Lorentz Invariance and the Global Positioning System
Robert J. Buenker.
An example is considered (clock riddle) which demonstrates that opposite results
are obtained for the length of an object depending on whether FitzGerald-Lorentz
contraction (FLC) is assumed or instead the determination is based on the elapsed time
required for a light pulse to traverse between its endpoints. This lack of internal consistency
in relativity theory is traced to an undeclared assumption Einstein made regarding a normalization factor
appearing in his original derivation of the Lorentz transformation (LT). If the empirical relationship between
clock rates employed in the methodology of the Global Positioning System (GPS) is used to fix the value of
this factor, an alternative Lorentz transformation (ALT) is shown to result that removes the above
inconsistency, while still satisfying Einstein’s two postulates of relativity and remaining compatible with
Einstein’s relativistic velocity transformation (VT) as well.
Keywords: Alternative Lorentz transformation (ALT), global positioning system (GPS), Lorentz
transformation (LT), postulates of special relativity, velocity transformation (VT).
Rights & PermissionsPrintExport