Weekly Roundup 41

For this roundup I would like to talk about Owais Najam’s murder paradox which he talked about on The Brilliant Cosmos, so I recommend everyone reads this through first. The key theme of the paradox comes from the concept of causality. The word “causality” is thrown around a lot but in a technical sense it is the idea that even with the time altering concepts of relativity event A that causes even B will always be witnessed before B. The effect can never be viewed before the cause, at best they reach a viewer simultaneously. The idea presented in the paradox is interesting because even when imagined moment by moment, backwards from the point where Jack is shot you see yourself moving forward in time while in the 1/2 C frame and backwards in time at the normal reference frame. Is it possible there is a reference frame where both events, the shooting and the impact, happen simultaneously? In which case what is so unique about this frame? I’m sure the prosecution in Clary’s case could argue that since their witnesses were luckily not on a train going at half the speed of light what they saw was a  murder. This entire question could be seen as what happens when you let equations overrule common sense but so often in relativity common sense was out the window from the beginning. In my opinion this paradox is just as brilliant as the twin paradox and the ladder and barn paradox and deserves to be remembered with the same esteem.


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