A Conversation for Time Dilation

It might not be so

Post 1


The whole theory of relativity is just that, a theory. The experiments that people claim 'prove' time dilation are subject to plenty of other explanations, including nothing more sinister than experimental error.

The special theory of relativity makes a definite claim that nothing can travel faster than light yet a few years ago there were a series of experiments conducted by electronics engineers which suggested that a signal passed through a wire could do just that. These experiments were reported in detail in the British journal 'Electronics World'. At the time, the physicists maintained a sullen silence on the subject

The problem with much of modern physics is that it's wondered off into the realms of metaphysics and in some cases downright fantasy. I blame the parents!

It might not be so

Post 2


That's rubbish, sorry. Time dilation does happen. A particle that normally lives for a couple of seconds suddenly is alive for minutes just because having been accelerated to almost light speed. This experiment is reproducible as often as you wish. How do you want to explain it?

And that's only one experiment for time dilation out of dozens.

The sullen silence you mentioned has come down to those who claimed to have seen real hyper-lightspeed. They failed to interpret their experiments properly. Nobody seriously says that the theory of relativity is wrong. Well, none to speak of.

It remains a theory of course. As the theory that a rock that you drop falls downwards. We can never be totally sure about that like about a theorem in mathematics.

And someday certainly someone will present something better than Einstein's theory. Till then, it's all that we have. And in the significant points it's surely valid.

It might not be so

Post 3


Saying something is rubbish is the classic way to say you don't agree with another person's views and lack the manners and wit to argue your case politely.

The scientific method is observation, inference, theory and experimentation. So far the observation doesn't show anything convincing when it comes to time dilation although scientists who want to keep on with the big funding required for these experiments are loath to say so.

Your example of particle physics is a good one for both sides of the argument. Particle observations are all of the order of microseconds and the differences observed in accelerators are very small. Like the airplane experiments, the differences are in tiny fractions of a per cent - plenty of possibility for error to creep in.

The only way we'll ever be able to decide this conclusively is to build a vehicle that can approach a significant proportion of the speed of light (say five per cent) and observe what happens. I suspect that the world has better things to do with the money required for such a project. Until then this is just another theory like any other that may or may not stand the test of time.

It might not be so

Post 4


Sorry to butt in on your conversation, but if
Researcher "ontheotherhand"
would go back to there own page and then click on the "EDIT PAGE" button and then write a little something about your self then a ACE can come and welcome you there properly
Sorry for interrupting your conversation smiley - ok

Manda smiley - magic

It might not be so

Post 5


Among physicists, 'rubbish' is only considered a sign of bad manners if it refers to the person, or isn't further explained.

Both was not the case here.

Particle observations can well happen on a scale of hours. The accuracy of today's experiments is so good that time dilation is part of our world just as electric current.

Do some Internet research, and you will see.

It might not be so

Post 6


The most obvious experiment to look at is muon decay in the atmosphere. Muons are created as they enter the atmosphere, but their lifetime is so short that in classical physics most of them should decay in the time it takes them to reach the earth. However, a high proportion don't decay. How else can we explain this? Even the biggest skeptic would find it difficult to argue that inaccuracies and errors in measuring the data could invalidate this experiment.


Paul T

It might not be so

Post 7


I'm surprised that no one has mentioned GPS. The Global Positioning System has Einstein's relativistic formulae (both Special and General Relativity) built into the machine. Without taking time dilation into account, GPS would not work.

Physicist Peter Galison calculates that time, for a satellite orbiting at 20,000 km/hr, runs slow, relative to an Earth-based clock, by 7 millionths of a second per day (Special Theory of Relativity). At an orbital height of 18,000 kms, satellite clocks run fast by 45 millionths of a second per day (General Theory of Relativity). These two factors combined mean that an orbiting satellite clock runs faster by 38 millionths of a second per day relative to an Earth-based clock.

The clock time of GPS satellites must be correct to within 50 billionths of a second per day for GPS to accurately position earth locations. Without relativistic corrections, GPS positioning would exceed its allowable error in less than two minutes and earth-based positions would be off by ten kms after only one day.

Time dilation is an every day, demonstrable phenomenon.

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