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About the effects of relativity when measuring the age of the universe

  1. Nov 19, 2014 #1
    Ever since Einstein showed us that time is relative, and that there is no such thing as independent time but a space-time fabric, and since we’ve got experimental results about the dilatation effect that speed and gravity/acceleration have on time: Is it OK to say that the universe started 13,79 thousand million years ago, as an absolute value? First of all, in our current understanding of the universe with a tetra dimensional system of coordinates, only one coordinate (in this case a date) is not enough to fully define an event. On the other hand, one could say that the BB happened 13,97 thousand million years ago in the time coordinate, and everywhere in the universe in the special coordinate… That seems fair enough.

    But regarding relativity, I wonder about the possibility of someone in a different frame of reference measuring the exact same moment for the BB. As I understand, the relativity says that simultaneous events in one reference frame are not simultaneous in other frames moving relative to the first.
    Now, I know that maybe the effects of time dilatation are not big enough to be perceived over the current precision we have on the calculation of the age of the universe (although it occurs to me that it could be big enough in some particular conditions such as near the event horizon of a SMBH), but for this question to make sense (if that is possible at all), I would like you to play along with me in the two following assumptions/considerations:
    · Let’s imagine that we had technology to the measure of the age of the universe more precisely (say an error in the order of thousands of years instead of millions)
    · When I refer to “someone in a different frame of reference” I am talking about another highly evolved and intelligent species with our the same curiosity about the origin of all, but everywhere in the universe that could be considered another frame of reference (I think a planet close to the center of our galaxy could do just fine).
    Can we be sure that their measure of the age of the universe will be the same or close to ours?

    P.D.: I don’t know if this question fits better here or in the general relativity section.

    Thanks and best regards,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2014 #2


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  4. Nov 19, 2014 #3
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