An Example of Time Dilation

English Deutsch Français
English Deutsch Français

A spaceship is flying a distance of 5 light hours, for example from Earth to the planet Pluto. The speed can be regulated with the upper buttons.
The applet demonstrates that the clock in the spaceship goes more slowly then the two clocks of the system in which Earth and Pluto are motionless.


Formula 2

t' ... time indicated by the spaceship clock
t  ... time indicated by the clocks of the Eart-Pluto-system
v  ... speed of the spacecraft relatively to the system of Earth and Pluto
c  ... speed of light


  1. In a simplifying way there was assumed an inertial system in which Earth and Pluto are motionless; especially the motion of the two planets around the sun was neglected.
  2. According to an important result of the theory of relativity on observer in the Earth-Pluto-system would see the spacecraft shortened in the direction of motion. This so-called Lorentz-Contraction was not taken into consideration, in order to make it possible to read off the spaceship's clock.

Java-Physics Homepage
Physics Applets

© Walter Fendt, November 15, 1997
Last modification: January 21, 1999

Source file (German version):

This applet is part of the Contemporary College Physics Simulation Library.

[Home]  [Physics Lessons]  [Physics Review]  [Physics Links]

This web site is designed and maintained by Science Joy Wagon and may not be reproduced or redistributed without written permission from Science Joy Wagon.
Contact with comments.