Author Topic: Time Dilation episode  (Read 3509 times)

Offline Random Number

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Time Dilation episode
« on: March 25, 2013, 01:26:33 PM »
After listening to your shows many many, many times it has started to illustrate a picture of how particles act at high speeds.

I am assuming that "time" is defined as the rate that particles can interact, so if something is going very fast its time is slower. And I will define the observer as someone that can watch the wiggles of the particles but perceives time as we would on earth to keep it simple.

Now lets say we are looking at some stuff that is now going almost as fast as light.
If I have understood correctly two things are happening with these particles.

1) Their field of probability where they can be found becomes smushed/muddled to the outside observer, this is because they cannot wiggle fast in the direction they are going because it would violate the "law" of light

2) The particles now also wiggle less because as you approach light it more energy of motion is held in their wiggles rather than speed of the wiggle.

This understanding is the only way I could reconcile the rocket-barn with my perception of physics.
If I am not incorrect in my understanding I have more questions at the ready.
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Offline bn

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Re: Time Dilation episode
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2013, 05:52:07 AM »
Let me give this a shot.

1) Their field of probability where they can be found becomes smushed/muddled to the outside observer, this is because they cannot wiggle fast in the direction they are going because it would violate the "law" of light


hm. sure.
erm. hm.
at this point in the game, you've got a strong physical intuition. This is usually the point in the game where you have to start learning the math. because words, as we see, are kind of ambiguous.

as the particle goes faster, it's momentum increases... i think the debroglie wave equation would be appropriate here... f is the frequency of the matter wavefunction of a particle:
f=(Mc^2 /h)/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2 )

so as v->c, the thing in the denominator goes to zero, and f gets larger and larger, so it wiggles more.

2) The particles now also wiggle less because as you approach light it more energy of motion is held in their wiggles rather than speed of the wiggle.

hm.
maybe you could see it like that. as an object we see moves faster and faster, it's effective mass increases
M_eff =m/sqrt(1-v^2 / c^2)
and it's wigglyness increases accordingly.

i'm sorry i'm not much help. trying to figure out what other people are picturing in their heads is hard.
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Offline Random Number

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Re: Time Dilation episode
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 07:52:17 AM »
This is usually the point in the game where you have to start learning the math.

Damn. Now I really need to just nut up and go to collage. :(

Hmm, well I do not expect someone to teach me math without getting paid, but lets see if you can say if I am on the right track or not.

The rocket barn,
the rocket can fit inside the barn but cannot at lower, reasonable speeds.

I look at this at high speeds, in a simple way matter dose not behave the same way a low speed one would. As I understand it you cannot go faster than the speed of light. Not sure if any one is clear as to why.

Now mass needs to interact with other mass to assemble what we see a a rocket. All the little atoms that the rocket is composed of need to still have their valance bonds through the electromagnetic force.
The atoms in this strangely rocket shaped pile individuality move around, so do their electrons. Now comes the speed limit of the universe, to make things complicated.

Now this is where I think I could be going wrong.
So we are looking some mass bearing particle in the rocket now.

The particle is normal to the observer when its motion is perpendicular to the vector of the rocket.
However when it has its normal "wiggles" in the direction of the rocket its vector can no longer extend to what the observer would expect to be normal. This being due to its inability to exceed the speed of light.

So if it where to try and express itself to us as a normal sized non barn fitting in rocket at these speeds the subatomic particles it would need to be going faster than light.

Another way I look at it...
Information like all things cannot go faster than the speed of light and the particles need to say I'M HERE BRO to the other particles for them to meaningfully create the rocket. And it is harder/impossible for the rocket to do that the same way observers particles would.

Wait...
Maybe the idea of it getting squished is wrong maybe it has more to do with the particles communicating? or both?

I can try to explain it with bees if you would like,
for amusement and/or clarification.


Hmm, articulating that made some other stuff start to make sense... amusing I am not incorrect in my understanding.
This idea kinda says why you cannot go the speed of light now that I think about it. As you would have to become 2 dimensional perpendicular to your direction of travel and that would break more things than a black hole does.

Hmm now I am curious what happens in high speed particle particle collisions if this is not way off. I will need a new thread for that though.  ;)

p.s. I am having a blast with this thank you for your time sir.
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Offline Lynx Cat

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Re: Time Dilation episode
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 10:40:07 AM »
First of all, I'm not a physicist, just a long-time TiPhy fan, so please take what I say with a grain of salt and refer to Ben or other physicists for more valid opinions and all. Just chiming in with my two cents ;)

From what I've understood of it, this whole thing is both deeper and (maybe) simpler than what it seems you're thinking. For starters, you're talking about how the rocket fits inside the barn. Says who? That's not a rhetorical question, btw. Because, if you ask the guy in the barn (or, well, anyone who's more or less stationary relative to the barn) then yes, the rocket in the experiment does fit very snugly inside the barn. But if you ask anyone in the rocket, they'll tell you that hell no, the barn is way smaller than the rocket, 1/4 its length actually. And that's the whole spirit of it; that's why it's called "relativity". It's not just the rate at which time passes that depends on the observer - the size of objects (along their direction of motion) does as well, and also whether things happen simultaneously or not (and in which order, if they're not simultaneous). That's the whole point of the rocket-barn experiment - the barn's doors both close simultaneously from the vantage point of the people in the barn (with the rocket fitting snugly between them), BUT, to the people in the rocket, the "rear" door shuts and opens first, and then, only when the rocket has already made its way across the barn, does the "front" door close behind it. Because, from their viewpoint, the rocket is much bigger than the barn, and the two doors couldn't close simultaneously.

The whole idea is that distances and time intervals never have a single "true" measurement. The distance between two points will vary according to the speed of the observer relative to those points - and remember, speed is not an absolute measurement, it's always "between" two things. Right now, I'm stationary relative to my desk, but I'm moving at, say, 60 km/h relative to the cars down on the street, and at more or less 1700 km/h relative to the Sun. And relations of time dilation and space contraction happen according to each of those referentials. Also, remember that, if I'm standing by a road and you're on a motorcycle speeding on that road, I'll see you zooming past, but YOU don't see yourself moving - on the contrary, you'll see ME zooming past. So, each of us would see the other's clock running slow (if the motorcycle went close to the speed of light).

As to why the speed of light is an absolute limit, what (little) I understand is that it's precisely because of this time/space distortion. The closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time runs for the whole world around you (from your vantage point), and the shorter everything is, until you reach the point that you're moving a distance of zero in an infinite amount of time. Or somesuch, I'm not too clear on that math, but something along those lines :P Not that you could ever reach that point, because a consequence of this very time/space distortion is that, the higher your velocity, the more you need to accelerate to increase that velocity. As you approach the speed of light, the acceleration needed to speed up (i.e. rocket thrust, engines, or whatever else you use to accelerate, which consumes energy) approaches infinity. So, it would take a literally infinite amount of energy to accelerate to the speed of light.

And lastly, as to your whole line of thinking regarding wiggling particles... while that's a very interesting line of investigation, I'd think it's actually much more complex than that. Suffice to say that quantum mechanics isn't relevant at all to understanding the hows and whys of temporal dilation and distance contraction, and of the rocket-barn experience, and can be safely ignored in that discussion. But, as for the whole debate as to whether particles wiggle differently because they might breach the speed of light - I don't think that's really the case. That's a really weird subject that I'm still a long way from understanding, but it seems to me like the "speed of light limit" thing doesn't really apply 100% to quantum physics. Particles can exist in more than one place at once, and pop out from one spot and into a faraway spot instantaneously, all sorts of crazy stuff like that. So, while the basic velocity-dependent geometry of relativistic space time still applies around elementary particles, the idea that they "can't go faster than light", at a certain level of detail, might not be all that it's cracked up to be, even though it holds up when you look at it "in less detail". It's hard to figure out for me because a given particle might not necessarily have a well-defined position or velocity (the uncertainty principle), so it's probably better left for people who actually know what the hell they're talking about :P
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Offline bn

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Re: Time Dilation episode
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 04:22:11 PM »
pretty good lynx.
i have trained you well.
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Offline Lynx Cat

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Re: Time Dilation episode
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 05:49:03 AM »
YAAAAY! :D
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