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Relation between Time-Dilation and Radioactivity

  1. Jan 25, 2012 #1
    Is it true that all the Experiments which are intend to prove Time-Dilation of SR 'directly', are
    based on radioactive half-lives extension ?

    For example, cesium atomic clocks in GPS satellites, Muon decay etc.

    Moreover, if it is true, ........ and correlations between nuclear decay rates and solar activities is confirmed in near future.

    will this undermine the absoluteness of the nature of Time-dilation of SR.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2012 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It wont undermine SR as SR is based on reasoning outside of radioactivity. SR makes the assumption that the speed of light if the same for all observers in inertial frames of reference. We observet he time-dilation in cesium clocks because they tick so fast and we can measure the ticks so accurately that even at slower speeds of jet aircraft we can detect the time dilation effect.

    At much higher speeds even a mechanical clock would show the same time dilation effect relative to a stationary observer with a similar clock.
  4. Jan 25, 2012 #3
    Point taken.

    But don't you think that if radioactivity is found to depend on something other than the relative motion, in this case Sun, then we will have to fit the role of Sun and SR to explain Time Dilation of decaying particles.
  5. Jan 25, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The relation between decay and the sun dubious (borderline crank science), and small, even if granted. The effect of time dilation on decay is precisely established and large. Further, the effects (if the former is real) are orthogonal - suppose decay is faster in the summer. That simply constitutes the baseline for measurement of effects of time dilation.
  6. Jan 25, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Atomic clocks do not utilize radioactive decay to tell time.

    If solar activity affected decay rates, I'd think it would be a much bigger problem for QM. I won't hold my breath.
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