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Homework Help: Riding a train from Chicago to Detroit

  1. Mar 9, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    You're riding in a very fast train from Chicago to Detroit. In Chicago you set your watch to the correct time, but as you ride through downtown Detroit, you notice that your watch differs from the time shown on the clocks in the station! Are all the clocks in Detroit wrong, or is your watch broken? Or is something else going on? Explain

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I might be just be not thinking on this problem because it seems so easy. Wouldn't it because their is a time zone difference between Chicago and Detroit? Detroit is an hour ahead of Chicago so that is why your clock is different than Detroit's clock.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2009 #2
    i think they are on the same time zone.
    fisrt i am assuming the watch is a hand watch
    not digital. with that said
    if i had to explain this here is what i would say.
    that everything that has mass has inerta. if you
    are moving on the train very fast maybe the
    intera "forces" (inerta really is not a force but oh well)
    are preventing the arm from moving at the speed it should,
    thus slowing your watch down.
    that is my theory not sure if it helps
  4. Mar 9, 2009 #3
    well, if you are moving REALLY fast, time can slow down for you a noticeable amount
  5. Mar 9, 2009 #4

    Andrew Mason

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    Detroit is on Eastern time. Chicago is on Central time. There is no reason in physics why clocks in Detroit and Chicago or on the train would run at different rates, unless this is one of Einstein's thought-experiment trains!

  6. Mar 9, 2009 #5


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    Hi tymartin! :smile:
    the question says "very fast", so i'd go with thepopasmurf :smile: and guess you're supposed to take time dilation into account :wink:
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