How to make time slow down, really!

Looks like I'll be moving to another high-rise! In his theory of relativity, Albert Einstein put forth a very strange idea: Time moves faster or slower depending on how fast you’re moving and the strength of the gravitational field around you. Subsequent experiments proved Einstein right: Time ticks slightly slower on a fast-moving satellite compared with a stationary one, while a clock in the mountains--farther from Earth’s gravitational field--runs faster than one at sea level.

The same weirdness applies at a more intimate scale, but only now have scientists been able to measure it. Using a pair of ultra-precise atomic clocks, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology demonstrated that a clock raised just a foot above the floor ticks marginally slower than the lower one--by a difference of about 90 billionths of a second over 79 years. In a second experiment, they found that a clock moving at as little as 20 mph ticks ever so slightly slower than a nonmoving clock. "People tend to just ignore relativistic effects, but relativistic effects are everywhere," NIST’s James Chin-Wen Chou tells The effects, however, are rather subtle: Over a lifetime, people who live at the top of a skyscraper age about 100 millionths of a second more slowly than people on the ground floor.

Read these NetLingo blog posts here: Subscribe to the posts by clicking on Subscribe to RSS Posts and choosing your RSS reader, or subscribe to the NetLingo blog here!


Post a Comment