Can you solve a time dilation math problem?
March 10, 2012 1:32 PM Subscribe
I'm writing a story and it has to do with time dilation and I don't want it to be one of those stories where people roll their eyes and say, "Well... It's just a story." I want accurate math. I suck at math.
posted by CarlRossi to Science & Nature (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here are the parameters. The story I want to tell is about a man who travels away from the Earth at near-light speed and returns almost exactly 50 years later. His total journey time from his perspective should be roughly 18 months there and back. It isn't really important how long he stays at his destination, so for the sake of argument, he can spend as little as 30 minutes before he starts his journey home.
Can he make it to ANY body/object outside the solar system?
Ideally the answer I'm looking for is this:
1 Earth to destination at .999 the speed of light is X days.
2 Hang out at destination is Y days.
3 Destination to Earth at .999 the speed of light is Z days. (I suspect X=Z but you tell me)
So X+Y+Z= 18 months(roughly) and Earth is now 50 years older(roughly).