I am quite sure this question was a result of misguided information presented to the OP about Special relativity. But I think the OP only wanted a thought-experiment kind of proof for length contraction. The fact that they thought time dilation causes length contraction is to some extent irrelevant.

When I presented an edit to this effect, it was rejected. So are we going to keep down-voting this question and not allow more answers to show up in the true intent of the OP?


2 Answers 2


Questions founded on a misunderstanding of something are a work-a-day reality of teaching physics and on Physics Stack Exchange.

If you have the time and inclination, then correct the misunderstanding.

Sometimes that might just be a comment, sometimes it's an answer to the question (if not he one the OP expected), and occasionally it's not clear which it should be.

But if you edit the question then several things might happen including:

  • You change the meaning of the question and invalidate answers
  • You get in ahead of any answer, but the OP doesn't get the correct they need, they answers coached in language that assumes they understand the very thing that is causing them trouble

and neither of those are good outcomes.


I would venture to guess it is because it changes the intent of the question, and we don't like edits that change the intent of the original question.

To put it another way, the information may have been misguided and that's why the original title was what it was. So, somebody answering that question should answer it to correct the misguided information. By editing that out of the title, you remove a key component of the original question.

  • $\begingroup$ But what about so many down-votes? Are they necessary? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 15:13
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PhyEnthusiast Well, if you hover your mouse over the up/down vote button, the down vote button suggests "This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful." So, presumably those who voted it down thought one of those three things are the case. Arguably, down votes are necessary and shouldn't be taken personally. Research effort would have cleared up the misguided nature easily, or maybe it's unclear what the intent was because the underlying premise was misguided. $\endgroup$
    – tpg2114
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ This answer is essentially the exact reason I used in rejecting it @PhyEnth. $\endgroup$
    – Kyle Kanos
    Commented Feb 15, 2018 at 20:26

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