FitzGerald contraction

noun Physics.

the hypothesis that a moving body exhibits a contraction in the direction of motion when its velocity is close to the speed of light.


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Also called Fitz·Ger·ald-Lo·rentz contrac·tion [fits-jer-uh ld lawr-ents, -lohr-] /fɪtsˈdʒɛr əld ˈlɔr ɛnts, -ˈloʊr-/, Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, Lorentz contraction, length contraction.

Origin of FitzGerald contraction

First recorded in 1915–20; named after G. F. FitzGerald Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for fitzgerald-lorentz contraction

Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction
/ (fɪtsˈdʒɛrəldlɔːˈrɛnts) /


physics the contraction that a moving body exhibits when its velocity approaches that of light

Word Origin for Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction

C19: named after G. F. Fitzgerald (1851–1901), Irish physicist, and H. A. Lorentz
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012