|HPS 0410||Einstein for Everyone|
What Happens at High Speeds
According to special relativity, rods and clocks are affected by their motion. If a yardstick is moved rapidly along the direction of its motion, it contracts. If a clocks ticks once per second when it is at rest, it will tick more slowly when it is moving.
|Velocity||Fraction of Lightspeed||β factor
|Contracted length of yardstick
= β yards
|Time between ticks of clock
= 1/β seconds
(Earth's diameter 7,926 miles loses 5.6 millionth inch)
(One year loses 0.35 microseconds)
|26,200 mi/sec||.141||.99||.99 yd||1.01 sec|
|.866||.5||.5 yd||2 sec|
|.99||.141||.141 yd||7.1 sec|
|.995||.10||.10 yd||10.0 sec|
|.9999||.014||.014 yd||70.7 sec|
|1.0 (impossible)||0||0 yd||infinity sec|
Calculate β factor =√(1-(fraction of lightspeed2)).
i.e. Square root of (1 - square of fraction of lightspeed)
The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.