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Help with a novel: uses of a time gradient?

  1. Jun 16, 2015 #1

    I had a username on here from a few years ago (the site looked different then), but I can't remember the email or password, so I humbly return to the community as a noob.

    I am working on a short science fiction novel, and I could use a little informed insight. The planet on which the story is set has a region where time moves more quickly than outside the region. Let's say it is not the result of any change in gravity or anything like that, just a stand-alone phenomena... at some boundary time is moving "normally" for that frame, and as you pass the boundary and approach the center of the region, time moves exponentially faster.

    This phenomena is going to be an important plot point in the story, but I am trying to spin a little science-justified backstory in there as well. So, my question to you all is, if this sort of thing existed, could it be useful for anything? E.g., could it be used to harvest energy in some way (and thus justify why people might fight to control it)? Are there any other consequences of something like this we might imagine? Any natural processes that we might want to accelerate by sending through this area?

    Obviously I am not looking for something that stands up to highly rigorous scientific scrutiny, just looking for some fun thoughts that more or less obey the laws of physics as we understand them. Anything would be much appreciated! But please only post if you don't mind me borrowing and/or tweaking your idea for implementation in my project.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2015 #2
    I would just put a data center there and be delighted that the processors work faster. Or place some factories there and be delighted by faster production. (so a good place for an industrial center)

    If we think very rigorously I wonder about red shift for any light going inside and blue shift of light going outside... (let's see what more physics savvy people would say)
  4. Jun 16, 2015 #3
    I'd also be interested in hearing if people think such a space would have any visible effects as one looked into it. It occurs to me that days and nights would be prolonged within the region. I am not sure if this also implies larger temperature variations compared to outside the region... the net number of photons landing on the ground would be the same, just spread out over a longer time span within the region. In any case it does not immediately occur to me what visible symptoms this might introduce.

    If the region were large enough, would it make sense that it would have high winds around its border? I was thinking that wind moving even slowly near the center of the region would have a high relative velocity merely as a result of lots of time passing, and cause pressures that translated into fast moving winds even where time was moving slower or normal. Likewise, as winds entered the region, they would start moving faster inward as a result of the time distortion, but this would also cause a real low pressure system and cause the winds to move faster even outside the region.
  5. Jun 20, 2015 #4
    OK it seems that no one better at physics is going to answer, so let me try.

    Red shift / blue shift, that would be visible

    It would receive the same number of photons - OK. They would be red shifted - bring less energy. But it because of having more time it would radiate more than any black body of the same temperature with same temperature. So for me it seems it should be colder than surroundings.

    Inside the pressure would be more equalized than outside and winds should be rather a bit weaker. However at the borders of the region the pressure difference would be higher than otherwise, so the wind would be faster.
  6. Jun 20, 2015 #5
    Huh, very interesting consideration... that will be a cool feature to work in. Regarding the light shifts, if I am understanding correctly, you are saying that looking in from the outside would be redshifted, and looking out from inside would be blueshifted?

    Thanks for this, and your other comments!
  7. Jun 20, 2015 #6


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    Uh ... how would you get in and out of such a region? Think about the problems that encounters. It amounts to a chronological "tidal force".
  8. Jun 21, 2015 #7
    There is an electromagnetic radiation that can be regarded as waves. If a light enters from slow time area to fast time area, the wave would be stretched. Such "stretching" would mean a red shift.

    Same would apply to sound waves, but it only be easily noticeable with a something really loud that you can hear for many kilometres.

    Concerning winds. If we assume that this cooling down mechanism is correct and area big enough, then air from above would drop there, what would lead up to building a bit higher pressure area. Nothing fancy, but the wind would rather blow out of this time zone.
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