Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Train to stay young

Now the title of this blog post may sound pretty menial as it is pretty widely accepted that training and leading an active and sporty lifestyle is good for overall health, but what I'm referring to is something much cooler and interesting than that.

One of the things I enjoy, as a self confessed science geek, is learning about space. The subjects of astronomy, astrophysics and even particle physics and quantum physics I find fascinating. A lot of people like to tell me these things are boring, and while I agree that the fundamental theory can take a lot of work in order to understand the consequences of these subjects and what they can teach us about the universe is pretty awesome.

Well how about this for an idea - the faster you move, the slower time passes.

This is not just some wikipedia
based fact here, this is Einstein and his monumental theory of relativity. It struck me as I was driving home from swimming this morning when I was recalling a dream I had last week. In it my oldest friend Pete and I had somehow hijacked the International Space Station...I won't continue with the dream but it's safe to say we managed to trash most of it ... but it got me thinking about the Astronauts who pretty much live up there.

They are flying high spinning around at close to 18,000 mph and we are down here on earth moving at a lowly 1,000 mph. According to Einstein then, the boys (and girls) up there should technically be aging slower.


In 1971 two scientist from the US boarded a plane, with them they carried a very very very precise Atomic clock. Now their buddies in Washington DC also had an atomic clock. Their idea was to travel the world entirely, first in one direction and then in the
other. According to Einstein's theory in one instance the travelling clock should lose time in relation to the geostationary clock in Washington and in the other it should gain.

A very long story short, the experiment worked and the "clock paradox" was for all intense and purposes proven to be valid.

So as for those guys up at the International Space Station you ask? Well as it turns out they are in fact experiencing time at a slower rate to us, so are actually aging slower. The margin? A massive 0.014 seconds a year.

In relation to training then, I figure for all of us guys and girls swimming, biking and running every day, for every second we move faster than everyone else we are in fact delaying the inevitable just that little bit more.

1 comment:

Butcha said...

Makes perfect sense to me