# Time dilation?

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paul1365
TL;DR Summary
Why are atomic clocks regarded as a constant by some?
According to a video I watched recently 'time' allegedly runs a tad slower in places on the Earth where the magnetic field is stronger. No doubt that has been tested and confirmed by atomic clock experiments.. to my simple mind that just suggests a timing error caused by the difference in gravitational strength causes the clock to run slower rather than time itself, in which case atomic clocks should merely include a gravimeter to measure the gravity at the clocks location to offset the error rather than it leading to such fantastical notions of time travel.

The twins paradox is also widely accepted as fact. but I've always struggled with that notion, I suspect a similar error caused by the speed of the object containing the atomic clock causes the photons being measured to have to travel a longer path and because the speed of light is fixed the photons have to slow down... but according to everyone this somehow equates to time itself slowing down rather than it being clock error.
For me this 'dilation' is just error and physicists...(or maybe its just the documentary producers) are looking at it from the wrong angle but I'm just an average Joe... can someone try and explain to me why I'm wrong in laymans terms?

TIA.

PeroK

2022 Award
Time dilation is derived using ideal perfectly functioning clocks - look up the light clock. Atomic clocks were not invented when relativity was first developed.

And if you look at it in terms of geometry, time dilation is just the same as the distance between two flat planes depending on whether you measure the perpendicular distance or the distance at an angle. It's not very mysterious, just not something you encounter at low speed.

Mentor

Mentor
Time dilation is hardly a "clock error". As @Ibix stated, it is a consequence of special relativity that has been well-established for quite some time. Same for the Twin "Paradox".

Mentor
According to a video I watched recently
This is not a good way to learn physics. You need to be looking at textbooks or peer-reviewed papers.

can someone try and explain to me why I'm wrong in laymans terms?
No, because, in the words of Wolfgang Pauli, you are not even wrong. You are not learning from good sources, and you are misinterpreting the information you are getting, and this is leading you to form personal theories (which are off limits for PF discussion anyway) that are too far off the mark to even be corrected.

Your best bet at this point would be to forget everything you think you know about time dilation and relativity, and start from scratch learning from a good textbook. Taylor & Wheeler's Spacetime Physics is a good textbook on special relativity. Sean Carroll's online lecture notes on General Relativity are a good introduction to both special and general relativity. Both of those sources include discussions of time dilation, although the Taylor & Wheeler textbook, IIRC, only discusses time dilation due to relative motion, whereas Carroll also discusses time dilation in a gravitational field, which you also mention.

If you have further questions after spending some time with valid sources such as the above, by all means post a new thread with your questions. But in the meantime, this thread will remain closed as we do not even have a valid basis for discussion.