Gravity More than a century ago, Einstein’s theory of general relativity fundamentally altered how people thought about the cosmos. Since then, researchers have shown that time is not moving steadily forward as previously thought.
That time moves more swiftly at the top of every staircase in the world than it does at the bottom is one of the eerie consequences of general relativity.
The stronger the effects of gravity are on an item the closer it gets to Earth, which causes this bizarre occurrence. Additionally,
time itself moves more slowly at higher altitudes and farther distances from Earth, where gravity has less of an impact, because general relativity explains gravity as the warping of space and time.
Do people on mountaintops age more quickly than those at sea level if time and gravity are related? Does a greater gravitational pull truly slow down ageing?
In fact, James Chin-wen Chou (opens in new tab), a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado,
Gravity Live Science
in an email that time truly flows more slowly for all things farther away from a gravitational field, such as Earth.
As a result, those who live at high elevations age a little bit more quickly than those who spend their days slogging through space at sea level.
Although slight, the variations are discernible. According to NIST, if you spent 30 years sitting at the top of Mount Everest, which is 29,000 feet (8,848 metres) above sea level, you would have aged 0.91 milliseconds more than if you had spent the same 30 years at sea level (opens in new tab).
The high-elevation twin would be 0.17 nanosecond older than their sea level twin if they were to rejoin after 30 years of being apart, with one moving to mile-high (1,600 m) Boulder, Colorado, and the other remaining where they were.
In a startling experiment, NIST researchers utilised one of the world’s most accurate atomic clocks to show that even a small amount of time—0.008 inch (0.2 millimeters)—can accelerate the time that passes.