Wald, Robert M. Department of Physics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
- Comparison of path lengths
- Comparison of elapsed times
- Experimental verification
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The phenomenon occurring in the special theory of relativity wherein two observers who start together with identical clocks and then undergo different motions can have different total elapsed time on their clocks when they rejoin later. This effect is a well-defined, mathematically consistent prediction of special relativity which has been verified by experiment but, historically, it has been referred to as a paradox because of erroneous reasoning in the manner in which the effect is commonly analyzed. The clock-paradox phenomenon arises because there is no notion of absolute simultaneity in the theory of special relativity.
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