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Creator: Wolfgang Rindler (Austria, 1921-)
Dimension: 20×100 inches
The ladder paradox (or barn-pole paradox) is a thought experiment in special relativity. It involves a ladder, parallel to the ground, travelling horizontally and therefore undergoing a Lorentz length contraction. As a result, the ladder fits inside a garage which would normally be too small to contain it. On the other hand, from the point of view of an observer moving with the ladder, it is the garage that is moving, so it is the garage which will be contracted to an even smaller size, thus being unable to contain the ladder.