94 votes
Accepted

Does my shipboard computer slow down as I approach light speed?

This is a pretty interesting topic, and one of the things that makes special relativity so mind blowing. But the answer is: From your perspective on board the ship, the computer will function just as ...
el duderino's user avatar
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64 votes
Accepted

Can a super computer be built using time dilation?

Yes, But You're Not Going To Like It Time dilation is all down to frame of reference. So, if you don't want everyone on Earth to age during the computation, you just have to take Earth with you. You ...
jdunlop's user avatar
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38 votes

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

Is there a theoretical method of inferring a "universal" time that FTL travellers can use for their clocks to maintain a constant time? Generally, no. There is no universal time, period. Relativity ...
AnoE's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

A weapon(preferably hard scifi) that will limit velocity of space ships in a wide region temporarily

The only answer I can think of that doesn't require warping the laws of physics or a ridiculously huge energy budget is: Tugmines Basically ridiculously powerful engines fastened to mildly ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
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27 votes

Does my shipboard computer slow down as I approach light speed?

Approach the speed of light with respect to what? Right now there is an electron flying around in a synchrotron somewhere which is moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light with respect ...
AlexP's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

Reasons for time dilation to happen on a habitable planet with same g force and not orbiting a black hole

Time dilation comes from gravity and/or velocity. Since the planet is not orbiting a black hole it would either have to orbit another super heavy mass or fly through space with a lorentz factor of 0....
ArtificialSoul's user avatar
25 votes

A weapon(preferably hard scifi) that will limit velocity of space ships in a wide region temporarily

In hard sci-fi we have nothing - since we don't have FTL or anything approaching it then it's impossible to do anything beyond pure speculation in terms of anti-FTL. My suggestion would be some sort ...
Tim B's user avatar
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22 votes

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

The final great filter Any civilisation that attempts FTL causality breaking will very quickly twig that it can be used for all sorts of shenanigans. This means the any race brave (or foolish) enough ...
Joe Bloggs's user avatar
  • 66.3k
22 votes

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

Technobabble is Technobabble No, this model of the universe as a cellular automaton cannot be reconciled with the basic behavior of our real-life universe. Let's take a simple example, exploring a ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 89.6k
21 votes

How would a sentient species without technology derive General Relativity?

Einsteinian General Relativity is an extension of Special Relativity, motivated by the principle of equivalence which requires that a gravitational field be locally indistinguishable from plain ...
AlexP's user avatar
  • 89.6k
20 votes
Accepted

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

Triangulation from X-ray Pulsars Timing and navigation are inextricably linked. The mechanical clock enabled the first calculation of longitude. GPS navigation depends on comparing arrival times (and ...
kingledion's user avatar
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19 votes
Accepted

Aliens to play a mischievous space-time practical joke on Earth

Nothing we know of could achieve that. There are two things that distort time: velocity and gravity 18 minutes per 24 hours is a dilation factor of 1.0125. ($\frac{24hours + 18minutes}{24 hours} = 1....
ArtificialSoul's user avatar
17 votes

Can a super computer be built using time dilation?

The resolution of the twin paradox rests on the principle that there is an asymmetry between two observers. The observer on the spaceship must, for some amount of time, undergo an acceleration$^{\...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
16 votes

Standardisation of Time in a FTL Universe

Let's pretend the whole universe uses Earth years, days, etc., for the sake of this example. However, any universal system would work for this. Before the ship begins to travel, it decides that your ...
Zxyrra's user avatar
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16 votes

Relativistic effects on brains encoded in light

This has nothing to do with speed of light and, indeed, with any possible means of transmission. You are effectively "backing-up to storage" whatever you need to transmit and then "recreate a perfect ...
ZioByte's user avatar
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15 votes

How would a sentient species without technology derive General Relativity?

The other intelligent life that preceded them told them about it. The advanced alien botanist who wanted plants that would sing back, or their own mobile, open-system ancestors, or the out of control ...
g s's user avatar
  • 5,429
14 votes
Accepted

What if a traversable wormhole hits the earth?

Everything dies. In fact, everything dies in a manner much more spectacular than if you had crashed the moon against Earth. Or Venus. Or even Saturn. The physics and mathematics behind this are ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

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

There are online calculators which exactly answer your question. When I input your parameters into the one I linked, I get acceleration time: 1.07 years in ship time, 1.6 years in earth time
L.Dutch's user avatar
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13 votes

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

The Copernican principle As L.Dutch pointed out, this would violate the Copernican principle, which essentially states that there's nothing special about observing the universe from any one place. ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
13 votes

Would a hypervelocity laser "HEAT" round work?

What if you strapped a big flashlight to the front of a hypervelocity round traveling infinitely close to the speed of light? If I read that post correctly, all the light produced in-transit would ...
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
13 votes

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

Fundamentally no. Our model of physics is the simplest one we can pull off that explains as many of our our observations and experiments as we can. If a simpler model that would predict the results of ...
Yakk's user avatar
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12 votes

What would be the equation for kinetic energy if $γ=\frac{v^2}{c^2}+1$ instead of $γ=\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$?

Let's start with the energy-momentum equation: $$E^2=p^2c^2+(m_0c^2)^2\tag{1}$$ This can be derived according to the Minkowski metric. This works because the inner product of the four-momentum, $\...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
12 votes
Accepted

Practical problems of near-light-speed travel

Travelling at near-light speed is indistinguishable from being at rest. This is the principle of Galilean relativity, and is preserved under special relativity: there is no feasible experiment to ...
Akshat Mahajan's user avatar
12 votes

Does my shipboard computer slow down as I approach light speed?

From all of the answers and the comments therein, I think the issue is simply a lack of understanding of relativity, so this answer is mostly just going to be a primer in how to think about it. I am ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
  • 132k
12 votes

Could near light speed ship dilate time severely enough to explore other stars with out breaking the light speed barrier?

Wow that's a whole lot of question marks, I'm going to give you the Larry Niven special on 1G travel times. This comes straight out of the essay Bigger Than Worlds which I thoroughly recommend to any ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 44.8k
11 votes

A weapon(preferably hard scifi) that will limit velocity of space ships in a wide region temporarily

Chaff Since few spaceships are likely to be steered manually, chances are they've got instruments and RADAR/LIDAR style sensors so they can tell what speed it is safe to fly at. At high speeds, even ...
Rycochet's user avatar
  • 331
11 votes

Aliens to play a mischievous space-time practical joke on Earth

As others have pointed out, messing with spacetime here on a scale that doesn't screw up earth's orbit, etc etc would make time seem slower for people observing us from a different frame of reference. ...
Fernando Contreras's user avatar
11 votes

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

L.Dutch's answer is good for using off-hand, but I did want to show the equations behind it. There are three steps to the calculation: Calculate how long it takes (from the traveler's perspective) to ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
10 votes
Accepted

A River Runs Through It - The effects of a time dilation field on a body of running water

Rivers are measured in flow rate, the volume that passes a given cross section in a given period. This makes it easy for us because your town boundary is a cross section. Let's go with cubic metres ...
Separatrix's user avatar
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