In summary, the Twin Paradox for Freely-Falling Observers is a thought experiment that explores the concept of time dilation for objects in motion. It involves two identical twins, where one stays on Earth and the other travels into space at high speeds. The time difference between the twins is caused by the effects of special relativity, where time appears to pass slower for objects in motion. This effect can be proven through experiments, and the paradox can be applied to any pair of objects or individuals, not just twins. It is commonly discussed in the context of freely-falling observers, but can also be applied to non-freely-falling observers.
  • #1
vanhees71
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2023 Award
24,492
15,017
The “twin paradox” is often discussed in the introductory treatment of special relativity. Under “twin paradox” we understand the fact that if two twins start from the same place with synchronized clocks, traveling in an arbitrary way and then meet again at the same spacetime point, where they compare their clocks, in general, they find different times. According to the clock hypothesis, the time of a proper clock is independent of acceleration and given by the proper times of each twin,
$$\tau_j=\frac{1}{c} \int_{\lambda_1}^{\lambda_2} \mathrm{d} \lambda \sqrt{\eta_{\mu \nu} \dot{x}_j^{\mu} \dot{x}_j^{\nu}}.$$
Here the ##x_{j}^{\mu}(\lambda)## (##j \in \{1,2 \}##) are the world lines of the twins in terms of Galilean (Minkowskian) coordinates in an inertial reference frame with ##(\eta_{\mu \nu})=\mathrm{diag}(1,-1,-1,-1)##. The clock hypothesis has been verified in various experiments, e.g., by comparing the lifetime of particles (like muons) or radioactive nuclei in particle...

Continue reading...
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Likes JD_PM, Abhishek11235, fresh_42 and 4 others
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Only one small thing, to my understanding "travelling in an arbitrary way and then meet again at the same spacetime point, where they compare their clocks, they find different times" requires different lengths of their wordlines, which is always true in case one twin stays "at home".
 
  • Like
Likes vanhees71
  • #3
True, if the twins move on "symmetrical paths" their clocks can also read the same. I'll change the sentence to

"...where they compare their clocks, in general they find different times..."
 
  • Like
Likes timmdeeg

Related to Learning Twin Paradox for Freely-Falling Observers

What is the Learning Twin Paradox for Freely-Falling Observers?

The Learning Twin Paradox for Freely-Falling Observers is a thought experiment in physics that explores the concept of time dilation and the effects of gravity on the perception of time. It involves two identical twins, one of whom stays on Earth while the other travels into space and back at high speeds. When the traveling twin returns, they will have aged less than their twin who stayed on Earth due to the effects of time dilation.

How does the Learning Twin Paradox relate to Einstein's theory of relativity?

The Learning Twin Paradox is a thought experiment that helps to illustrate some of the key principles of Einstein's theory of relativity, specifically the concepts of time dilation and the relativity of simultaneity. It demonstrates how time can appear to pass differently for two observers in different frames of reference, and how the perception of simultaneity can vary between observers.

Can the Learning Twin Paradox be observed in real life?

While the Learning Twin Paradox is a theoretical concept, the effects of time dilation and the relativity of simultaneity have been observed in real life through experiments with atomic clocks and GPS satellites. These experiments have confirmed the predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity and provide evidence for the validity of the Learning Twin Paradox.

What are some potential implications of the Learning Twin Paradox?

The Learning Twin Paradox has important implications for our understanding of time and space. It challenges our intuitive understanding of time as a universal constant and highlights the relativity of time. It also has practical implications for space travel and the need for precise timekeeping in order to accurately navigate and communicate in space.

Are there any criticisms or limitations of the Learning Twin Paradox?

While the Learning Twin Paradox is a useful thought experiment for understanding the principles of relativity, it does have some limitations. It assumes that the twins are in inertial frames of reference and does not take into account the effects of acceleration and gravitational forces. Additionally, it does not consider the effects of the twins' relative velocities on their perceptions of each other's aging. These factors may limit the applicability of the Learning Twin Paradox to real-world scenarios.

Similar threads

  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
2
Views
997
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
48
Views
3K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
31
Views
2K
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
40
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
10
Replies
330
Views
25K
Replies
71
Views
7K
  • Special and General Relativity
2
Replies
67
Views
5K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
18
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
15
Views
1K
Back
Top