Einsteinian Relativity At A Personal Scale

This is really cool!:

Scientists have known for decades that time passes faster at higher elevations — a curious aspect of Einstein’s theories of relativity that previously has been measured by comparing clocks on the earth’s surface and a high-flying rocket.

Now, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have measured this effect at a more down-to-earth scale of 33 centimeters, or about 1 foot, demonstrating, for instance, that you age faster when you stand a couple of steps higher on a staircase.

Described in the Sept. 24 issue of Science, the difference is much too small for humans to perceive directly — adding up to approximately 90 billionths of a second over a 79-year lifetime — but may provide practical applications in geophysics and other fields.


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