Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Time Dilation Equation

  1. Jun 2, 2013 #1
    Hello, I've recently come across the equation for time dilation, which is t=t(p)*γ, which is
    t=t(p)*(1/√(v^2/c^2)). Can someone please clarify what each of these variables mean?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2013 #2
    I think you are missing a ( 1- ... ) in your denominator.

    In any case:

    t=time measured to pass in the moving frame
    t(p)=proper time measured to pass in a still frame
    v=speed of the moving frame measured from the still frame
    c=speed of light in a vacuum
  4. Jun 2, 2013 #3
    From what I know, v is the speed of the reference frame which the light is on--is this what you meant?
  5. Jun 2, 2013 #4
    Yes -- I've not seen it phrased like that, but I think you are saying the same thing. In textbooks it is often a train or a space ship said to be moving at some speed. That speed is given relative to a reference frame, and represents "v" in the equation.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook