SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 327: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 327

23. An unmanned exploratory space vehicle is accelerated to .85c as it leaves the solar system. Years later a stationary extraterrestrial watches the vehicle pass and measures the length of the vehicle to be 12.64 m. What was the length of the vehicle on earth before it began its trip?

A. 8.44 m
B. 12.64 m
C. 18.23 m
D. 24.0 m
E. 29.77 m

Correct Answer: D


The correct answer is (D). The relativistic equation is . In the eyes of an outside observer, the ship undergoes a contraction.

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