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Physics  2004

On the Clock Paradox in the case of circular motion of the moving clock

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Abstract:

In this paper we deal analytically with a version of the so called clock paradox in which the moving clock performs a circular motion of constant radius. The rest clock is denoted as (1), the rotating clock is (2), the inertial frame in which (1) is at rest and (2) moves is I and, finally, the accelerated frame in which (2) is at rest and (1) rotates is A. By using the General Theory of Relativity in order to describe the motion of (1) as seen in A we will show the following features. I) A differential aging between (1) and (2) occurs at their reunion and it has an absolute character, i.e. the proper time interval measured by a given clock is the same both in I and in A. II) From a quantitative point of view, the magnitude of the differential aging between (1) and (2) does depend on the kind of rotational motion performed by A. Indeed, if it is uniform there is no any tangential force in the direction of motion of (2) but only normal to it. In this case, the proper time interval reckoned by (2) does depend only on its constant velocity v=romega. On the contrary, if the rotational motion is uniformly accelerated, i.e. a constant force acts tangentially along the direction of motion, the proper time intervals \$do depend\$ on the angular acceleration alpha. III) Finally, in regard to the sign of the aging, the moving clock (2) measures always a \$shorter\$ interval of proper time with respect to (1).

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