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# Thought experiment

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posted on Apr, 1 2013 @ 02:38 AM

Originally posted by herrw
I have a question for the physics-minded, one that has bugged me for some time.

OP 1 is not of the a professional in these lines of study but the problem seems interesting enough to give a try, so bare with me

Originally posted by herrw
Here's the thought experiment:

three ships are placed at rest, relative to each other, in three predetermined locations. Each ship has a clock on the outside. Two of ships (Ship A and Ship B) begin to accelerate. [color=cyan] Ship C does not accelerate.

Ship A accelerates to .99c. Ship B accelerates to .5c. The clocks have been preset so that, when the accelleration shuts off, they will all read exactly the same time: 00:00. These ships will continue to travel without acceleration for three hours. At the end of that three hour span, they will all pass within easy sight distance of each other at the exact same time, and each ship will take a photo of the other. As soon as the photo is taken, it is transmitted to a central location.

Once those photos are received, they will be compared. The question is, what time is it, in the photos?

[color=cyan] Ship C does not accelerate.
But 1 noticed further in the OP it is said to accelerated to .99c with ship A

Originally posted by herrw
For ship A, ship b is traveling at .5c and ship c is traveling at .99c. For Ship B, both ship A and C are traveling at .5c. For Ship C, Ship A is traveling at .99c and Ship B is traveling at .5c. The problem here is that all three ships are traveling at all three speeds, relative to each other. Time dialtion, therefore, is different for each ship depending on the frame of reference. Once the photos are compared, how can all three be at all three states simultaneously?

Following the OP data and assuming all 3 ships stopped acceleration @ the same time. The faster traveling A/C ships higher pace rate slow time associated may allow for ship B time to catch up as they were accelerating @ the same times but @ different rates of speed. So I got 3:00 on all ships if they stopped accelerating @ same time even though ship B in movement was behind A/C. As far a the pic time stamp from them sighting each other @ same time 1 feels once the acceleration has halted the on all 3 ships over 3 hrs the time field somehow reestablishes itself on a common ground outside of c.

Pretty cool and mind processing question herrw, again 1 is no professional but was intrigued by the LHC or FTL relation felt with this OP so gave it a try. Hopefully some clarity can be shared on how the 3 ships moving at different c and stop @ same time, if that's the case find themselves in same sighting range and not 2 ships A/C a few galaxy away from ship B?

So for the brain exercise alone 1 appreciates the time within and any responses shared or to be shared to better explain..

Originally posted by herrw
This 3 ship problem explores an inherent paradox in relativistic theory. If everything is relative to the frame of reference, every particle is in an infinite number of time states relative to everything else.

Do any minds which are more physically savvy than mind care to chime in and make me feel like a moron?

To add not 1z intention to appear more savvy nor to make the feel like a moron, the question is an intelligent one and 1 enjoyed, thanks.

NAMASTE*******

posted on Apr, 3 2013 @ 03:46 AM
Thank you all for your replies. I'm still fuzzy on it, however.

When the ships pass each other and the photo is snapped by each one, as best I can figure it, all three photos should show three different times on the other two ships. My reasoning for this is that all three ships, after acceleration stops, are at a rest state relative to the other two. Since the clocks were not synchronized until the ships stopped accelerating, this gives us a start-point.

My question is, what stops two different ships from seeing the same clock at two different times, simultaneously? Does that explain the paradox I'm envisioning?

No disrespect intended, here. Just trying to figure it out.

posted on Apr, 5 2013 @ 12:36 AM

Originally posted by herrw
When the ships pass each other and the photo is snapped by each one, as best I can figure it, all three photos should show three different times on the other two ships. My reasoning for this is that all three ships, after acceleration stops, are at a rest state relative to the other two. Since the clocks were not synchronized until the ships stopped accelerating, this gives us a start-point.

My question is, what stops two different ships from seeing the same clock at two different times, simultaneously? Does that explain the paradox I'm envisioning?

No disrespect intended, here. Just trying to figure it out.

Your confusion is quite natural and is a sign that you are on the right track. Relativity is actually, legitimately confusing in that it violates a lot of what your monkey brain says must be so. So, yay for that!

To answer your question: what do you mean "simultaneously"? Simultaneously as measured by who? I tried to stress this before, but it's hard to sink in, so please, pay close attention here: SIMULTANEITY IS RELATIVE. If two observers are moving relative to each other and a a nearby planet, and both watch the planet, they will _DISAGREE_ about which events on the planet happened "at the same". The answer is that _nothing_ stops that from happening. Basically, that IS what happens. All ships will have pics of all three clocks and no set will agree. All observers will say "THIS is the triplet of times shown when we passed eachother. You guys are wrong." because to any given observer, one set will be taken early and one set taken late. They will all disagree and they will all be correct, because they will disagree on the order in which events occured. In fact, it would be tricky to get a situation where all three observers would agree that they all passed the same point (ship C) at the same time. Most of the time, one would say "A left just before B got there" and vice versa.

Oh and when you say: "My reasoning for this is that all three ships, after acceleration stops, are at a rest state relative to the other two." That is just... not right. In any way shape or form. You specifically said that they accelerated up to .9c and .5c then stopped accelerating. They're still moving at those speeds. "Accelerate" means to _change_ speeds. Did you mean to say that all three ships are "in inertial reference frames relative to each other"? Because that's what you described. "Rest" doesn't enter into it anywhere, accept that we've defined ship C as our "rest" perspective.

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