Orwell wrote:Basically, time is not a constant, but why is it not a constant? And can I use this excuse to say that the due date of this very important paper travelled at light speed while I remained stationary, writing it?
the classic example is you are traveling in a train and there is another train alongside your train at the same speed. there is a mirror on the other train, directly across from you. you shine a flashlight at the mirror and observe how fast it takes to see the light in the mirror. to you, the light simply has to travel across to the mirror and back to you in a straight line.
but to an observer standing on the ground, the light beam has to travel at an angle, because the position of the trains when you shine the light, when the light hits the mirror, and when the light hits your eye, are all different. the light, then, has to travel a greater distance than just the distance between the two trains.
but since the speed of light is constant, the time you observe the light to reflect back from the mirror is shorter than the time the observer on the ground observes.
ergo, time is not a constant. and the second matrix was created.
the difference between relativistic and classical understanding of time stems from the fact that light moves through a vacuum at the speed of light regardless of the observer's frame of reference, whereas in classical physics, velocity is dependent on the observer's frame of reference.