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Lorentz transformation |
A linear map that expresses the time and space coordinates of one reference frame in terms of those of another one. Much like simple rotations, which leave the lengths of objects unchanged while transforming their coordinates, Lorentz transformations leave unchanged the expression c2t2 - x2 - y2 - z2, where c is the speed of light, and the other variables are space-time coordinates. ◇ A pure Lorentz transformation, a kind of boost, relates the reference frames of two inertial systems that are moving with a constant relative velocity. ◇ General Lorentz transformations include pure Lorentz transformations as well as rotations of the spatial coordinate system. See also invariance, Special Relativity.