The light clock and time dilation.

In summary, the equation for time dilation derived from studying a light clock can be used in general, as it tells us that a mechanical clock would also show time dilation. This is important because if it were different, the principle of relativity would be violated. The light clock, while not a wrist watch, is a special case that demonstrates the universality of physical processes.
  • #1
ehj
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How do you argue that the equation for time dilation derived from studying a light clock can be used in general. For instance, how does it tell us that a mechanical clock would also show time dilation?
 
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  • #2
If it were different, the principle of relativity would be violated - whenever both would not agree, you could tell that you are moving in an absolute sense. This principle is postulated in the development of the theory.
 
  • #3
light clock and wrist watch

ehj said:
How do you argue that the equation for time dilation derived from studying a light clock can be used in general. For instance, how does it tell us that a mechanical clock would also show time dilation?
I think that the weak point of the light clock consists in the fact that it is not a wrist watch involving two such clocks located at the two mirrors respectively.
 
  • #4
ehj said:
How do you argue that the equation for time dilation derived from studying a light clock can be used in general. For instance, how does it tell us that a mechanical clock would also show time dilation?

A clock is a device that counts cycles, where a motion repeatedly returns to a starting point in some frame of reference. The light clock is a special case of this. Maybe instead of questioning the generalization of the light clock to all clocks, we should simply be amazed that such a generalization is possible. It tells us something profound about the universality of physical processes.
 

Related to The light clock and time dilation.

1. What is a light clock?

A light clock is a theoretical device used to demonstrate the concept of time dilation, which is a phenomenon in which time appears to move at different rates for objects in different frames of reference.

2. How does a light clock work?

A light clock consists of two mirrors facing each other, with a beam of light bouncing back and forth between them. The time it takes for the light to travel between the mirrors is used to measure time. As the clock moves at high speeds, the distance the light travels increases, causing time to appear to slow down.

3. What is time dilation?

Time dilation is a theory in the special theory of relativity that states time appears to move at different rates for objects in different frames of reference. This effect is observed when objects are moving at high speeds, causing time to appear to slow down for the moving object relative to a stationary observer.

4. How does time dilation affect our daily lives?

Time dilation is not noticeable in our daily lives as it only becomes apparent at extremely high speeds, such as those near the speed of light. However, it is an important concept in understanding the behavior of objects in the universe and is essential in modern technologies such as GPS systems.

5. Is time dilation a proven phenomenon?

Yes, time dilation has been proven through numerous experiments and observations, including the famous Hafele-Keating experiment in 1971. It is also a fundamental concept in the special theory of relativity, which has been extensively tested and confirmed through various experiments and observations.

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