Adding Velocities or; the Little Engine that Shouldn’t

From one who knows what he’s sayin’.

Glass Planet

If you stand at the rear of a train moving in a straight line at 60 miles per hour and you start walking forward at 3 miles per hour, common sense and Galileo tell you that you are now moving in a specific direction at a speed of 63 miles per hour relative to the ground.  However, if you’ve been on the train so long that you’ve stopped perceiving its 60 mile per hour motion, you only recognize the following:

  1. You were slacking off until you got up off your fat bottom and started walking.
  2. You could walk faster if you were serious.

If you remember anything from your school days about such thought exercises, you’ll remember that the initial problem is just the gateway.  I’m convinced that people like Einstein only go into physics so they can build elaborate thought-mazes to torment students but since science claims exclusive right…

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