Wednesday, December 12, 2012


In an earlier post I mentioned that I believe that time is perceived differently by people of different ages.   So here is my reasoning.

According to Einstein’s theory of Special Relativity time is not absolute – it can vary according to the speed of an object.   The theory pertains only to the time relationships between two objects where one is moving away from the other at a fixed speed.

To simplify the theory let me give an example:

 A            rocket              B

A is a base station that shoots a burst of light to station B every two minutes.

There is a rocket ship traveling between A and B at ¾ the speed of light.

Every time the rocket receives the burst of light from A it fires an identical burst of light to B. 

Because the speed of light is constant B receives both beams of light from A and the rocket simultaneously at two minute intervals.

But, because the rocket is moving away from A at ¾ the speed of light (constantly increasing its distance from A) it is receiving the light flashes from A, not at two minute intervals, but at three minute intervals. 
Ref: Einstein’s formula – for geeks…
Elapse time = the square root of the  time in reference-one divided by one, minus the speed of the rocket square divided by the speed of light square.

The crux of this is that A is transmitting light burst at two minute intervals - and B receives the light from station A and the rocket at identical two minute intervals; where as the rocket is receiving and transmitting its light burst at three minute intervals.

Time is moving faster on the ground than it is on the rocket ship.  What takes two minutes to happen on the ground takes three minutes to happen on the ship. 

By the way, this has been proven in experiments.

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity deals with time variations due to strong gravitational fields.   

But we don’t have to go into that - it is enough to know that time is not constant but can seem to vary under different circumstances.   (Actually the cosmos doesn’t give a damn about time and gravity and space – these concepts only matter to humans as we try to understand and catalog everything to our limited understanding.) 

Now for the Ol’Buzzard’s Theory of Relative Time:

A child of ten perceives a year as one tenth of his life.   It seems forever between one Christmas and another, or birthdays.

A man of seventy perceives a year as one-seventieth of his existence – a relatively short time between birthdays.

Time is experienced seven times faster for a seventy year old than for a ten year old.

Each year I seem to get older faster.   That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  

the Ol’Buzzard  


  1. I don't know about the first part but the second part makes sense to me. I honestly don't mind so much being old and getting older but I do wish I could keep the perception of the 7-year old. Ah well.

  2. I've always thought that the faster you travel the slower time goes. I seem to remember scifi stories where a space traveler will be gone for a few years and come home to discover decades have gone by. I think you need to reverse your ship/ground time. Two minutes on the ship will take three minutes on the ground and that's why the signals are three minutes apart.

  3. Weeks seem to go fast but days just seem to drag on forever.


  4. Now, my friend, how can we apply this theory to...winter?

  5. Kulkuri: time on the ground is running at a faster rate then time on the ship. What takes two minutes to happen on the ground takes three minutes to happen on the ship.

    A rocket takes off at 8/10 the speed of light relative to earth and is gone thirty years, meanwhile fifty years has elapsed on earth.

    Microdot: I love winter. It is the mud season between winter and spring that I would gladly speed through.

    Ruby Jack: We just keep on keeping on as we can.

    BBC: whiskey and a nap works.

    thanks all
    the Ol'Buzzard

  6. Time is a human invention, I'd rather screw. :-)

  7. What takes two minutes to happen on the ground takes three minutes to happen on the ship.
    This is what confused me.

  8. Wouldn't that depend on which direction the ship is traveling? And by which time frames you are using? Moving time frames are different than the hands on a watch, it's not going to speed up or slow down just because it's on a ship.

  9. I so buy it.

    My days are moving at warp speed. My birthdays keep coming. I don't mind getting older, I just mind feeling older.

    Any cures?


  10. Any cures?

    Death comes to mind but death is a strange concept to me, being an omnipresent spirit.

  11. Yeah, well, winter....I grew up in Detroit and am a Michigander born and bent..each winter, we would make a huge hockey rink on the field in the middle of the block out of snow around the beginning of December, then flood it using our garden hoses and it would stay frozen until at least February...I was an altar boy at St. Monica's and remember getting up for 7 am mass...I'd get my hair wet, comb it up into my little pompadour type thingie then go out and within a few would be frozen today have to use that gel mousse stuff...going to to catch the bus...a 15 minute walk up to the stop at 20 below...I'm talkin farenheit here not my wimpy European celsius. That;s how I learned to drive, doing donuts in the snow. It's not that I don't like winter...after I accept that it is winter and I can't escape reality, I learn to love it and live with it... here in the Dordogne, winter has a few clear cold sunny days, it snows ocaissonaly, when it gets really cold, you can hear oak trees split in the forest, but here winter is the season where you put the laundry to dry out in November and it stays out until March...rain, fog, mist fog and more I had to take the dogs to the vet for their that was an adventure.....I'm going to publish a really politically incorrect recipe on my blog tomorrow...

  12. I thought about that business of 10 year olds and 70 year olds before and I agree with you.


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."