Authors: Per Hokstad
Abstract. We investigate time dilation in the theory of special relativity. The location of clocks used for time readings is essential for the magnitude of the observed time dilation. We focus on three observational principles: 1) A reference frame may apply a single clock (SC); 2) It may apply multiple clocks (MC); or 3) There is a completely symmetric situation between the two reference frames. Symmetry and simultaneity are the two essential concepts of our approach. We can define simultaneity ‘in the perspective’ of any reference frame. This may seem of limited interest, but by also using an auxiliary reference frame – in combination with symmetry considerations – we can also define ‘simultaneity at a distance’; becoming essential for our investigations. We use the obtained framework to give a thorough discussion of the travelling twin paradox, and arrive at a conclusion regarding the twins’ ages, which deviates from the prevalent view regarding this example.
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