__: When two moving space ships pass each other in space,__

**Problem**__do they BOTH see the other's clocks as moving__

**why****?**

__slower__Here's how Wikipedia's article on Time Dilation describes the "problem":

When two observers are in relative uniform motion and uninfluenced by any gravitational mass, the point of view of each will be that the other's (moving) clock is ticking at aIt is understood that people aboard space ships going at high velocities will view everything moving at "normal" speeds aboardslowerrate than the local clock. The faster the relative velocity, the greater the magnitude of time dilation. This case is sometimes called special relativistic time dilation.

For instance, two rocket ships (A and B) speeding past one another in space would experience time dilation. If they somehow had a clear view into each other's ships, each crew would see the others' clocks and movement as going more slowly. That is, inside the frame of reference of Ship A, everything is moving normally, but everything over on Ship B appears to be moving more slowly (and vice versa).

**their own**ship. I.e, their clocks will appear to be ticking and measuring time "normally."

If there are

__space ships, the people on__

**two**__ships will view__

**both****their own**clocks as operating "normally."

In a situation where there is only

**one**space ship, a person aboard that space ship would see a clock next to a stationary person on earth as moving

**faster**. (However, this

**be viewing Time Dilation without the "special relativistic" factor.)**

*may*In a situation where

**two**space ships are moving

__, they would all view each other's clocks as all working "normally."__

**in parallel at the same speed**So, the question is: When the two space ships are

**in synchronous movement, why do they see the other space ship's clocks as moving slower**

__not__

**regardless of what speeds or directions they are moving**

**?**

Another question: If people aboard a moving space ship see clocks that are stationary as moving faster, why doesn't the crew of a

**fast moving**ship see the clocks on a

**slow moving**ship as moving faster?

It seems the answer

*must*be in what is

**versus what is actually happening. The person doing the viewing**

*perceived***time as "normal" and they**

*perceives**time on the other ship as moving slower. This subject is typically illustrated with clocks that bounce light beams up and down off mirrors.*

**perceive**A person beside such a clock will perceive light going straight up and down, which is "normal." They will

**the light beams on the clocks on the other ship as moving at angles, tracing out longer V or W patterns as the ship moves relative to the observer. Since the speed of light is fixed, longer paths for the light beam means slower time.**

*perceive***However, there seems to be**

__no way__to perceive time as moving__faster__when bouncing light straight up and down perceived as "normal" and light bouncing at**angles is perceived as "slower."**

Is that why light-based clocks are used? It it a

**Relativistic situation that is dependent entirely on using light based clocks?**

*purely hypothetical*Or is there some way to relate this to mechanical clocks? Why would mechanical clocks on the other ship

**also**be

__as running slower? Why wouldn't mechanical clocks on the__

**perceived**__ship be__

**slower**__as running faster?__

*perceived*The best description I've seen of light-based clocks can be viewed by clicking HERE. It also describes why mechanical clocks would work just like light-based clocks when they are side by side. Here's the illustration they use at the section about this:

But I still do not understand why the mechanical clock on the slower moving space ship would not be perceived as running faster than the clock on the faster moving space ship.

And, it seems to me that if I'm aboard a

**fast**moving space ship and we pass a slower moving space ship on the left side of my ship, the slow ship will pass moving right to left, and the light beam clock would create a V moving from left to right. If I am aboard a

**slow**moving space ship and a faster moving space ship passes me on the left, the ship will move from left to right, and the movement of the bouncing light beam would create a V moving right to left.

There should be some way to translate the left to right creation of the V on the

**slower**ship's clock as an indicator that the clock on that slow ship I passed is running

**.**

*fast*What is it I am not understanding?

I suspect that, while I understand Time Dilation very well, I am not understanding Special Relativity and

**Special Relativistic Time Dilation**. I suspect that Special Relativity is best described using mathematics. I suspect Special Relativity involves things in the mathematical realm that are counter intuitive to human visual experiences and therefore cannot be easily described in human experience terms. I suspect that is why, when teachers try to describe aspects of Special Relativity in visual terms, their descriptions make little sense to people who do not know and understand the mathematics. They are "counter intuitive." That is probably why teachers are always apologizing and telling their students that it would all make more sense if they studied the mathematics.

Ed

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