Answer to Question #114635 in Mechanics | Relativity for Tom

Question #114635
Everyone knows the twin paradox right? Well, what I was thinking was: What if the twin in the rocket travelled in a circle and not in the oval-like shape they do? This would mean that the centripetal-acceleration would be constant and there would only be one point of deceleration, meaning one Frame of Reference. I am just wondering what happens with the twin on the rocket? Do they age slower? Could someone who understand General Relativity a bit better explain this to me?
Expert's answer


Special relativity considers only inertial reference frames. The frame of reference associated with a rocket that takes off from the Earth and then returns to it is not inertial: the rocket accelerates at least three times - during takeoff, during reversal and during landing.

It is impossible to solve the paradox within the framework of special relativity (STV). However, the paradox has an explanation within the general theory of relativity (GTR). It should be noted that only one of the brothers was moving with acceleration (therefore, the situation is not symmetrical). It is he who must remain younger than his brother, who was in the inertial frame of reference.

The first experiment to confirm this effect was set in 1971. Within the measurement error, the GTR prediction was confirmed. Similar experiments (with increasing accuracy) also confirmed the correctness of the calculations (with an accuracy of 0.01%).

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