really the “time dilation” in relativity means?
Nimit Theeraleekul B. Eng. (Communication)
(20 Sep 2012)
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According to Einstein
special theory of relativity, time will run slower in a flying jet plane than
it is on the earth. Indeed when a clock was carried in the jet, flying around
the world, it seems to shows a slower run of time. Anyway, the time dilation
prediction comes from the theory’s mathematical formula which derived from some
basic assumptions. So the problem is that
the theory tells us nothing about the mechanism behind; why and how the moving clock runs slow!
Fig.1. Magic vs. realistic mechanism of time
Armed with a new concept of vacuum mechanics (mechanism of
vacuum medium) we could improve the theory, which is then makes it possible to
explain the mechanism of time dilation. Indeed we will found that it is not
real time dilation, instead it is just a slowing of the mechanism of the moving clock!
1) This paper is talking about “the mechanism of time dilation”
of any moving clock in which there is no explanation from the conventional
interpretation in STR. It is an extension of the paper “Completed Einstein special theory of relativity (CSTR)” present in this website (www.vacuum-mechanics.com). In CSTR
we have show how to prove by using a simple scientific experiment (two-solenoid
experiment) for the existence of “vacuum medium” instead of the
conventional empty space according to STR.
2) First let us start with the three diagrams show in fig.1,
which use pendulum clock to show how speed of the clocks was controlled
by swinging rate of the pendulum. This will give us an easy way to visualize
how to interpret the concept of the mechanism of time dilation when the
clock is moving or not!
In (a) the faster
swinging rate of the pendulum gives the faster speed of the clock, while the
slower swinging rate of the pendulum in (b) gives the slower speed of the clock.
The reason behind is because both pendulums were immerged in vacuum medium.
So for the flying rocket in (b), the resistive reaction force (of vacuum
medium) is greater than what which happened in the resting rocket in (a). It is
as if the pendulum in (b) is swinging in viscous fluid, while the pendulum in (a)
3) Now consider fig.1 (c) which represents the conventional time dilation that
arisen from mathematical formula derived in STR. And as we have mentioned early
that there is no explanation about this time dilation, which indeed was
interpreted as a true time dilation, i.e. time itself
is slowing. Here, to see how this concept was interpreted, let us follow the
explanation by Richard P. Feynman in his famous book “Six not-so-easy pieces:
Einstein’s relativity, symmetry, and space-time” as below.
Fig.2. A light clock interpretation of time
In (a) the light clock
principle is that when a light signal is keeps going up and down between the mirrors, making a click each time it
comes down, like a standard ticking clock. When another set of the same clock
(which was synchronized with the first one) is taking along in a space ship, it
is working according to (b), i.e. light moving up and down with a zigzag path
as was seen by people at rest on the ground.
In (c) we compare the longer
time of the moving light clock (which takes for travelling between the mirrors) with the shorter
time of the stationary clock. Therefore the apparent time between clicks is
longer for the moving clock, in the same proportion as shown in the hypotenuse
triangle. This is how the conventional explanation was done for the time dilation,
in which we do not know why the apparent time between clicks which is
longer for the moving clock (as observed by one who stay rest) turns out to
be a real time dilation!
4) Now we will consider more detail to see how the time
dilation mechanism could be explained by using a pendulum clock’s working
concept (when the moving mass is increasing) and we will see why it is more
rational than the conventional interpretation. First let us return to see how the
normal clock (at rest) works as shown in fig.1 (a).
According to diagram
fig.3 the simple gravity pendulum is an idealized mathematical
model of a pendulum clock closed in vacuum. There is a weight (bob) on the end
of a massless cord suspended from a pivot, without friction. When given an initial
push, it will swing back and forth at constant amplitude, so it acts as a time keeping
device. The period of swing of the pendulum depends on its length,
the local strength of gravity; so to a small angle that the pendulum swings
away from vertical with a period .
Fig.3. A simple pendulum clock.
5) Actually normal pendulum
clocks working in air, so there are several ways in which the air
changes the measured period, i.e. buoyancy, damping and “added mass” ( Reference: Nelson, Robert; M. G. Olsson (February 1986). “The
pendulum – Rich physics from a simple system” American Journal of Physics
54 (2): 112–121.)
Here, what we
interested is the case of “added mass”, which corresponds to our consideration,
i.e. the increasing mass of a moving bob that occurred when it was immerged in
air, in which this equivalent to our case of the moving rocket that the bob is
immerged in vacuum medium as shown in fig.1 (b). Anyway, the explanation (in
the reference) is rather long and complicate, so we will use the summary
explained in Wikipedia encyclopedia, topic “Pendulum; Atmospheric pressure” as
“The pendulum carries an amount of air with it as it swings, and the mass of
this air increases the inertia of the pendulum, while reducing the acceleration
and increasing the period.”
In which, according to
our imagination shown in fig.1 (b), it means that the moving bob increase its
mass due to the resistive reaction of vacuum medium, which represent by the inertial
resistance of the viscous fluid that slow down the pendulum’s swing.
6) Anyway, our first explanation using the pendulum clock
because it is simple and easy to visualize. But the problem is that it is not
precise enough for real measurement, also its construction is not suitable to
use in our case here, in the moving rocket. So a better accurate and practical
clock is quartz clock or atomic clock. Here we will talk about quartz clock
first as follow.
A quartz clock is a clock which
uses an electronic oscillator that is regulated by a quartz crystal to keep
time. The crystal will vibrate when applied with electricity and creates a signal
with very precise frequency. In
crystal which compose of infinite amount of atoms that vibrate harmonically, so
we will explain the atomic vibration using chain pendulum by reference to
chapter 5 “From Pendulum to Waves and Solitons” in the book “The Versatile
Soliton” written by Alexandre T. Fillippov. Here
is the summary.
Imagine a periodic
sequence of hill and hollow in diagram fig.4 (a), in which atoms rest in the
bottom of each hollow and bound by elastic springs. While atoms movement in one
layer which were constrained by the neighboring layer shown as the periodic
curve (hill and hollow) that placed in a vertical gravitational field, thus the
periodic curve visually represents the gravitational potential energy of a
Fig.4. Atoms’ harmonic vibration in crystal
From detail calculation, we could get the final result in mathematical formulas
which relate the involved parameters as below;
= atomic distance at rest and moving
respectively, = velocity of soliton
and acoustic wave respectively, = momentum and rest mass of soliton respectively.]
Here we could see that
both equation (1) and (2) are in relativistic forms as the conventional relativistic
formulas; the only different is acoustic wave instead of light wave. Anyway,
armed with our new concept of vacuum medium, we have shown in CSTR that their
main principle is the same in this respect!
In conclusion we could
see that in crystal lattice, atomic vibration has the relativistic effect in
which atomic mass appeared to increase, and the consequent effect is time dilation!
7) Now we will explain the mechanism of time dilation in case
of atomic clock which is the most accurate time standard today. The principle of operation of an atomic clock is using the microwave frequency that was emitted when
electrons change their energy levels in atoms.
Actually the mechanism of emitting microwave is the same principle as
the emitting light wave works (which was explained in “Completed Maxwell
electromagnetic field theory” in www.vacuum-mechanics.com
). In summary, when an exited electron
jump from unstable excited state back to its normal lower stable state
immediately. Because the transition time is very short, then the jumping
back electron will transfer its impulse force’s energy to the surrounding vacuum
medium. This makes the disturbed vacuum medium oscillates and radiate out
as a “wave packet” of the microwave.
Now if an atomic clock is moving, then atoms which generate the standard
microwave frequency will subject to the
increasing mass effect. And mass of electrons (which change state and generate
microwave) also increased, and what follow is their action is slowing which
then emit a longer microwave frequency. So the reason that the moving clock
runs slower because frequency standard decrease, not time dilate!
let us talking about the slowing of disintegration’s time from muons
which were used as the evidence of time dilation. Here it is easy to
explain its mechanism without using the conventional concept of time dilation;
instead it is obvious to use the concept of increasing mass (both from the old STR or our new CSTR) for the
We know that those
muons which come from the cosmic ray traveling to the earth with the great
speed, so the increasing of its mass is the answer for the slowing of disintegration’s time.
This is because more mass need more disintegration’s time (both the formulas of the increasing mass and time dilation have the same form), which
is more rational than the conventional time dilation interpretation!
9) Up to now we could make a final conclusion
that the conventional time dilation is an apparent time dilation which occurred by time measurement
between any two initial frames moving relative to each other, i.e. it is not a true natural time dilation! Anyway, even time dilation is a
relative time, but because the moving clock (which was used to measure time in
the moving frame) runs slower due to the dynamic
resistance of vacuum medium; this is the mechanism of time dilation!