2,092 miles is the shortest distance from the East coastline to the West Coast. It would take you around a main or so to obtain there at 60 miles an hour. Yet how much would you drive to get from one shore to the other? In other words, how plenty of miles execute you in reality go?

You might be reasoning "There"s no method he have the right to refute that, 2,092 mile is 2,092 miles!" Well i can"t, yet one male can... Einstein and also his special relativity!

BOOM! half of the people reading this just slammed their computer systems shut and collection them ~ above fire. The other fifty percent of girlfriend bear with me, i promise it"s worth the wait. (Unless you desire to skip the explanation and see the end, I won"t it is in upset.)

The rate of light is the speed limit that the universe, nothing can travel faster. Yet, an exciting paradox occurs from this assumed experiment: Imagine you room in a van driving 30 mile an hour and also you throw a sphere at 40 mile an hour out of the truck. Loved one to friend in the truck, the round is going 40 miles an hour. Loved one to one observer on the next of the roadway awkwardly watching you litter a sphere out that a truck, the is travel 70 miles an hour, due to the fact that the velocities add together. 

Now imagine the exact same scenario except instead the a ball, you decide to bright a flashlight the end of your car. How rapid is the irradiate traveling to an observer (why is he watching you prefer that) top top the side of the road? The speed of light. That doesn"t issue how quick the van is going, the light will not go any type of faster.

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Now imagine the same truck, however with a flashlight in the bed. The flashlight is set up with two mirrors some distance from each other, so the the irradiate bounces earlier and forth between the two right up and straight down. You are in the earlier of the truck going 40 miles an hour and also there is quiet that same random male on the side of the road. 

When the irradiate bounces from winter to mirror, you check out it go up and also down in the truck. Because the van is moving, however, Creeper man sees it really differently than you do. The sees it going in a triangle. In various other words, he sees the light (traveling the same speed come both him and you) walk a longer distance in the exact same amount the time.

Or is the the same?

Velocity is the distance you take trip in a details amou. If the velocity stays the same and also the distance changes, it is physically difficult for the time to continue to be the same. In various other words, time itself moves slower for you due to the fact that you space moving.

If your brain isn"t blown up yet, consider the consequences; If time slows down when things is moving, and also distance is the only other part of the velocity equation, street must readjust as well. Once you room traveling at any type of velocity, distance literally contracts, also if only by a tiny amount.

So how far is it from coast to coast? because that someone was standing still, it"s 2,092 miles. Because that me taking a late night road pilgrimage in my space shuttle (any of you girls desire to have actually dinner with me in space?) at 1,000,000 miles an hour, it"s about 2,091.998 miles. How about if I could travel in ~ 92% of the rate of light? then it"s just 819.89 miles across America.

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One much more fun experiment, this time v time dilation: you send her 45 year old parents ~ above a surprise anniversary trip for two years in space, and their room shuttle go 99.9% that the rate of light. When they get back from their two year journey, lock are now 47. You, who was two decades old once they left, are currently a ripe 64.