# Does time flow more slowly for hot things?

Time flows more slowly for things that are undergoing acceleration. The particles that make up hot things are vibrating more vigorously than the particles that make up cold things. That means they are experiencing more extreme accelerations as they change directions. Does this mean that time flows more slowly for them? Is the half-life of a hot hunk of plutonium slightly longer than the half-life of a cold hunk of plutonium?

Interesting question. Sorry but I don’t have an answer so: bump
Chronos?

In principle, I see no reason that it wouldn’t be, but in practice, the difference would be far too small to be measurable.

Kinetic Temperature: Molecular Speed Calculator

It’s wrong to think of hydrogen at 60,000,000°K as an ideal gas, but it is certainly a relativistic plasma.

Nitpick: not acceleration as such. Just a difference in relative velocity, from whatever you’re using as your rest frame.

You’re thinking in terms of special relativity, not general relativity.

Time does flow differently in different inertial frames, but it also slows down in accelerated frames.

There is no time without consciousness. Or, without consciousness, everything else is meaningless.

Except for the minor detail of that being meaningless bunk.

There is no meaningless bunk without consciousness.

Interesting site. By doing a little perusing of the site, it seems the average atomic mass of air is 29 amu, and that the average kinetic energy of an ideal gas is equal to 3/2 * k * T, where k is the Boltzmann constant (1.38066 * 10[sup]23[/sup] Joules / Kelvin). Since kinetic energy is equal to 1/2 mv[sup]2[/sup], the average square of the velocity would be 3 * k * T / m.

If my math is correct, that would make the average square of the velocity of air molecules at 24 Celsius be about 256 m[sup]2[/sup]/s[sup]2[/sup]. The Lorentz factor, gamma, is equal to (1 - v[sup]2[/sup]/c[sup]2[/sup])[sup]-1/2[/sup]. C is about 3.0 * 10[sup]8[/sup], so for our 24C air that makes gamma about equal to 1 + 1.42 * 10[sup]-15[/sup]. So time for 75F air molecules is moving about 0.000000000000142% slower on average.

I’m not sure how you would calculate the average kinetic energy for the plutonium molecules mentioned in the OP.

The same way, to within dimensionless constants of order of magnitude 1.

Ok, sorta related, and a wild flight of fancy.

Recently the Large Hadron Collider at Brookhaven Institute achieved record levels of energy (speed) for a gold nucleus. So, for a while this nucleus was experiencing highly dilated time, right? So, it “ages” at a . . . slower, or faster rate? (Either answer opens up a sheaf of conjectures, probably worth a thread each.)

Tris

Nevermind

The particles in the accelerator are traveling at a significant percent of c so of course their time is dilated versus the lab frame.

Time dilates for the individual particles plus a hot object has more energy and thus more mass. And, as I’m sure you know, time runs slower near a gravitating mass.

From our perspective, it ages at a slower rate. This doesn’t matter much for gold nuclei, which are stable, but it’s of enormous importance for unstable particles. The classic example is muons produced from cosmic rays striking the top of the atmosphere: The lifetime of the muon isn’t nearly long enough for it to get from the top of the atmosphere to the ground, so if that were all there was to it, we’d never see any muons produced by cosmic rays. However, they’re going fast relative to our reference frame that, from our perspective, they can live long enough to reach the ground anyway. Now, from the muon’s perspective, it’s not moving at all, so it thinks that it’s lasting the same amount of time it normally does… But from the muon’s perspective, the Earth is moving up at it very fast, with the resulting length contraction meaning that its path is much shorter, short enough that it can reach the ground even within its normal short lifespan. So both the muon and the observers on Earth agree that the muon manages to reach the ground, but for different reasons.

Thank you.

It will take me a few days to come up with cogent questions on this.

The Large Hadron Collider is located at CERN on the French / Swiss border in Europe, not Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LHC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookhaven_National_Laboratory

Trisk was probably thinking of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which is in fact at Brookhaven.

Does time flow more slowly for hot things?

Having seen beauty pageant contestants answering interview questions, I’m going to plump for “yes”.