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Questions tagged [relativity]

For questions regarding the concepts described in Albert Einstein's dual theories of special and general relativity.

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Could the equator of a world be a closed-time like loop?

Most works of fiction have quite imaginative views of time travel. Mighty machines that teleport in time instead of space. Gaping portals in space that take you to another time. Mystical beings with a ...
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How wide would a Whipple shield on spacecraft traveling at near-luminal speeds need to be?

I was thinking about the classic beanpole design for interstellar travel. Wouldn't the Whipple shield need to be at least twice as wide as the ship is long to fully protect it from collisions with ...
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Aliens to play a mischievous space-time practical joke on Earth

Premise Suppose an earth-like world in the near-future. Then aliens come and decide to play a mischievous trick on this world on an epic scale. The goal is to disrupt Earth's time by 18 minutes. ...
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Could near light speed ship dilate time severely enough to explore other stars with out breaking the light speed barrier?

At a constant 1G acceleration it takes a little less than a year to reach near light speed speeds. Time would dilate locally on the ship slowing time for them. Could the time dilation be pushed to ...
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Could a spacefaring people preserve the idea that their world is the center of the universe?

Cosmology since Einstein makes it clear that it's not quite right to say one body in space "revolves around" another, right? Einstein wrote: "The two sentences, 'the sun is at rest and the earth moves,...
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Physical laws for a multiverse with white holes? [closed]

My fictional worlds reside in a multiverse. More specifically, they reside in a universe within that multiverse that is very similar to ours. But here are some big differences: White holes are in ...
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Does my shipboard computer slow down as I approach light speed?

This question about time dilation got me thinking. The speed of an electron through copper is a whole heckofa lot slower than the speed of light, but if I understand the limits of relativity ...
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How safe would be living in a space-time highly distorted planet

Imagine a planet - henceforth Planet X - that is orbiting very close to a black hole. The space-time distortion will be very high there and according to the theory of relativity, the time there will ...
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What if a traversable wormhole hits the earth?

So, I the question of what if a black hole hits the earth has been asked to death by various people, but what if the somewhat tamer wormhole hits the Earth? In particular, we'll say that one mouth is ...
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Scientifically feasible radical time differential between Sol and another star system

(Somewhat related to Do different star systems experience time differently?) In my futuristic settings1, Humanity discovered a network of portals allowing for instantaneous travel (hand-waved, their ...
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Reasons for time dilation to happen on a habitable planet with same g force and not orbiting a black hole

I wish to clarify my doubts regarding time dilation Is it possible for a planet to be habitable like Edmund's planet from interstellar, which has somewhat similar gravitational force as Earth (9.8 m/...
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Relativistic effects on brains encoded in light

I am trying to build a hard science-fiction world where the interstellar travel might work like this: Travellers bodies are scanned and all relevant information regarding body structure, neural ...
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How do I grant superheroes gravitational manipulation, justified scientifically?

Superheroes! Everybody loves them! (Though maybe not as much as magic.) The point is, I have a world with super heroes in it. I have a pretty good system of power granting, and have basically divided ...
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Using particle accelerator in place of ion drive

In ion drive, we use ionized gas. With particle accelerators, we use high-energy particles. Given that colliders expend huge amounts of energy to propell a handful of particles, I speculate the ...
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Could time dilation cause unwanted structural effects?

I'm working on a science fiction story involving starships travelling about 95% of the speed of light. I wanted to have a reason for the starships to need to shield themselves against time dilation of ...
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How would the entrance to a wormhole move through space?

Of course, this is all purely hypothetical since no one’s ever seen a wormhole before, but in my story, I have tech that “contains” the entrance to a small wormhole. Wherever the tech goes, the ...
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Prolonging Life Through Rapid Travel (invoking Special Relativity)

My understanding of special relativity is that a clock that flies one lap around the earth then returns to its starting position measures less time than a clock that "stayed put" relative to the earth....
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A River Runs Through It - The effects of a time dilation field on a body of running water

I have an idea for a city surrounded by a giant time dilation field which causes time to run much faster inside it (think something like the Hyperbolic Time Chamber/Room of Spirit and Time). There's a ...
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A weapon(preferably hard scifi) that will limit velocity of space ships in a wide region temporarily

Ships are capable of FTL warp and relativistic speed flying. In order for a ship to intercept other ship at high non-FTL speed, it needs a mechanism that will enable it to slow down the other ship. ...
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What would a 'bend' in space-time look like to the external observer

Judy likes coffee. Right now he is standing in the middle of the urban park sipping it. Unbeknownst to him a local phenomena occurs somewhat near: space itself bends where a lovely group of lilies ...
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Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

Here on Earth, time standardisation was enabled by the invention of accurate time pieces which allowed us to create a global constant (GMT/Zulu time) and regional offsets. If we travel outside our ...
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How to build a telescope using gravitational lensing?

A Type II civilization on the Kardashev scale has decided to build a telescope. This civilization spans its home galaxy and wields vast energies capable of moving and shaping matter on the scale of ...
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Gravity in the Riemannian Universe

I was reading about the Riemannian Universe http://gregegan.customer.netspace.net.au/ORTHOGONAL/00/PM.html I noticed that Greg Egan doesn't seem to talk about how Gravity would work in the Riemannian ...
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Could a universe with a relativity that is a cross between Galilean and Lorentzian Relativity be self consistent?

I was thinking of a universe in which there is a relativity that is between Galilean and Lorentzian Relativity. In this universe there would be effects of length contraction and time dilation but it ...
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What would an interstellar economy bound by relativity look like?

The type of economy where your mining operation takes years just to start yielding marketable product, let alone generate revenue, because the speed of light makes the economic feasibility of ...
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And I think it's gonna be a long long time… (relativity question)

So I've got a bunch of freeze-dried colonists traveling in torpor to a solar system 55 light years away at 92% c. From an outsider's perspective it takes them sixty years to get there, but how long ...
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Practical problems of near-light-speed travel

A spaceship of several kilometers length is accelerating to a very high fraction of $c$ (basically as close as they can possibly get). Which problems can the machinery and the crew encounter? And as ...
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What would our world be like if e=m*c^3 [closed]

Just what the title says. What would our world be like if e=mc3 ?
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How long would a journey to Tau Ceti take from the passengers perspective at 1/4 the speed of light? [closed]

I'm trying to create a setting where the passengers are in stasis for at least 40 years, possibly longer.
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Calculating Time Dilation Effects on Relativistic Accelerations

Prologue In my current worldbuilding project, I decided to put a ban for faster than lightspeed travel, and decided that most space flights be done in slower than lightspeed travels. Assuming ...
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What would be the equation for kinetic energy if $γ=\frac{v^2}{c^2}+1$ instead of $γ=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$? [closed]

I was thinking of a universe where the equation for the Lorentz factor $$\gamma=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$ was replaced with the equation $$\gamma=\frac{v^2}{c^2}+1$$ so in this hypothetical ...
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What would getting hit by a micro black hole laser look like?

So your star and/or planet gets hit by the CrushSun. The huge laser looks terrifying, but then you realize that the main weapon is the microblack hole it hit you with. What does it look like when a ...
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How much energy does this sun crushing ship, the CrushSun, use?

Useless Backstory "Why are you waking me up Sergeant? And why did we enter near-light speed?" "We received a distress call, and there wasn't enough time to notify you, sir." "What kind of distress ...
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Could a viable interstellar civilization form with this technology?

The Background Imagine a setting in which the only major fictional technology is human teleportation at the speed of light (for this question please ignore the question about how the teleportation ...
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Santa is a time traveller. How does he not violate causality?

People wonder how Santa can deliver all his presents in one night. It's, simple: he's a master time traveller. (This post will form the base of a long series of questions). Here's how Santa's usual ...
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Could a universe with something like special relativity based on position instead of velocity be logically consistent?

In a parallel universe if two objects occupy different positions in space then in the reference frame of each object the other has length contraction and time dilation. If the two objects are very ...
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Could a universe with a reverse of the relativity of our universe be self consistent?

In our universe if there are two objects that are moving relative to each other then each will see the other's length contracted in the direction of motion and it will see the others clocks running ...
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What would the economic impact of FTL time travel be? [closed]

Okay, so we found exotic matter and can power our Alcubierre drive. It turns out though, such devices allow travel to the past. The Novikov self-consistency principle holds. My question is, in this ...
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Which reference frame in our solar system experiences the most time?

Suppose we must choose a location in our solar system for a self-sustaining space-station. Imagine that the station will house experiments which must be completed as quickly as possible for the ...
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How would humans adapt their language in response to moving through time at different rates relative each other?

Okay, so humans are finally transitioning to a space-colonial society. We sent ships out, colonize worlds, etc... We aren't really in the business of sending multigenerational ships. Instead we use ...
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Can you build a relativistic clock?

Is it possible to build a clock that will be immune to relativistic effects on the passage of time? Can a clock exist that will always display the time of the place in which it was set? For instance, ...
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How long is a “day” in intergalactic space?

Imagine a human colony with the concept of an Earth day being transported somehow into the deep, deep space between galaxies. As we know, gravity wells affect the relative passage of time. So, in ...
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Physics of magically enhanced travel

Background I have a character. He is the master of a particularly specific martial art that is pretty much only movement. But it's pretty powerful, in that he can separately: a) move in a manner that ...
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By how much exactly would the time flow be slown down inside a gravity room?

A super alien warrior goes training inside a gravity room. It's a room with a flat floor, but the surface gravity of the room can be modified at the push of a button. But under general relativity a ...
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Relativity in regard to space combat

How would relativity affect space combat? I'm wondering how it would work at all. If everyone is moving at different speeds, then they're experiencing time differently, and maybe seeing ships where ...
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Can this version of the Alderson Drive be used to violate causality?

I'm working on a simulator-type game which I want to be at least internally consistent, and which I'd like to work as close to reality as possible. That being said, it's set in space, which means to ...
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Could a non-relativistic universe be logically consistent?

As I understand it, the principle of relativity was accepted from Galileo until Maxwell, whereupon the equations which predict constant speed of light imply a preferred reference frame in a Euclidian ...
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Can a spaceship traveling close to light speed be knocked off course by a gamma ray burst?

This was spawned from this question about Blueshifting (BS) when traveling near the speed of light. I had found this while learning about the other question. @99.99995 percent c And ...