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Clarrification of Time Dilation

  1. Sep 27, 2010 #1
    I understand that time dilation means that the closer to the speed of light an object goes, the slower time seems to pass relative to a stationary observer. My question is, if time seems to slow down in the space ship moving at something close to the speed of light, then would other time related phenomena, like aging or decay also seem to slow down?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 27, 2010 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Absolutely. To the person in the spaceship, everything runs normally. To the observer on earth, all temporal processes in the moving ship run slowly.
  4. Sep 27, 2010 #3
    But for the person in the starship, time would move along at seemingly the same pace it always has. So that means that the person would age at their normal rate, but once they slowed down, many more years would have passed, if i have this correct.
  5. Sep 27, 2010 #4


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    Re: Clarification of Time Dilation

    Yes, if the starship returned to earth, more time would have passed on earth than on the starship.

    This is called 'the twin paradox' or 'the clock paradox' and there have been millions of words written about it. It is not the same thing as the apparent 'time dilation'.
  6. Sep 28, 2010 #5
    thank you, that seems to clear up the confusion
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