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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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Time dilation on a heavily oblong planet

Once upon a time writer Hal Clement had created a world named Mesklin. One of features he didn't detail for historical reasons is a time dilation between polar areas, where gravity is 700g and equator,...
Swift's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
173 views

Minimum technology required to discover relativity?

As the title states, what’s the least-powerful technology a civilization needs before they are capable of developing and verifying an accurate theory of special & general relativity? For details, ...
controlgroup's user avatar
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9 votes
10 answers
4k views

How would a sentient species without technology derive General Relativity?

I can expound on the specifics, but simply put my species is the only sentient one on their planet, receive their energy from photosynthesis, and are otherwise completely closed systems, recycling ...
Anthony Khodanian's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
475 views

Does a "reality simulator" break the laws of relativity? If so, can it be fixed?

This isn't a simulated universe per se, but in a similar fashion, there is an entity "in" this universe (let's call it the "Processor" to keep the computer analogy). This Processor ...
The Infinite One's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
314 views

Interstellar travel via a moving walkway of dust

The "moving walkways" pass close to local solar systems fairly far from their suns. They are very small, and thus hard to detect. Each "walkway" consists of two columns: dust and ...
futurebird's user avatar
  • 1,029
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

How would a photon-based intelligence work in regard to relativity?

I want to do something interesting with Caleb Scharf’s speculation that hyper-advanced aliens could make themselves immortal by uploading themselves into the cosmic background radiation. These light ...
Fredrik Hansing's user avatar
-1 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does this alternate Universe with easier-to-understand physics behave the same as ours?

I realize the following question is non-trivial, but I would greatly appreciate any all help. I'm interested in creating a SciFi story that takes place in an alternate universe I'm calling Universe X. ...
aepryus's user avatar
  • 131
5 votes
8 answers
5k views

Would a living being moving at 99% the speed of light see time stop, or would it see time move faster?

Let's say I want to write about a living thing that can naturally go to 99% the speed of light in just one second of acceleration. I would like to write what this being would experience at such speed ...
Invasor's user avatar
  • 533
0 votes
2 answers
362 views

If two spaceships are traveling closely to the speed of light in different directions, how can they communicate?

Supposed we have two spaceships at a speed close to lightspeed relative to each other, what would communication look like, for example with a laser beam, taking special relativity into consideration? ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 117
6 votes
2 answers
536 views

How would the laws of physics need to be adjusted if there really were a preferred frame of reference for FTL?

I am considering how to implement faster-than-light (FTL) travel in a sci-fi setting without the attendant problems with causality. One of the ways I've been thinking about for this is establishing a ...
Lawton's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Can a Birch planet send information out?

Theoretically if a Birch planet is built around the event horizon of an ultra massive blackhole, if there was a planet or structure outside of range to experience time dilation, self maintained ...
Alan Davies's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
212 views

Inverted Relativistic Speeds

In my universe, set in the future, a device allowing inversion (of the arrow of time) has been invented, which is effectively a larger version of the turnstile from Tenet. In fact, this device is so ...
ReinstateMonica3167040's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
231 views

Could life as we know it exist if there were no speed limit and no special-relativistic effects?

My perception based on reading popular-science articles is this: Nothing can exceed speed of light in vacuum Speed of light is the same for all observers, irrelevant of their own relative speed But ...
nametopostquestionaboutleave's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
204 views

Can a Relativistic Kill Vehicle be a single particle?

To those that don't know what an RKV is: a projectile (could be a spaceship, could be a bullet) that moves with a significant fraction of lightspeed. Maybe even close to lightspeed. Anything it hits ...
Vilx-'s user avatar
  • 1,794
6 votes
2 answers
190 views

Is it possible to somehow create a field where time dilation works in the opposite way and use it to create an interstellar highway?

I want to make my world as realistic as possible, so no otherworldly FTL ideas like wormholes, teleportation or warp/alcubierre drives that will violate causality according to relativity. Let's begin. ...
Hanhan658's user avatar
  • 569
4 votes
4 answers
348 views

Time Dilation and Melee Combat

Recently, I have been pondering the implications of a civilization being able to control gravity in shape they see fit. One of the more amusing uses of such a technology I've heard was that they ...
Seraphim's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

At 1.5 g of constant acceleration, how long does it take to get to 0.93c?

I just finished reading Andy Weir’s “Project Hail Mary”. He crafted a situation where a ship with was able to travel to Tau Ceti, some 13 light years distant. Having crew, he limited the ...
J.D. Ray's user avatar
  • 1,668
5 votes
4 answers
403 views

What would the local effects/affects be of a ring spinning near luminal velocity?

To better solicit more inline with what I'm trying to imagine, I'm editing my question, the original question is left below and removing the hard science tag, as that just seemed to cause issues, ...
Gillgamesh's user avatar
  • 6,089
1 vote
3 answers
185 views

How dense must a light object be in order to significantly bend space-time?

We know that the mass of the sun bends the space time geometry. Collapsed onto an orange-sized sphere it can turn into a black hole. The physicist Tippler has shown that time travel is theoretically ...
Xavier Prudent's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
359 views

How would a near light speed impact on Jupiter affect the planet and the solar system? [closed]

The object was originally "fired" as a weapon used from space to hit planets.let's say it is a long cylinder with a very high density and it was accelerated at some point to 90% of C. The ...
Leviathann's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
436 views

Can we have a civilization living at close to the speed of light?

Imagine many ships traveling close to the speed of light. If they diverge paths to explore distant galaxies, they could calculate their travel so that the same amount of time passes for all ships. ...
Joemoor94's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
181 views

Physics of relativistically spinning artifact

Say we have an artifact (in a medieval-technology world). The artifact is shaped as a solid of revolution: perhaps a donut. It weighs a few kg and is <1 meter across. It is absolutely smooth ...
causative's user avatar
  • 7,987
3 votes
4 answers
168 views

Effect of time distortion on light

In a story I've recently started writing, one thing that can be done with magic is alter the rate at which someone moves through time. It occurred to me first that the colors they would be seeing ...
David Monroe's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
820 views

Would a hypervelocity laser "HEAT" round work?

Lately I've been working on a SciFi setting, primarily focusing on space combat. Something I've been working on is an energy shield that can reliably stop hypervelocity rounds (which are common in ...
In Hoc Signo's user avatar
28 votes
8 answers
6k views

Can a super computer be built using time dilation?

If I have a very computationally expensive task that no current computer can solve in less than 100 years, I could start the task on a powerful computer, get on board my Super Hyper Extravaganza Space ...
jla's user avatar
  • 1,155
12 votes
6 answers
769 views

How would you arrange wormholes throughout the galaxy so that they don't violate the Chronology protection conjecture?

Any form of FTL, including traversable wormholes, allows backwards time travel. (EDIT: I mean going backwards in coordinate time. We get to closed timelike curves later in the post.) My world has ...
Christopher King's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
220 views

Ways to make the time travel aspect of FTL to be as hard as possible? [duplicate]

As I understand it, thanks to the General Relativity it is absolutely impossible to have both relativity and FTL without the latter opening you a way to get into your past thanks to the relativistic ...
Darth Biomech's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Single Time Zone in a Galaxy [duplicate]

This follows up the Single Time Zone on a spherical planet. Suppose now we have many habitual planets in a Solar system or in a Galaxy. How does it work to set up a Universal Time? Will it be ...
annie marie cœur's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
140 views

Two Interstellar Vessels, passing each other at a fraction of Lightspeed, how would that look? [closed]

so suppose you have two vessels in Interstellar space. One is the ITV Europa while the other one listens to the name ITV Lea Sudux. Europa is flying at 0.5c, so 149896km/s where as the Sudux chills at ...
Erik Hall's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
241 views

Could a 3+1 dimensional universe have a spacetime curvature that never reduces to Newtonian Gravity?

I was thinking of a universe with 3+1 dimensions, in which the spacetime near a massive body is curved. If this universe was empty of energy and matter then the spacetime geometry would reduce to ...
Anders Gustafson's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
230 views

Could a universe with 3+1 dimensions, and spacetime curvature that is different from that of General Relativity be self consistent?

I was thinking of a universe that has 3 spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension, and in which the spacetime around massive objects is curved. However the geometry of spacetime near a massive ...
Anders Gustafson's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers
3k views

Could special relativity be caused by aliens jamming the Solar System?

A federation of alien spacefaring nations is doing basically the opposite of prime directive: they are jamming the Solar System, preventing us from leaving it. They are doing so by placing some ...
o0'.'s user avatar
  • 2,136
2 votes
3 answers
209 views

Relativity, Time Dilation and multiple reference frames

I am doing some hard sci-fi worldbuilding and really want to get as much correct as I can, but the effects of high sub-light speed travel on the travellers is doing my head in. I've pored literally ...
Budders's user avatar
  • 29
5 votes
4 answers
489 views

Optimizing a relativistic anti-personnel weapon

Let's say you have a technology that lets you build a gun that can accelerate a mass up to 145 grams to a speed of 0.90 C. (Don't worry about the plausibility of this technology) The projectile can ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
  • 95.9k
14 votes
10 answers
808 views

How to make FTL-technology an narratively interesting suicide-pact-technology?

Building my sci-fi setting deciding what's the in-universe answer to the Fermi-paradoxon, the reason why the universe still seems to be empty of K3 civilisations despite its age, has been quite ...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
349 views

Can wormholes be used to trap people?

I was looking at the diagram for a wormhole: A 2D plane is bent and then its ends are pinched together, creating a kind of 3D tunnel representation of what a 2D wormhole would be: This has made me ...
overlord's user avatar
  • 6,282
5 votes
4 answers
457 views

Is a "Partial" Black-Hole Possible?

Black holes are created by the gravitational collapse of massive stars. But in theory, black holes can also be created by any mass at all that is confined within a small enough volume of space, ...
overlord's user avatar
  • 6,282
2 votes
6 answers
291 views

How can a twin on Earth grow old slower than his/her twin sibling?

I understand it might happen in a weak gravitational field. If I have twins on Earth, but one of them suddenly gets transported to intergalactic medium (without any great mass nearby), then the ...
Renan's user avatar
  • 103
2 votes
0 answers
181 views

Is Santa taking off risk creating a black hole, and will the good kids receive presents survive it? [closed]

Santa has to visit roughly 822 houses a second on Christmas day. At each house he has to stop, go down the chimney to deliver toys, then take off for the next home in a millisecond's time. As the ...
dsollen's user avatar
  • 33.6k
-1 votes
2 answers
150 views

Using hypersleep to offset time dilation? [closed]

Say you need to go on a business trip where you'll be traveling .5c for one year to get to where you're going, do what you need to do for a few weeks then head back - you'd come back to find everyone ...
Duke Leto's user avatar
  • 141
10 votes
1 answer
305 views

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 ...
Christopher King's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
387 views

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 ...
WhippleCurious's user avatar
14 votes
13 answers
4k views

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. ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
696 views

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 ...
Yaeger's user avatar
  • 37
1 vote
4 answers
209 views

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,...
David Berreby's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
371 views

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 ...
Caters's user avatar
  • 4,169
54 votes
10 answers
12k views

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 ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 125k
4 votes
1 answer
229 views

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 ...
Daniel Ortega's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Christopher King's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
123 views

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 ...
G0BLiN's user avatar
  • 3,607