Volume 23: Pages 333-333, 2010
Herky–Jerky Box: Proof that momentum is not conserved in special relativity
Michael H. Brill 1
1Datacolor, 5 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648, USA
A one-dimensional box is posited with identical point masses synchronously and elastically hitting each other and opposite ends of the box. From a moving frame, special-relativistic kinematics says the center of mass (CM) of the box (exclusive of the point masses) moves uniformly, but momentum conservation says CM moves jerkily. Hence special relativity does not support momentum conservation.
Keywords: Special Relativity, Momentum, Conservation, Paradox
Received: March 26, 2010; Accepted: March 30, 2010; Published Online: April 29, 2010