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Connection between fabric of space, max. speed (of light) and time dilation

  1. May 8, 2009 #1

    mdl

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    Hi all,

    1. the max. speed of waves in the air is the speed of sound. it's caused by the physical limitation - changes in the air fabric (particles) can't propagate faster in it.
    2. so I was wondering, whether the max. speed in our space isn't limited by the max. (indivisible/atomic) change possible in the fabric of space.
    3. Albert says: in vacuum, light always travels the speed of light relative to observer (whatever speed he is traveling). i think the observer who is traveling 1/2 of max. speed and turns on a laser beam perceives that the beam is propagating in speed of light not because it is so, but because observer's time is slowed down.
    4. so why is his time slower? time could be defined as the number of changes of space relative to some other number of changes of space (e.g. second). the smallest changes are in the subatomic scale and (i think) they are propagating in the speed of light. but if the observer is traveling 1/2 of max. speed, some % of subatomic changes can't propagate that fast. the faster the rocket flies, the more % of changes slow down (exponentially?). is this the reason for time dilation?

    thanks,
    mdl
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2009 #2

    Mentz114

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    Gold Member

    Hmmm. In relativity you have to talk about relative velocity. What do you mean by the above ? In whose frame is the observer travelling at 1/2c ?

    Remember there is no way to distinguish uniform motion from rest.
     
  4. May 9, 2009 #3

    mdl

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    I mean he is traveling relative to "motionless" observer (e.g. on Earth orbit).

    maybe i just need to read more threads..
     
  5. May 9, 2009 #4

    Mentz114

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    mdl:
    OK, that clears it up.

    Reading more threads is a good idea, so is reading some course material. I don't think anyone knows 'why' relativistic effects happen and we're a long way from a physical model similar to sound propagation. Relativity works without needing an aetherial 'medium' for light to propagate in ( or through ).
     
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