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meopemuk is offline
Sep2-07, 11:20 PM
P: 1,746
Quote Quote by Cirion View Post
Ok let me begin by saying I'm far from an expert on this subject... but I'm doing some personal research and have a question. Please answer without being TOO technical xD (I can do some calculus and somewhat advanced math but not like insanely complicated math.)

Anyways... does anyone know any general formulas for the distortion of time from a certain amount of mass density and the resulting gravity potential well? For instance I heard that in one year, two atomic clocks - with one clock being one mile above the other - results in 5 milliseconds in distortion. The gravitational potential in this case would be something like...

(2000m*10kg*9.81m/s^2) = 196200J = 5ms distortion / year. I don't even know what an atomic clock weighs or even if what I did is kosher math but that's the general idea.

So can anyone help me on how I would be able to do calculations on space-time distortions on a larger scale [ie, outer space]? Thanks
I wouldn't call it "distortion of time"..., but it is true that clocks at high altitude go faster than clocks at lower altitude (i.e., lower gravitational potential). The rate of the clock at elevation h is [itex] 1 + gh/c^2 [/itex] times faster than at the sea level. In the case h=2000m, this factor is about 1 + [itex]2 \cdot 10^{-13} [/itex], which translates into roughly 5us (5 microsecond) per year.