What Is Minkowski Diagram?

This section provides an introduction of Minkowski diagram, which represents the Lorentz Transformation overlaying a moving frame into a stationary frame.

What Is Minkowski Diagram? Minkowski diagram is a spacetime diagram that overlays a moving frame into a stationary frame to represent Lorentz Transformation in a geometric model.

Using the same thought experiment in the previous section as an example, the Minkowski diagram from Bob's point of view can constructed as below:

For a given event E=(X,cT), the (X',cT') coordinates calculated by the Lorentz Transformation can be read from the Minkowski diagram geometrically:

For example, assuming the train is moving at the speed of 0.6*c, an event E at (X,cT)=(5.5,6.5) on Bob's light cone would be observed by Bob in Amy's frame as (X',cT')=(2,4) based on Lorentz transformation.

The following picture shows a Minkowski diagram of the above example produced by the interactive Minkowski diagram tool at http://www.trell.org/div/minkowski.html:

Minkowski Diagram for beta = 0.6
Minkowski Diagram for beta = 0.6

Last update: 2014.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

 Introduction of Space

 Introducion of Frame of Reference

 Introducion of Time

 Introduction of Speed

 Newton's Laws of Motion

 Introduction of Special Relativity

 Time Dilation in Special Relativity

 Length Contraction in Special Relativity

 The Relativity of Simultaneity

 Introduction of Spacetime

Minkowski Spacetime and Diagrams

 What Is Minkowski Spacetime?

 Events Interval and Relations

 What Is Lorentz Transformation?

What Is Minkowski Diagram?

 Constancy of Speed of Light in Minkowski Diagram

 Time Dilation in Minkowski Diagram

 Length Contraction in Minkowski Diagram

 Relativity of Simultaneity in Minkowski Diagram

 Invariant Spacetime Interval in Minkowski Diagram

 Multiple Reference Frames in Minkowski Diagram

 References

 PDF Printing Version