The Twins Paradox: Understanding the Slow-Motion Effect

In summary, there is agreement within the physics community that the traveling twin would also experience the slow-motion effect, known as the reciprocal illusion, when observing the Earth-bound twin. This is due to the fact that in special relativity, neither frame is considered special until the traveling twin has to slow down and return. Therefore, what the traveling twin sees, the Earth-bound twin must see the opposite. For further information, please refer to the FAQ on the Twin Paradox.
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I've read different reasons for the reciprocal illusion experienced by the twins (the slow-motion effect). I've not been able to understand the reason that the traveling twin would see the earthbound twin moving in slo-mo. Can anyone offer a simple explanation -- or is there actually no agreement on this within the physics community?

Thank you very much!
 
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There is certainly agreement that the traveling twin would also see the Earth bound twin's time being dilated (moving in slow-mo as you say). This is due to the fact that in special relativity neither frame, the Earth frame, nor the traveling frame, is special (until the traveling twin has to slow down and come back). Thus, there is no way to assign the "traveling twin" as being the one that is actually traveling, rather than the Earth twin as the one that is traveling, so whatever the "traveling twin" sees, the Earth twin must see the mirror image of that.
 

What is the Twins Paradox?

The Twins Paradox is a thought experiment in special relativity that explores the concept of time dilation. It involves identical twins, one of whom travels at high speeds through space while the other remains on Earth. When the traveling twin returns, they will have aged less than the twin who stayed on Earth due to the effects of time dilation.

How does the Twins Paradox work?

The Twins Paradox works by demonstrating the effects of time dilation, which is a consequence of Einstein's theory of special relativity. According to this theory, time is not absolute and can be affected by factors such as speed and gravity. In the case of the traveling twin, their high speed causes time to pass slower for them, leading to a slower aging process compared to the twin who stayed on Earth.

Is the Twins Paradox a real phenomenon?

Yes, the Twins Paradox is a real phenomenon that has been verified by numerous experiments and observations in the field of astrophysics. While the scenario of identical twins is hypothetical, the effects of time dilation have been observed in experiments involving atomic clocks and high-speed particles.

What are the practical implications of the Twins Paradox?

The practical implications of the Twins Paradox are significant in the field of space travel. It demonstrates that time passes differently for objects in motion, and this effect becomes more pronounced as speeds approach the speed of light. This means that astronauts traveling at high speeds will experience time differently than people on Earth, and this must be taken into account when planning long-distance space missions.

Can the Twins Paradox be resolved?

The Twins Paradox has been resolved by the theory of special relativity, which explains the effects of time dilation. The resolution lies in the fact that the traveling twin experiences acceleration and deceleration, which breaks the symmetry of their motion and accounts for the difference in aging. Additionally, the traveling twin must also change direction and return to the starting point, which further contributes to their slower aging compared to the twin who stayed on Earth.

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