# Lorentz contraction facts for kids

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(Redirected from Length contraction)
Length contraction: Three blue rods are at rest in S, and three red rods in S'. At the instant when the left ends of A and D attain the same position on the axis of x, the lengths of the rods shall be compared. In S the simultaneous positions of the left side of A and the right side of C are more distant than those of D and F. While in S' the simultaneous positions of the left side of D and the right side of F are more distant than those of A and C

The Lorentz contraction is also called the Fitzgerald contraction or the Lorenz-Fitzgerald contraction. It is caused by relativistic effects seen between observers moving toward or away from one another. The size of one object as seen by someone moving toward or away from it it is decreased along their line of movement by an amount mathematically related to their speed and the speed of light.

In his book, One, Two, Three...Infinity, physicist George Gamow quoted a limerick (a kind of poem) that is said by some to have been changed from a more naughty poem. There are several other cleaned up versions:

There once was a young man named Fisk,
Whose fencing was extremely brisk,
So fast was his action,
The Lorentz contraction,
Foreshortened his foil to a disk.

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