Imagine the Universe!
Imagine Home  |   Ask an Astrophysicist  |  
Ask an Astrophysicist

The Question

(Submitted February 25, 2005)

Has the time dilatation been prooven in any experiments? If so how?

The Answer

Effects of the right magnitude have been measured to be consistent with time dilation to within measurement uncertainty. These are not definitive proofs of the theory but strong indications that the theory is correct. One experiment has been to fly atomic clocks in planes around the Earth in opposite directions. The difference in time between the two clocks after the flights was consistent with those predicted by time dilation. Furthermore muons, sub-atomic particles created in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays, are unstable and fall apart after a short period of time. However because they move close to the speed of light, their lifetimes are longer, at least as seen by us on the Earth's surface. This extended life, is also consistent with the prediction of time dilation.

with regards,
Martin Still & Jay Cummings
for "Ask an Astrophysicist"

Previous question
Prev
Main topic
Main
Next question
Next

If words seem to be missing from the articles, please read this.

Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

The Imagine Team
Project Leader: Dr. Barbara Mattson
Curator: Meredith Gibb
Responsible NASA Official: Phil Newman
All material on this site has been created and updated between 1997-2014.
This page last updated: Thursday, 01-Dec-2005 13:58:38 EST