Paradoxes and their Findings in Special Theory of Relativity


  • Haruya Hamanoue Crimson Global Academy
  • Rifath Khan University of Cambridge



Special Theory of Relativity, Physics, Theoretical Physics, Paradox


After the publication of Special Theory of Relativity in 1905, scientists raised questions that seemed to be impossible to explain due to relativity. These paradoxes seem to make contradictory statements and challenge the legitimacy of the theory of relativity until it was accepted by the scientific community.  This `paper presents some of those paradoxes and findings of Special Theory of Relativity, namely the Bug Rivet Paradox, Bell’s Spaceship Paradox and the changes in the electromagnetic fields due to a change in frames of reference. The paper shows how these problems were solved using coordinate transformations, and the key insights into the world we live in, such as the explanations of why electric and magnetic fields are interlinked.

Physicists came up with apparent paradoxes which challenged the theory. Apparent paradoxes arise due to two statements that seem logical but do not agree with each other, or an antinomy. We will be looking at some of these problems; Bug-Rivet paradox, Bell’s Spaceship paradox and the link between electric and magnetic fields.


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Author Biography

Rifath Khan, University of Cambridge


PhD candidate ( also a member of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, Relativity and Gravitation research group) both at the University of Cambridge

References or Bibliography

Dray, T., & Monogue, M. C. (n.d.). 10.8 Potential due to an Infinite Line of Charge. The geometry of Static Fields.

Einstein A. (1905) Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Korper (On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies). Annalen der Physik, 322(10), 891-921.

Grant I, S. & Phillips W. (1990) Electromagnetism, Manchester Physics Series.,+2nd+Edition-p-9781118723357

Institute of Physics. (n.d.). Maxwell’s equations.

Jean-Michel L. (2007) A simple derivation of the Lorentz transformation and of the related velocity and

acceleration formulae. American Journal of Physics, 75(7), 615-618.

Weissman, B, N. (2007, October 22) Magnetism and Relativity. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Norton D, J. (2022, January 30) Philosophical significance of the special theory of relativity or what does it all mean? the conventionality of simultaneity. Einstein for Everybody.



How to Cite

Hamanoue, H., & Khan, R. (2023). Paradoxes and their Findings in Special Theory of Relativity. Journal of Student Research, 12(3).



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