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Light clock with spaceship moving vertical at .99c 
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#1
Feb1913, 05:01 PM

P: 9

So what would happen if there was a space ship moving at 99% the speed of light straight up. The spaceship has a light clock, so a photon of light moving bouncing between 2 mirrors in such a way that the light moves ALMOST in sync with the space ship moving up. In theory wouldn't the light photon move very very slowly up to the top mirror and back to the bottom. Would time be almost come to a complete stop?



#2
Feb1913, 05:05 PM

P: 109

To answer your question: It seems that way but not really!  Why? Lights speed is absolute, meaning, it always travels at the speed of light relative to EVERY viewpoint. So....If you were moving at .99 c, and you saw a photon, that photon would STILL be moving 300,000 m away from you every second. THIS is why time and space stretch in relativity. Since C was absolute, Einstein saw that if the speed of light was ALWAYS the speed of light, something else had to give (i.e space and time) In order for it to make sense that a photon would still be traveling away from you at 300,000 m/s if you were traveling .99% of c, Einstein postulated that you the observer would need to experience time much slower in order for this to occur. Hope that helps! 


#3
Feb1913, 05:13 PM

P: 9

Ahh that's interesting! Thanks for the quick answer!



#4
Feb1913, 05:15 PM

P: 109

Light clock with spaceship moving vertical at .99c



#5
Feb1913, 05:36 PM

Mentor
P: 41,300

Of course from the viewpoint of the people in the space ship, everything would work normally. 


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