Relativity: The Physics of Time Dilationindex.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0
 

General Relativity

In 1915 Albert Einstein published his General theory of relativity. The theory deals with space-time, a coordinate system containing both distance and time, and looks at the way that mass distorts the space-time. Einstein formulated his theory using tensor equations which describe how the mass warps space-time and how this warping creates the gravitational force.


Whilst the mathematics of tensors is very complicated and very advanced the equation (for those who are interested) is shown below 

In the above equation Rµν is the Ricci-curvature tensor gµν is the metric tensor and Tµν is the stress energy tensor. G and c are the Newtonian gravitational constant and the speed of light respectively.


When Einstein came up with this formula he felt that no one would be able to solve it as it involves solving 10 simultaneous equations. Despite this Karl Schwarzschild managed to solve it before Einstein had published the final version. It is from this solution that the affect of gravitation time dilation becomes apparent and it is this phenomenon which is explored in the following pages.

What is Gravitational Time dilation

This section looks at the following:

  1. What is gravitational time dilation?

  2. How can you represent gravitational time dilation geometrically?

If the questions in the list intrigue you click here to find out more.

Explaining Gravitational Time Dilation Geometrically

This section look at the following

  1. How to get past the complicated maths and visualising general relativity?

  2. How does one draw time slow down?

If the questions in the list intrigue you click here to find out more.

Proofs of Gravitational Time dilation?

This section looks at the following:

  1. How have scientists proved that gravitational time dilation actually exists?

  2. How small a change can we measure?

If the questions in the list intrigue you click here to find out more.

How does Gravitational Time dilation effect us in everyday life?

This section looks at the following:

  1. What does gravitational time dilation effect in everyday life?

  2. What are the consequences if the effects are ignored?

If the questions in the list intrigue you click here to find out more.

Overview

  1. Ideas from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_relativity and Presentation 16 from the course Introduction to Astrophysics by Dr David Seery

  2. Equation from Presentation 16 from the course Introduction to Astrophysics by Dr David Seery