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the things i ponder when incredibly sleep deprived: i had a…

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the things i ponder when incredibly sleep deprived:

i had a conversation with shawn (later continuing it with kirtan for a while) this morning that was quite odd.

you know, as you approach the speed of light, time slows down. if you had an analog and a digital clock would the displayed time be effected? and would they be effected in the same way? would one slow down more than the other?

and if you were there, would you percieve the time slowing down, or would it not seem to change?

discuss.

(edit: read comments if you want to watch boys throwing their geek cocks around)

Current Mood:
curious curious
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[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:27 pm (UTC), johnphys commented:
I've got a degree in physics, so I SHOULD be able to answer intelligently on this. Here goes.

You REALLY have to be careful when talking about this stuff. It's all "relative" (hence, the theory of relativity)

The only way you can talk about time slowing down is if you have some "reference" to compare it to (someone standing still). We'll take Shawn to be standing still, and Alicia to be moving at close to the speed of light.

"The Clock Display"
===================

Yes, the clock display would be affected.

That is, if Alicia "started" her journey (going at 99 % of the speed of light) with the clocks when they read 12:00, when 10 minutes passes for Shawn (on the clock that's on his boombox), only 1 minute will have passed for Alicia, and thus her clocks will read 12:01.

This assumes that the clocks are PERFECT. If only the digiclock is perfect, but let's say the analog clock gets off by 20 seconds for every minute that passes (it's a sucky clock), the digiclock would read 12:01, and the analog clock would read 12:01:20.

That is to say, it's actually TIME that slows down, not the perception of time (this is why both "perfect" clocks read 12:01 when shawn's boombox reads 12:10).

"Do I Notice"?
====================
This is a toughie. I'm going to guess "no".

The reason this is a toughie is becaue we have no idea how the mind works. I can certainly tell you that subatomic particles don't notice the slowdown, but people? Not so sure on that one.

If the human perception of things is not bounded by such formalities as space and time, then yes, we would notice.

On the other hand, if we simply take in all that we observe, when we observe it, I would have to say no, we don't notice the time shift.



Any questions?
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:37 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
so you're saying that it would be like moving in slow motion?
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On July 5th, 2004 11:41 pm (UTC), johnphys replied:
if you want to think of it that way, but you couldn't tell that you were. Your brain would only "think" at the "slower rate", so you couldn't really tell that time had slowed down.
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On July 5th, 2004 11:42 pm (UTC), pochanike replied:
whoa...
thats awesome shit LOL


so it would be similar to the effects of marijuana... except time wouldnt be slowing down, you're just thinking slower... nevermind i guess that doesnt make sense LOL
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:47 pm (UTC), johnphys replied:
It gets wierder.

Say Shawn and Alicia had agreed that after 10 minutes passed for shawn, he'd send a signal to her telling her what time he had, that way she could compare the two times.

So, it reads 12:10 on the boombox, and 12:01 on Alicia's clocks.

Shawn sends a message to Alicia, saying "It's 12:10".

Because the speed of light is the fastest anything can go, by the time it reaches Alicia, her clocks will read exactly 12:10, making the two measurements line up.
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:50 pm (UTC), fuzzdecay replied:
umm.... how would it be able to reach me at all if i were going the speed of light?
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:52 pm (UTC), johnphys replied:
Easy answer. You're not going the speed of light, just 99% of it, so the message can reach you.
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On July 5th, 2004 11:56 pm (UTC), alan_is_ninja replied:
How about if they decided to meet up at 12:10. She's flying around and notices its time to be back so she gets to wherever at 12:10 by her clock. Would it be 12:10 by the other's clock?
[User Picture]
On July 6th, 2004 12:03 am (UTC), johnphys replied:
You're REALLY going to have to clarify this question to get an answer out of me.

I'll try to clarify it for you.

If they decide to meet up back on earth at 12:10, what happens is this.

Shawn stays put for 10 minutes and waits. Alicia won't show up for some time though.

Alicia travels for 5 minutes (HER time), and then travels back for 5 minutes (HER time).

The KEY thing here is that Alicia CHANGED DIRECTION, so the two points of view are no longer equal. Alicia is now the traveler.

Since for every minute Alicia, experiences, Shawn experiences 10, she only experiences 1, when she gets back, she will have gone through 10 minutes, her clocks read 12:10.

Shawn, however, experienced 10 times that! His clock reads 1:40.

Alicia has just traveled 100 minutes into shawn's future, and it took her 10 mintues to get there.
— On July 6th, 2004 12:05 am (UTC), alan_is_ninja posted a reply · Expand
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[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:45 pm (UTC), fiduch replied:
lol, but the rate itself has to be relative to something else! :op

and if your close-to-light-speed spaceship had portholes, you could presumably look out of them and anything you could see (probably stars, mostly) would appear to be moving in slow motion...
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On July 5th, 2004 11:48 pm (UTC), pochanike replied:
damn einstein... or was newtons more accurate... it was einstein i think that had the most accurate depiction of relativity... anyway... i dont know... i dont know how it could be possible to not come to this conclusion i guess because from a physiological aspect we are basically atoms... the atoms would slow at speeds near the speed of light but i guess because we are so complex it would be easy to think otherwise maybe? i dunno. but it seems amazing to think about. god i love physics.
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:56 pm (UTC), johnphys replied:
Einstein was more accurate. There are TWO theories of relativity. The one we're discussing (or at least, the one which has answers to questions we're discussing) is the first one he published, the Special Theory of Relativity.

The second has to do with gravity, and is called the General Theory of Relativity.

The second basically says you can't distinguish between gravity and other types of acceleration
[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:51 pm (UTC), johnphys replied:
true on the "relative to something else" bit.

My example above (Shawn and Alicia and the clocks), is written from Shawn's point of view (Alicia is moving). You can just was well switch all the clocks and Shawn and Alicia around so that Alicia is still and Shawn is moving, by looking at it from Alicia's perspective.

As far as "stars in slow motion", I don't think that would occur, because all that info (light) takes time to get to you, and it can only travel at a certain speed.

So I don't think it would look like it's "in slow motion", but the SHAPES would appear distorted, I'm pretty sure (you can find links on the net for this, I don't know where unfortunately).

[User Picture]
On July 5th, 2004 11:53 pm (UTC), pochanike replied:
i think that things would not show up at all... wouldnt the stars and everything else appear to not be there at all? isnt there a point where you're moving too quickly for any other object to appear visible to you if its at a standstill?
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On July 5th, 2004 11:55 pm (UTC), fiduch replied:
heh. yes, things would definitely look distorted.

it would probably look somewhat like hyperspace in star wars, actually... :op even how the ships get distorted and elongated as they accelerate to hyperspeed.
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