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Game simulating relativity

  1. Dec 7, 2012 #1

    bcrowell

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    One of my students told me about this: http://gamelab.mit.edu/games/a-slower-speed-of-light/

    I haven't been able to try it because I don't run Windows or MacOS. As far as I can tell, it's free, but closed source. The license is extremely restrictive. No idea whether the game is any good either educationally or for fun.
     
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  3. Dec 7, 2012 #2

    PAllen

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    It crashes for me as soon as the game proper starts, on Window 7, 64 bit, multi-core laptop.
     
  4. Dec 7, 2012 #3

    A.T.

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    A known bug will crash the game on computers with some Intel graphics chipsets.
    To run the game, Windows users with multiple graphics processors may need to right-click the game's application icon, select ‘Run with graphics processor,’ and choose the option that is not marked as the default.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2012 #4

    ghwellsjr

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    Same for me on the original version of XP Professional that came with my very old laptop.
     
  6. Dec 7, 2012 #5

    OmCheeto

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    Have been trying to find this game for about 20 years.

    Light at the speed of 10 meters/second makes my head hurt.
     
  7. Dec 8, 2012 #6

    K^2

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    There is not much game in it, but it's fun to try out. As far as being educational, with the right instruction, certainly. By itself, not so much.

    All of the simulation for static objects is done correctly. There are, however, some other characters in the game that also move about the field, and their motion is not properly simulated from perspective of time dilation, relativistic velocity addition, or red/blue shifting. So that's something to keep in mind. I don't know if it's something that was overlooked, ignored, or simply not done yet.
     
  8. Dec 8, 2012 #7

    A.T.

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    I think red/blue shifting is okay, but you have to collect at least 80 balls to see the effect. If you then stand around the approaching characters have a different color that the receding ones. Not sure about the other stuff, but keep in mind that the signal delay can partially cancel effects like length contraction. To show those effects better, the characters would have to do more than just move at constant speed. They should:
    - Stop and then accelerate again, from time to time.
    - Perform some periodic motion that indicates their proper time

    A good test for their engine would be a character on a bike with big spoke wheels:
    http://www.spacetimetravel.org/rad/rad.html

    More relativistic ray tracting for comparison:
    http://www.spacetimetravel.org/
     
  9. Dec 8, 2012 #8

    K^2

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    You are right. I'm not sure how I didn't notice this. I think I was specifically looking for it. Maybe I tried it when the speed of light was still too high. It's kind of subtle even at 80.
    They do. They leave huts at fixed intervals. I just timed one standing still and again while making a round trip. No difference. 20 seconds flat both times. So time dilation definitely isn't working.
     
  10. Jan 26, 2013 #9
    I have just tried this game. Is it just me or does time not properly dilate in this game?

    Those moving "people" do not seem to change speed.
     
  11. Jan 26, 2013 #10
    Does it have FTL, wormholes, time travel, warp drives and photon torpedos?
     
  12. Jan 27, 2013 #11

    A.T.

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    See comments by K^2. It would be easier to tell, if they where actually moving their legs, or swinging their arms while walking. This would (if done properly) demonstrate the rate of their proper time.
     
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