Minkowski Spacetime
by Andrea Mantler.

Last update = July 26, 2002.

This project is a computer simulation of Minkowski spacetime. Minkowski geometry is a 4-dimensional geometry in which 3 dimensions are space, and one is time. In order to illustrate the effects of length contraction, time dilation, and relativity of simultaneity, a rotating cube was chosen as a periodic time process to illustrate the behaviour of Minkowski spacetime geometry. A rigid cube rotating at high speeds is observed by two different observers, one stationary with respect to the cube, and one travelling at relativistic speeds. The cube is perceived to rotate at different speeds according to the two observers, and it is seen to deform.

A java applet was written to illustrate these effects. It will be available for download here.

Andrea's essay describing the theory is available in html format.

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