A scientific experiment explained why aging is slower on an airplane

A scientific experiment explained why aging is slower on an airplane
A scientific experiment explained why aging is slower on an airplane

In a 1971 experiment, it was observed that time ages at a slower rate in high-speed flights. (Illustrative Image Infobae)

It seems that it is possible to win the battle time. A experiment scientist carried out in 1971 by physicists Joseph Hafele and Richard Keating demonstrated one of the effects strangest of the relativity: he aging at a slower pace during flights Of high speed.

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He experiment consisted of flying four atomic clocks synchronized in commercial airplanes and compare the time that marked with that of a atomic clock that stayed in his laboratory in Washington D.C.. The planes They flew around the world heading east and west.

These watches they use oscillations of atoms as its base time. Unlike mechanical or quartz ones that depend on oscillations in physical elements or crystalsthe atomic clocks are based on the quantum properties of the atoms.

Four atomic clocks synchronized on airplanes showed temporal differences compared to a clock on the ground. (Archive)

According to theory of relativityit was predicted that moving clocks should experience a time dilation compared to the one who remained fixed on the earth. This means that the clocks in the planes they should mark a time slightly different from the watch at restdue to its speed and the influence of the gravity to different altitudes.

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The results confirmed the predictions of Albert Einstein. The watches who traveled eastwards, in the direction of the rotation of the Earth, fell behind, while those who traveled westward, against the rotation from Earth, they came forward.

As explained for the BBC the teacher of astrophysics at the University of Oxford, Chris Linttot, this phenomenon occurs because, according to theory of relativityhe time It is not universal and passes more slowly as the speed of an object increases.

Approaching a black hole alters the perception of time, a theme explored in the film “Interstellar.” (NRAO/AUI/NSF/REUTERS)

The gravity also influences this process: moving away from the Gravitational force terrestrial, time speeds up slightly, requiring adjustments in systems such as the GPSthat depends of satellites to 20,000 kilometres away from Earth. These effects are minuscule during airplane travel or in everyday life, but they are essential for the functioning of precise technologies and confirm the no universality of the time.

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The impact of the gravity and the speed in the perception of time is greatly magnified around black holeswhere the Gravitational force It is so strong that even light cannot escape. He astrophysicistexplains that if a person approached a black holewould see the events of the outer universe at an accelerated pace; a freak that movieInterstellar” explore creatively.

“This effect is exploited in the interstellar moviewhere the astronauts who have explored a planet near a black hole emerge to find a Universe changed that he has moved on without them. As the film makes clear, there is no point in wondering whether time spent near or far from black hole is the “correct” time; The relativity It tells us that there is no such thing.” Linttot explained to the BBC.

The gravitational influence of black holes can drastically alter the perception of time. (Illustrative Image Infobae)

However, in the proximity of a black holethe rules of time as we know them change, theoretically allowing movement back and forth, although without the possibility of return.

Although the magnitude of the time warp observed in the aerial experiments of Hafele and Keating was extremely small, just one ten millionth of a second on a transatlantic flight, had a significant impact by proving that both speed and gravity affect the course of time.

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