Time is travelling FASTER for taller people – and this is how | Science | News


Time travels slower at a large masses gravitational centre, a process which is known as time dilation. For example, if a clock was placed on Earth and the other on a spaceship which travelled out into the galaxy at near the speed of light, time would pass much slower on Earth. When the spaceship reaches light speed, time is separately relative to both the clock on Earth and in the space ship.

As the speed of light is constant for both parties, it would seem as if time would be moving much faster on the rocket.

This can also be applied to much smaller distances.

One scientist told an audience at New Scientist Live that time is travelling faster for a person’s head than it is for their feet, as they are closer to Earth’s centre.

The same applies for taller people than shorter people, Emma Osborne, an astrophysicist from the University of Southampton said – although the difference is unnoticeable.

Ms Osborne said: “Time passes slower in a gravitational field – and this has real world consequences.

“Earth’s gravitational field is stronger the closer you are to the centre of the planet. So that means for your feet, time passes slower than it does for your head. Your head is ageing quicker than your feet.

“So, I’m afraid tall people are ageing quicker than short people.

“But the distance between your head and feet, the difference isn’t that much so you can’t measure the distance.”

READ MORE: Time travel breakthrough: Black holes could be the key

Robert Krulwich elaborated in a piece for NPR: “For the taller person it takes a tenth of a second longer for the toe-touch to travel up the foot, the ankle, the calf, the thigh, the backbone to the brain, the brain waits that extra beat to announce a ‘NOW!’.

“That tall person will live his sensory life on a teeny delay (at least as regards toe-touching).”

There is also evidence of a time delay happening aboard the International Space Station.

Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev technically lives in the future due to his extended period on the International Space Station.

Serial ISS resident Sergei Krikalev holds the record for the longest amount of time spent in space with 803 days, 9 hours, 39 minutes under his belt.

The ISS travels at around 7.66 km/s when orbiting around Earth, and due to the high speed and length of time which he spent in space, the cosmonaut actually arrived back in Earth 0.02 seconds in the future thanks time dilation.

The time would run a fraction of a millisecond faster when on board the ISS at that speed away from Earth.

Physicist Colin Stuart said in a Ted Talk that time dilation due to gravity “is quite small because Earth’s gravity is quite weak and so the time dilation due to their speed wins out and astronauts really do travel a tiny amount into their futures.”



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