Time dilation and radioactive decay

In summary, time dilation does affect radioactive decay rates. According to a quick search on Google, the answer is yes, which is supported by the twins paradox scenario where the traveling twin would be carbon dated at a much older age upon returning to Earth. However, there may be additional effects due to acceleration, as seen in a 1966 experiment with muons. Ultimately, the answer to the question of whether time dilation affects radioactive decay rates is always yes.
  • #1
GOD__AM
210
0
Does time dilation effect radioactive decay rates? A quick search on google seems to say no. This would imply that if the twins paradox was executed, that when the traveling twin returned home, after say 2000 Earth years have passed, we would carbon date him at 2000+ years old.

What would this traveling twin observe from a container of say carbon14 from his reference frame traveling with him? Would he see it decay at an accelerated rate? I ask this because if he saw it decay at a "normal to him" rate then the container would contain more C-14 than we are expecting when he returns.

Please don't post tons of complicated math if at all possible as it probably won't make much sense to me.

Every time I think I'm starting to understand this stuff I find out how wrong I am :frown:
 
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  • #2
GOD__AM said:
Does time dilation effect radioactive decay rates?
Yes, it does. Just remember: time dilation depends most on who is holding the clock...

http://van.hep.uiuc.edu/van/qa/section/New_and_Exciting_Physics/Relativity/20021019150128.htm

Also, as a rule of thumb, the answer to a "Does time dilation affect...?" question is always YES!
 
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  • #3
russ_watters said:
Yes, it does. Just remember: time dilation depends most on who is holding the clock...

http://van.hep.uiuc.edu/van/qa/section/New_and_Exciting_Physics/Relativity/20021019150128.htm

Also, as a rule of thumb, the answer to a "Does time dilation affect...?" question is always YES!


Thats one of the links I read also, only I got from it that there is no difference in decay rates. Posibly I am just reading it wrong, but this line is what makes me think they are saying no;

Quote from link: The acceleration of the muons around the ring in the 1966 experiment I have access to in this context was 5x10**20 cm/sec**2, or 5x10^17 times that of gravity (a trillion times more than you suggest)! No effect was seen (Farley, 1966).

What does he mean no effect was seen?
 
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  • #4
GOD__AM said:
What does he mean no effect was seen?
The question in that link is about whether, apart from the time dilation based on velocity, there might be additional effects due to acceleration. As they say in the answer, "They have measured the time dilation factor due to the fact that the muons are moving to a few parts per million, with no evidence for any additional effect from the acceleration. An effect seen would have violated general relativity. "
 
  • #5
JesseM said:
The question in that link is about whether, apart from the time dilation based on velocity, there might be additional effects due to acceleration. As they say in the answer, "They have measured the time dilation factor due to the fact that the muons are moving to a few parts per million, with no evidence for any additional effect from the acceleration. An effect seen would have violated general relativity. "

Thanks it makes sense now.
 

Related to Time dilation and radioactive decay

What is time dilation?

Time dilation is a phenomenon in which time appears to be passing at a different rate for different observers. This is due to the effects of gravity and velocity on the passage of time.

How does time dilation affect radioactive decay?

According to the theory of relativity, time dilation can cause the rate of radioactive decay to appear slower for an observer who is moving at a high velocity or in a strong gravitational field. This means that the half-life of a radioactive substance may appear longer for someone in motion compared to someone at rest.

Can time dilation be observed in everyday life?

Yes, time dilation is a well-documented and scientifically proven phenomenon that can be observed in various situations. For example, GPS satellites have to take into account the effects of time dilation in order to provide accurate location data.

Does time dilation affect all types of radioactive decay?

Yes, time dilation affects all types of radioactive decay, including alpha, beta, and gamma decay. However, the magnitude of the effect may vary depending on the specific decay process and the conditions in which it is observed.

Is time dilation the same as time travel?

No, time dilation is a scientifically observed phenomenon that describes the effects of gravity and velocity on the passage of time. Time travel, on the other hand, is a theoretical concept that has not been proven to be possible.

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