Time never changes
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The most commonly cited experiment that confirmed this theory is the Hafele-Keating Experiment from 1971. This experiment required four atomic clocks. To understand why these atomic clocks are important we must first know that currently the second is defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of a caesium atom. There are a few more parameters and the number is a little odd as the second was first defined by taking the length of the day and dividing it up, however this proved to be inaccurate so the current definition was accepted. This action from caesium is monitored by an atomic clock to create the most accurate time keeping device ever made. An atomic clock will only be out by one second after approximately 15,000,000,000 years.
During Hafele and Keating's experiment four atomic clocks where loaded onto aircraft and flown around the world, two clocks flown eastward and two clocks flown westward. Because of this the clocks are moving at a different speed to the ground. When the planes landed the time on the clocks in the air where measured against the time on a clock located on the ground. The results where that the clocks on the planes were they had been moving eastward where 59 nanoseconds behind the clocks on the ground (plus or minus 10 nanosecond) and the clocks moving westward where an astonishing 273 nanoseconds ahead (plus or minus 7 nanoseconds). These results were published in The journal "Science" in 1972, one year after the experiment.
Thus my opponent can see that the clocks used in this experiment where accurate enough to not have a margin of error outside the results shown and the results confirmed Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Therefore time can change when two objects are moving at different speeds.
The Hafele-Keating experement: http://www.sciencemag.org...
And, from the perspective of an observer in the east bound flight, it was actually the west bound flight which was travelling at a very high velocity. So according to him, the west bound flight should have experienced the maximum time dilation and ticked the slowest if SR were to be true. Also the observatory clock should have experienced some amount of time dilation and hence ticked slower than his "stationary" clock. Similarly the clock readings would go against the predictions of SR when viewed from the perspective of the west bound flight.
What it implies? The readings of the clocks (believing that the data was not "massaged" by the "phychicists" having got mesmerised by the stupid religion!) appear to obey the formula of SR only when looked from the reference frame of the centre of earth observer. (Same is the case with GPS clocks)
The only conclusion a sane mind can draw from the twin flight experiment is that the functioning of atomic clocks get affected by motion and gravity. It also suggest that motion is not relative, in other words there seems to be an absolute reference frame. But why the atomic clocks get affected as "exactly" predicted by the mathematics of SR? Surely it is not because of time dilation effect. If it was Time that dilates, then all processes should get slowed down by the same factor in a given scenario. And that should include the physical process underlying the pendulum clock also. Unfortunately for the relativists, this is not the case.
This proves that relativity is not the cause of the time differences. Thus, that only leaves aetheric pressure as the possible cause of the time differences. Thus, it is not time that has changed, but it is simply the mechanism of the clock that has changed.
Firstly special relativity required two postulates. The first is the speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their relative motion or the motion of the source of the light. This has been shown to be true. The second postulate is that the laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion relative to one another, there have been no experiments proving this false and all recordings have been to suggest this is true.
The most common explanation as a solution to the twin paradox is that the symmetry is broken due to the required acceleration, or deceleration in this case, causes the motion to no longer be uniform. Sadly I concede that this is not an excellent answer but it is the best I can explain it. Tests have been done and as my opponent has stated on both frames of reference, the plane and the earth, the alternative clock appears to be running slower. This should not be possible unless special relativity is correct. The nature of this experiment is slightly different; however the results are the same and show time dilation to be accurate.
However, my opponent still claims that it is etheric pressures that affect the clock. However, no part of the clock has any meaningful alteration from pressure that we would not also see in other circuits. There are no gears or such to be affected. The clock is measuring atomic function that should not change based on any function. Other atomic functions have also been observed slowing at close to the speed of light. For example, as a helpful commenter pointed out, the half-life of unstable isotopes is "extended" when they are observed traveling at the required speeds.
Thus my opponent can see it would take significantly more assumptions to attempt to disprove time dilation than to accept its existence.
When Maxwell"s" equations predicted that light travels at 3"108m/sec, scientists wondered what was the reference point/frame to which the above speed refers.
As light was thought to travel via Ether medium, it was proposed that the predicted SOL was with reference to this Ether medium (which was thought to represent the state of absolute rest).
But as Michelson and Morley"s experiment "disproved" the existence of the long believed Ether medium, some scientists thought that the SOL predicted by Maxwell"s equations must be with reference to the source (Emitter theory). Apparently this was also disproved by an experiment (neutral pion decay experiment)
As both the Ether theory and the Emitter theory were "disproved", scientific masses got attracted to the special theory of relativity (SR), which said that the calculated speed of light (SOL) must be with reference to the observer.
If so, then any observer in any inertial reference frame would measure the same speed of light because SOL (3"108m/sec) is a derived value from Maxwell"s equations and hence must be the same in any reference frame.
And Einstein had shown the supporting maths which mesmerised the scientific masses. (Of course a mathematical model can be woven around any ridiculous idea!)
As SR proposed that SOL must be the same to any observer, this has lead to further counterintuitive notions like time dilation and length contraction. Relativists claim that all these weird notions were proven to be correct by many experiments like muon decay and twin flight experiments etc.
Though the chronology was not exactly the same, the above description gives the gist of how the weird theory of relativity came in and got accepted amongst the most intelligent section of the population.
However Einstein created a theory, with supporting math, which explains this strange phenomenon. The theory is self-consistent and plausible. It is a strange theory full of "counter-intuitive notions" however these hypotheses where later proved true through experiments such as the above mentioned twin flight experiment as explained above and muon decay supposedly slowing at high speed. So far there has not been another theory to explain these observed phenomenons, that has not been proven false like the theory of the ether.
Moreover time dilation is now a part of the technology and science we work with and build upon. GPS is required to accommodate for the time dilation between the surface of the planet and the orbit of the satellite. Although the actual accuracy this effects is rather minuscule if this were not taken into effect the clocks on the satellites would slowly diverge from ground clocks.
So as I have outlined so far time dilation is a basically proven and very well tested theory. Denying it without having an explanation for observations like decay in particle accelerators or the twin flight experiment is not logical. While it has some strange effects, like the twin paradox, the theory is still self-constant and we have built further scientific knowledge upon the base of special relativity.
I would like to thank my opponent for a brilliant debate and for helping me learn a lot about time dilation and the proof for special relativity myself, as well as some of the hairy things involved in it.
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