- #1

CherylJosie

- 12

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- TL;DR Summary
- Does Red/Blue Shift Indicate Relative Passage of Time?

Experiment 1: Astronaut travels away from Earth at near the speed of light, then travels toward the Earth at near the speed of light.

Einstein tells us she barely aged, but red shift/blue shift don't seem to agree with that.

While traveling away, both Earth and astronaut observe each other red-shifted, moving slowly, and aging slowly.

While traveling toward, both Earth and astronaut observe each other blue-shifted, moving rapidly, and aging rapidly.

Net effect: No change in rate of aging.

Experiment 2: Astronaut circles the Earth at near the speed of light.

Einstein tells us that time slows down for the astronaut and she also becomes foreshortened.

Because the path is circular, there is no relative change in distance, and hence no relative velocity and no red shift or blue shift. Astronaut and Earth age at the same rate. Moreover, from the reference frame of the astronaut, rather than foreshortening toward a lens shape, the Earth becomes an ellipsoid because it is foreshortened around a diameter.

Experiment 3: A photon of a particular frequency is emitted by a light source that is traveling toward an observer at near the speed of light. The velocity of the light source imparts kinetic energy to the photon and blue-shifts its frequency. The photon is blue-shifted so drastically it becomes a gamma ray. It is no longer a photon, and the light source is now an atomic explosion.

I know that these three examples all have different outcomes than what I posited, but I can't reconcile the contradictions and I don't know the math. What am I missing?

Einstein tells us she barely aged, but red shift/blue shift don't seem to agree with that.

While traveling away, both Earth and astronaut observe each other red-shifted, moving slowly, and aging slowly.

While traveling toward, both Earth and astronaut observe each other blue-shifted, moving rapidly, and aging rapidly.

Net effect: No change in rate of aging.

Experiment 2: Astronaut circles the Earth at near the speed of light.

Einstein tells us that time slows down for the astronaut and she also becomes foreshortened.

Because the path is circular, there is no relative change in distance, and hence no relative velocity and no red shift or blue shift. Astronaut and Earth age at the same rate. Moreover, from the reference frame of the astronaut, rather than foreshortening toward a lens shape, the Earth becomes an ellipsoid because it is foreshortened around a diameter.

Experiment 3: A photon of a particular frequency is emitted by a light source that is traveling toward an observer at near the speed of light. The velocity of the light source imparts kinetic energy to the photon and blue-shifts its frequency. The photon is blue-shifted so drastically it becomes a gamma ray. It is no longer a photon, and the light source is now an atomic explosion.

I know that these three examples all have different outcomes than what I posited, but I can't reconcile the contradictions and I don't know the math. What am I missing?