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The ‘twin paradox’ shows us what it really means for time to be relative

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Einstein’s principle of particular relativity teaches us that point is relative. However what does it imply for time to be relative? How can we reside in a universe the place no one can agree on when occasions begin, after they finish and the way lengthy they final? The notorious “twin paradox” showcases what residing in a very relativistic world is like.

Put merely, special relativity tells us that shifting clocks run slowly. This can be a phenomenon referred to as time dilation, and it is a chilly, exhausting truth of the universe. Einstein needed to introduce the idea to rescue one thing he thought was way more basic: the universality of bodily legal guidelines. If we would like the legal guidelines of physics — which additionally means the expertise of physics — to be the identical no matter your reference body, views must shift for observers at completely different speeds.

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