Weird science: Ironic Einstein


Fact: Time passes faster on the moon than on Earth. For every minute you experience, slightly more than a minute goes by on the moon. The difference is not due to some weird time-zone technicality, but because the flow of time itself is not the same in both places. Time does not pass at the same rate everywhere; it changes. This was officially proven in 1920 when Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity was experimentally verified for the first time.

Today, when scientists launch a satellite into orbit, they compensate for time flowing faster in space than on Earth. This is achieved by setting the satellite clock to tick more slowly. During the launch, from the ground view, the clock on the satellite gradually ticks faster as the rocket ascends. Upon reaching orbit, time has sped up enough for the once-slow clock to synchronize with those on Earth.
Changes in the flow of time during daily life are too insignificant to notice. Einstein’s genius was in his ability to discover hidden secrets of the universe while daydreaming during train commutes and work. His structured imagination partially unraveled what has always been true. In this way scientists are like archeologists by uncovering what already lies beneath the surface.  

Einstein is ironically known for complex math in his theories, while the main conclusions can be stated in a sentence. For example, time does not pass at the same rate everywhere; it’s flexible.
Amazingly, the thought process Einstein used to see how time changes can be summarized visually in 15 minutes using no math. He thought in pictures. For this reason you can watch and experience revelations that passed through one of the most brilliant minds in history a century ago.
His daydream connects gravity and motion in less time than it takes to watch an episode of “SpongeBob SquarePants.” You don’t need to be a physicist to understand. Einstein once said, “The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.”

To see how time is not what it seems, watch “Einstein’s Discovery: a chalkimation animation” on YouTube.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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