Relativity and Planet of the Apes

In summary: I never saw the Planet of the Apes lol. It probably would've helped me out with this problem! Thanks for your help, guys! The answer they're looking for is 744 instead of 1488!
  • #1
DeadxBunny
30
0

Homework Statement


The premise of the Planet of the Apes movies and book is that hibernating astronauts travel far into Earth's future, to a time when human civilization has been replaced by an ape civilization. Considering only special relativity, determine how far into Earth's future the astronauts would travel if they slept for 105 years while traveling relative to Earth with a speed of 0.9900c, first outward from Earth and back again.

Homework Equations


I think delta t = Y*delta t0
where Y = 1/[1-(v/c)^2]^1/2

The Attempt at a Solution


I used the above equations (delta t0 = 105 y, v = 0.99c) and got 744.3253. Then I multiplied this by 2 and got 1488.651 y which is the wrong answer.

Thanks for your help!
 
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  • #2
You have to go there and back in 105 years, so you go out for 105/2 years and back for 105/2 years. I've had too much fosters to figure out the real answer, I just hope that helps... hmm its 3.20am here. nice. Wait, why did you x by 2? It should probably just be 744 years. But maybe you should take into acount the the x displacement...
 
  • #3
It helps to draw a spacetime diagram. The paths taken by the Earth and by the astronauts will form a triangle. Then use the formula for proper time:

[itex]\Delta \tau^2 = \Delta t^2 - \Delta x^2[/itex]
 
  • #4
Won't the length contraction cancel out?
 
  • #5
Did I misunderstand the question? Is the spaceship going out and then back to Earth all in 105 years? I thought the question meant that the ship went out for 105 years and the return trip also took 105 years (which is why I multiplied by 2).

Tomsk said:
You have to go there and back in 105 years, so you go out for 105/2 years and back for 105/2 years. I've had too much fosters to figure out the real answer, I just hope that helps... hmm its 3.20am here. nice. Wait, why did you x by 2? It should probably just be 744 years. But maybe you should take into acount the the x displacement...
 
  • #6
DeadxBunny said:
Did I misunderstand the question? Is the spaceship going out and then back to Earth all in 105 years? I thought the question meant that the ship went out for 105 years and the return trip also took 105 years (which is why I multiplied by 2).

Well, remember the story for Planet of the Apes. They are asleep the whole time, while the ship gets turned around (which they don't realize) and comes back to earth. So 105 years should be the total trip time, or 52.5 years for the trip out and 52.5 years for the trip back if you assume symmetry.
 
  • #7
I never saw the Planet of the Apes lol. It probably would've helped me out with this problem! Thanks for your help, guys! The answer they're looking for is 744 instead of 1488!

Daverz said:
Well, remember the story for Planet of the Apes. They are asleep the whole time, while the ship gets turned around (which they don't realize) and comes back to earth. So 105 years should be the total trip time, or 52.5 years for the trip out and 52.5 years for the trip back if you assume symmetry.
 

Related to Relativity and Planet of the Apes

1. What is the concept of relativity in "Planet of the Apes"?

In "Planet of the Apes", the concept of relativity refers to the idea that time and space are relative and can be affected by factors such as gravity and velocity. This is demonstrated in the film when the astronauts travel through a time warp and end up on a planet where humans are primitive and apes are the dominant species.

2. How does relativity play a role in the development of the ape civilization in the film?

Relativity plays a major role in the development of the ape civilization in the film. Due to the time warp, the astronauts travel thousands of years into the future, causing the apes to evolve and become the dominant species on the planet. This demonstrates the concept of relativity in how time can be perceived differently depending on one's position and movement in space.

3. Is the portrayal of relativity in "Planet of the Apes" scientifically accurate?

While the film takes creative liberties with the concept of relativity, the overall portrayal is scientifically accurate. The time warp and the resulting evolution of the apes is a possible outcome according to the theory of relativity. However, the rapid evolution of the apes and their advanced civilization may not be entirely realistic.

4. How does the concept of relativity tie into the themes of the film?

The concept of relativity ties into the themes of the film by exploring the idea of humans being the inferior species and the consequences of their actions. The film also touches on the idea of time being a relative concept and how it can impact the development of a society. Additionally, the film raises questions about the ethics of scientific experimentation and the potential consequences of playing with the laws of nature.

5. What are some real-life examples of relativity similar to the concept in "Planet of the Apes"?

One real-life example of relativity similar to the concept in "Planet of the Apes" is the theory of time dilation in space travel. As an object travels at high speeds, time for that object will move slower relative to an object at rest. This is similar to the time warp in the film, where the astronauts experience a different passage of time than the inhabitants of the planet they land on. Another example is the theory of general relativity, which explains the relationship between gravity and time. This is demonstrated in the film when the astronauts discover that the planet they are on has a different gravitational pull, resulting in a different passage of time compared to Earth.

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