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Einstein’s cool way to make time go slower

April 7, 2016

This is fascinating. I don’t understand all of it, but that doesn’t make it less interesting. Connie

Matthew Wright

How fast is time? If you’re trapped in the office or enduring a maths class or something dull you’d no doubt tell me it drips past. Just as you’d also tell me it moves damn fast if you’re enjoying the latest Star Wars movie.

Albert Einstein lecturing in 1921 - after he'd published both the Special and General Theories of Relativity. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Albert Einstein lecturing in 1921 – after he’d published both the Special and General Theories of Relativity. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

But that’s personal perception of time. To physicists, no matter how fast or slow you perceive time to be, it’s actually all moving at the speed of light. Relatively speaking.

It’s one of the consequences of Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity, which he published more than a century ago. Let me explain.

According to our friend Albert, if an observer on Earth were to watch a spaceship accelerating away from us, up to (nearly) the speed of light, they’d also notice that as the…

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