Mass transportation usage = slower aging?

So I was wondering… Didn’t we learn that the faster we go, the slower we age? Or something like that?

I was just wondering what amount of time - if anything - over the span of a lifetime of travel might be added to our lives. Maybe a nanosecond or two?

Would somebody who travels a lot perhaps age a smidgen less fast than somebody who doesn’t?


Not by the time you factor in the stress of being crammed onto a crowded bus/plane/train…

Seriously, the effects would be infinitesimally small.

Besides, as I understand it you get the same amount of time, it just gets out of sync with everyone else.

Time dilation is proportional to SQRT( 1 - V^2 / c^2) where V is the relative velocity and c is the velocity of light.

So for a jet airplane we get roughly SQRT( 1 - (600mph/3600 hrs/sec)^2 / 186000 miles/sec ^2) = SQRT( 1 - 8.03E-13) =
0.999999999999599. Or 400 parts per 1 quadrillion.

I’m an airline pilot. That’s probably the occupation with the highest average lifetime speed. Astonauts go a LOT faster, but not very often measured over their whole life.

I average 800 hours a year in the air and expect a 35 year career. If 100% of that time was at full cruise speed, then by retirement I’ll have aged some 3.12 picoseconds (3.12E-12 seconds) less than my brother who never travels. That’s roughly 1/300th of one nanosecond.

The Fountain of Youth it ain’t.

Because the formula is quadratic, not linear, slowing down from a 600 mph jet to a 60 mph car (10x speed reduction) produces a 100x reduction in time effect. So not quite 3 hours/day on the freeway will slow your life-clock by 1/30000th of a nanosecond compared to somebody who walks everywhere.

And at the limit case of driving your entire life, all 70 years, 24 x 7, at 60 mph will aggregate to 8.8 microseconds, or 8800 nanoseconds compared to somebody who never uses a vehicle their entire life.

See, spreadsheets can be fun, as long as the original premise is silly enough.

I goofed in my first post for the case of a lifetime spent at 60 mph. Oops. the correct figure isn’t 8800 nanoseconds, but rather 0.68 picoseconds.

And for orbiting astronauts on the International Space Station, their clocks lose about 2.07 picoseconds per day in orbit.

So astronauts do beat airline pilots in lifetime time dilation. Going 30x faster more than offsets their less overall time spent going fast.

Wow, thanks LSLGuy! That’s superawesome. These little things amaze me. Also, that a speck of dust in China is exerting a gravitational pull on me, even though it’s really small.

Coolness! :slight_smile:

Don’t forget the extra radiation you pilots/astronauts get exposed to… that oughta confound your fiendish plans for longevity :slight_smile:

Staying up all night working the redeye isn’t so healthy either. Neither is a steady diet of airline and/or airport food. Neither is being strapped into a chair 6 hours a day. It goes on and on …