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Fun with Time Dilation

Time dilation is a phenomenon where an observer feels that another clock ticks at a slower rate compared to their own clock.

According to Einstein’s theory of relativity, clocks that are moving relative to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. To put it in other words, a clock on a moving object seems to be running slower than one on a stationary object. The dilation is related to the speed, in that the faster the object moves, the slower the clock is.

One popular manifestation of this effect is in the story where one side of a pair of twins go on a journey on a space craft. The other twin, on the other hand, stays on earth. Ten years later on earth, the adjourning twin returns to earth. Although the twin that stays on earth has aged 10 years, the one that went on the space journey has barely aged one year.

Those who know the story of Planet of the Apes may find this phenomenon familiar. In the novel, the protagonist travels a few centuries into the future while on a space ship. From his point of view, he feels as if he is away only for several years on the space ship.

This phenomenon can probably be exploited in other ways. Remember that time dilation states that as you move faster, your clock will seem to move slower to others.

This brings a solution to a problem where an office worker feels bored while in the office, and is waiting for end of office hours to come. All he needs to do is to move as fast as possible, and the one minute that he feels may be ten minutes as felt by others (who for the sake of argument are assumed to be stationary here). From his point of view, he only needs to wait for one minute instead of ten. This brings a brilliant solution, one that will put an end to all office boredom.

The only problem he has to solve now is to figure out how he can move at such a speed (close to the speed of light), while at the same time staying intact and not broken up as he moves through air (and other objects).

  1. pochp
    December 18, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Can that be done thru meditation?

  2. December 19, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    pochp: You can try… 😛

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