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Q & A: twin paradox: relativity isn't kidding

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Most recent answer: 09/02/2012
Q:
My question is concerning time dilation and the twin paradox I am not a student,, just a amateur of physics. I understand the theory of time dilation and why it happens, but i am having trouble fitting the concept of the twin paradox in my head. Correct me if i am wrong , but, Since “time” is only a coordinate that we use to place and store future and past events, It is only the mechanical system of the clock, even in atomic clocks, that is fooled right? Biologicaly , would the 2 twins have the same age? Let’s say that when the space twin gets back to earth 10 years have passed on earth (from departure to arrival), but only 8 years have passed according to him (space twin) and his equipement. This is due only to the clocks internal system giving it faulty data right? If the time and speed of the space twin’s trip were to be augmented drasticly, and upon his return there is a 20 year difference between the 2 twins… Physically the earth twin would not look 20 years older , they would look the same still right? Thank you for your time Jonathan
- Jonathan (age 24)
Ottawa , Canada
A:
Nope, all those effects are absolutely real. Every single clock- mechanical, atomic, radioisotope, heart-beat, hair-graying, teleomere-chopping, etc. all show exactly the same effects. When the twins meet up again, one is really younger than the other.

Mike W.

(published on 09/02/2012)

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