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I recently read an article about relativity ( The article stated that the "The combined speed of any object's motion through space and its motion through time is always precisely equal to the speed of light." For an object moving at 90% the speed of light, it should only be moving at 10% the speed of light through time. I assume that means that time should pass only at 10% the actual speed of time for the object (correct me if I am wrong). However based on the Lorenz factor, time passes at 0.43 the actual speed of time for the object. Why is this so?

Furthermore when time dilation occurs it is only seen by someone else in a stationary frame of reference. In the moving object's frame of reference time does not slow down at all. Does this mean that the combined speed of the moving object's motion through space and time can be more than the speed of light in the moving object's frame of reference?

Ralph, you have asked me five more questions, including questions that would take a semester to answer.

Relativity is such a difficult subject that many of Einstein's colleagues in 1905 - 1930 didn't believe him.

The best I can do for you is to recommend a textbook: Taylor and Wheeler, Space-time physics. If you can read this introductory book, you may BEGIN to understand relativity. Then ask me your questions.

I admire your desire to learn relativity. Can you enroll in aq college class?

Uncle Ben


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Uncle Ben


I can answer questions regarding Einstein's Theory of Relativity, particularly in Special Relativity. I will not answer homework questions or mathematical problems that require special symbols.


I have taught physics at the college level, undergraduate and graduate, for many years including Special Relativity. I have taught at Johns Hopkins, Case-Western, and MIT. I have also served as a staff member of the Commission on College Physics, which was supported by the National Science Foundation to recommend improvements in the curriculum of college physics departments in the US. I am also the author of a textbook titled Vector Calculus, which was used at MIT in the teaching of electromagnetic theory and relativity. My research interests were mainly in solid state physics, especially the properties of metals at low temperatures. I am listed in the publication known as American Men of Science.

I have dozens of papers published in the Physical Review and in the American Journal of Physics.

I hold a Ph.D. degree in physics from the Johns Hopkins University.

Past/Present Clients
Johns Hopkins University, Case-Western Reserve University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Empire State College, Georgetown University, Commission on College Physics, and UNESCO.

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