
Uncontrolled Keywords : Terrell Rotations; Visual Appearance
Depositing User : James Marshall
Date Deposited : 03 Jun 2020 14:23
Last Modified : 03 Jun 2020 14:23

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