"Let us suppose that on a foggy night two brigands shoot the guard and the engine-driver of a train. The guard is at the end of the train; the brigands are on the line, and they shoot their victims at close quarters. A passenger who is exactly in the middle of the train hears the two shots simultaneously. You would say, therefore, that the two shots were simultaneous. But a station-master who is exactly halfway between the two brigands hears the shot which kills the guard first. An Australian millionaire aunt of the guard and the engine-driver (who are cousins) has left her whole fortune to the guard, or, should he die first, to the engine-driver. Vast sums are involved in the question which died first. The case goes to the House of Lords, and the lawyers on both sides, having been educated in Oxford, are agreed that either the passenger or the station-master must have been mistaken. In fact, both may perfectly well be right. The train travels away from the shot at the guard, and towards the shot at the engine-driver; therefore the noise of the shot at the guard has farther to go before reaching the passenger than the shot at the engine-driver has. Therefore if the passenger is right in saying that she heard the two reports simultaneously, the station-master must be right in saying that he heard the shot at the guard first."
(Bertrand Russell, ABC of Relativity)
There is not only one stable space-time system of
This is not normally the stuff of which crime stories are made; rather, it is a way to see crime stories in an entirely new way..
The double murder of an engine-driver and guard is described from several different points of view, that of the station-master, that of the passenger in the moving train and from a point of view which reverses the depiction of time and space.
Inspired by Russell's equation, "tx-transform" compresses the concurrence of the substance and science of the theory of relativity and tx-transformation into a film. The narrative character of the text continues in images which are given their aesthetic quality by a unique type of movement through space and time. After being hit by a bullet, a man falls to his death; a train travels into the night, and at the same time, through various states of being. A short cinematic nightmare about trains, space and time.
"Space has been killed by the train, and now only time remains."
(Heinrich Heine, Lutetia. Reports on Politics, Art and Popular Life)