How to see time travel


Joe Hanson explains how we can see time travel or, better said, how subatomic particles feel the dilation of time as they fly around us at near the speed of light. Using what is called a cloud chamber, a particle detector, you can detect muons, secondary radiation particles that are generated after particles from the sun have slammed into molecules of air.

The muons live a very short life and they should only travel down a few hundreds of meters, not over 100 km. This way we see the time dilation in effect: the muons sees that it lives ok, but with the space ahead of it very compressed and we see it living more that it normally would.

And we see these muons reacting with the cloud chamber. They travel at 98% the speed of light and thus live longer due to the special relativity effect called time dilation.

The cloud chamber is composed of a sealed container with an alcohol soaked cloth on top, a metal plate on the bottom sitting on top of a tray filled with dry ice. It costs about $30 to make. In it you will have a saturated alcohol vapor and any charged particles that will fly though the chamber will rip electrons off of the vapor and clouds will spontaneously form.

You will then see a series of streaks generated by the cosmic radiation.

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