What Is the Relativity of Simultaneity?

This section provides a quick introduction on the relativity of simultaneity, a phenomenon where two events happening in two different locations that occur simultaneously in one reference frame, occur non-simultaneously in another reference frame that is relatively moving.

What Is the Relativity of Simultaneity?? The relativity of simultaneity in special relativity refers to the phenomenon where two events happening in two different locations that occur simultaneously in one reference frame, occur non-simultaneously in another reference frame that is relatively moving.

Or we can say that distant simultaneity, whether two spatially separated events occur at the same time, is not absolute. It is relative to the observer's reference frame.

Or we simply say that simultaneity is relative.

For example, a flash of light is given off at the center of a carriage moving at a high speed. Amy, on the moving carriage, will observe that light pulses will reach the front wall and the back wall at the same time. But Bob, on the ground, will observe that light pulses will reach the front wall and the back wall at different times.

Light Pulses Reaching Walls of Moving Carriage
Light Pulses Reaching Walls of Moving Carriage

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

What Is the Relativity of Simultaneity?

 Formula for the Relativity of Simultaneity?

 Introduction of Spacetime

 Minkowski Spacetime and Diagrams

 References

 PDF Printing Version