The Lorentz Transformation explains how the speed of light is observed to be independent of the reference frame and to understand the symmetries of the laws in electromagnetism. It is in accordance with special relativity, but is derived before special relativity was postulated.

The transformation describes how measurements of space and time by two observers are related. They reflect the fact that observers moving at different velocities may measure different distances, elapsed time and even different orderings of events. This supersedes the Galilean transformation of Newtonian physics because the Galilean transformation is only a good approximation for relativity smaller speeds than the speed of light.

The Lorentz transformation for frames in standard configurations can be shown in the following simple forms:

t^'=γ(t- vx/c^2 )

x^'= γ(x-vt)

y^'=y

z^'=z

Where v is the relative velocity between frames in the x-directions, c is the speed of light and γ is the Lorentz factor.