Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Evidence for relativistic time dilation

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 08/10/2011
Q:
Is there a true evidence to prove time dilation? I know there had been successful experiments using atomic clock. But the electron in the atomic clock takes longer distance (if you look from a rest frame) to travel between the plates while the system is moving in high speed. How can you say the atomic clock is still correctly representing each second? Maybe time is unchanged...just the atomic clock is incorrect?
- Jeffrey (age 22)
australia
A:
One of the most convincing experiments is that of the decay of relativistic muons.  Muons at non-relativistic speeds have a lifetime of 2.2 microseconds.  Relativistic muons, both at accelerators and in cosmic rays , have much longer lifetimes that agree with the standard special relativistic formula.
See:

LeeH

(published on 08/10/2011)

Follow-up on this answer.