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Newbie question - Conceptualization of time dilation from matter's perspective

  1. Aug 8, 2011 #1
    Newbie question -- Conceptualization of time dilation from matter's perspective

    I have only a slight familiarity with classical physics, and in trying to conceptualize time dilation in a more intuitive, concrete manner, I attempted to explain time dilation from matter's perspective. What I arrived at was easy for me to follow, but something I have never encountered before. Because of the ease with which I follow it, my lack of familiarity with physics, and never having encountered such a concrete explanation before, I assume it is either horribly wrong or horribly obvious. I post here in the hopes that someone will either explain why my conceptualization is incorrect or confirm the correctness of my conclusion.

    The conceptualization begins with the view that object relationships to dimensions are absolute, and it is not energy transferred between colliding particles, but directionality of the particle's constituents. In other words, particles and their constituents contain invariable amounts of energy. Particles accelerating from a spatially stationary state accelerate not because they have gained energy, but because their constituents devote less of their fixed amounts of energy to restraining their peers by acting in opposition to them and more energy to moving in a generally agreed upon direction. The degree of agreement between constituents determines velocity.

    In addition to determining velocity, degree of agreement on direction also determines the rate of interaction between the particle's constituents in that the two are opposed. That is, a fixed allotment of energy is shared between particle constituent interaction (rate of interaction--"time") and constituent agreement upon direction (velocity). Hence, as an object approaches the speed of light, "time" (constituent rate of interaction) slows. Further, length contraction is explained by distance measurements being dependent upon the rate at which time is experienced.

    Lack of calculus illustrating relationships makes this explanation seem too intuitive to me. Surely, I have erred.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2011 #2


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    Re: Newbie question -- Conceptualization of time dilation from matter's perspective

    Hi, 3781,

    Welcome to PF!

    I'm frankly having a hard time making sense of your post.

    Could you tell us more about where you've been learning relativity?

    For people who haven't had calculus and freshman physics, I recommend reading the following two books, in order:

    Gardner, Relativity Simply Explained
    Takeuchi, An Illustrated Guide to Relativity

    The Gardner book is fun and provides good connections with experiments and observations. However, it doesn't really provide any rigorous logical framework for the subject as Takeuchi does. The problem with Takeuchi is a total lack of connection to experiment.

    A book that is slightly more difficult than Takeuchi but otherwise has about the same pros and cons is Mermin's It's About Time: Understanding Einstein's Relativity.
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