How does time-dilation work?

Schematic representation of asymmetric velocit...

Schematic representation of asymmetric velocity time dilation. The animation represents motion as mapped in a Minkowski space-time diagram, with two dimensions of space, (the horizontal plane) and position in time vertically. The circles represent clocks, counting lapse of proper time. The Minkowski coordinate system is co-moving with the non-accelerating clock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have an alternative way to explain this effect.

First, some background. Time-dilation is when clocks at different locations run at different speeds,  because of the different conditions at the two locations. Specifically, time passes slower in regions of  higher gravity (and faster in lower gravity). Likewise time runs slower for systems with higher acceleration, and faster in lower acceleration.

This has nothing to do with errors in the clocks. Nor does it matter what type of clock is used, mechanical or atomic. Instead time really does run differently, and it affects life itself. It is somewhat weird to think that your feet (which are in a slightly higher gravitational field) age slower than your head, but nonetheless your body still holds together! OK, the differences are not great, but it is the principle that counts. And the twin-paradox is downright spooky too.

The usual explanations for this involve the Lorentz equations, which allow the effect to be represented mathematically and quantified. But a deep explanation of what *is* time dilation is still lacking. It’s thought to be a property of spacetime, but that is only a partial explanation as spacetime itself is a mathematical model.

Moving beyond mathematical models and into ontological explanations is what the Cordus conjecture does well, and here again we have an alternative explanation. This offers an explanation of how time-dilation occurs at the subatomic level and then scales up to chemical bonds and ultimately to the mechanics of moving clock-hands and the physiology of living bodies.

For a start, we accept that time dilation does occur, and we accept also that atomic clocks do show a physical representation of that effect (as opposed to some other effect). Then we apply the Cordus model, whereby each particule has two ends which are energised in turn at its frequency. Now, (this next bit is important) energisation involves pushing discrete forces out into the external environment. So the frequency at which  this happens is affected by the conditions in the external environment. That external environment is the 3D world beyond the particule, and it does not matter if it is only a vacuum. (The Cordus fabric is the substitute concept for the spacetime of general relativity).

The external environment is what we call the fabric, and it comprises the discrete forces of all the other particules in the observable universe. All of which are likewise trying to push out discrete forces at their own individual frequencies. So what this Cordus theory offers is a way to understand the causality from the inner workings of the particle (the hidden-variables), to the discrete forces being produced at a frequency, to the cumulative effect (fields) of many particules affecting each other. The important insight provided by the Cordus theory is that the causality works in the reverse direction too. Thus the fabric, which is the cumulative effect of the discrete forces of many particules, has a way to cause the frequency of one particule to change. If we also adopt the Cordus idea that frequency *is* time for the particule concerned, then an explanation for time dilation is immediately  available.  Here it is:

The Cordus theory of time provides a mechanism whereby the external environment can push back in and affect the frequency of the particule. The proposed mechanism is as follows. An encounter with greater fabric density causes the frequency of a particule to slow down, hence time runs slower. This is because the high density of external discrete forces makes it difficult for the particule to emit its own discrete forces > emission is retarded >  energisation of reactive end is delayed > frequency lengthens.

It is known from general relativity that a body experiences time dilation in any of the following three situations: relativistic velocity, or acceleration, or in a high gravitation field. According to the Cordus time theory, all these are situations of  greater fabric density: the first because the fast-moving particule is at a speed approaching that of the fabric itself and therefore emission of the particule’s discrete forces is resisted (from the perspective of the particule, the external fabric is saturated),  the second because the accelerating particule emits discrete forces which it then moves into, thus creating its own locally high fabric density, and the third because high gravitation field is intrinsically a high external fabric density. In all these situations higher fabric density causes slowing of time. So Cordus also provides a single underlying mechanism for why these three situations are equivalent.

So to summarise, we have a mechanism to explain why the frequency of a particule is affected by velocity, acceleration, or gravitational field. How then does time dilation occur? Well, that’s also easy to explain, though it needs another piece of the Cordus theory. This is that the frequency of a particle determines the moments in time at which its discrete forces are available to interact with other particules. Particules only interact via their discrete forces. Those interactions are the basis for the strong force, chemical bonds, and the electro-magnetic-gravitational forces. (Cordus also provides a theory for the unification of the forces/interactions.) In turn these interactions determine the atomic structure, chemistry, kinetics and kinematics of the particule. And physiology is built on chemistry.

So anything, like fabric density,  that changes the frequency of a particule automatically changes the frequency of all of the mechanics, chemistry, and even life processes, with which that particule is engaged. This is what the fabric does, and it does it to whole assemblies of matter at once. Higher fabric density slows down the frequencies of all the particules in the object in that volume of space. And since, according to the Cordus theory, time  for a particule (or bonded assembly of particules) is nothing more than its frequency, when the frequency changes the passage of time also changes.

So that is why time-dilation is not simply a measurement effect, or a problem with mechanical time-pieces. Instead it slows down (or speeds up) the passage of time for all particules in that volume of space.

This understanding of time-dilation requires the Cordus theories for:

  • Frequency and internal structure of particules
  • discrete forces,
  • strong force
  • force unification,
  • time at the level of single particules
  • fabric concept

The existing theories of physics do not have this breadth of coverage, so if all of these really are necessary to explain time-dilation then one can see why Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity would struggle to explain it.

This Cordus explanation applies equally to a living body experiencing time-dilation. Thinking is a chemical process and Aging is a physiological process of chemical degradation, so any process that slows the frequency of the components of the atoms will also slow time. But this is no solution for longevity, because such a person would not experience any advantage, because their thoughts and movements would also be slowed. They would not be able to do anything more with their time. The only effect is that they would notice on meeting is that other people’s histories were compressed (or stretched).

Read more here:

Pons, D.J. (2013) What really is time? A multiple-level ontological theory for time as a property of matter. vixra, 1-40 DOI:


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  1. #1 by jas jodi on March 15, 2013 - 8:59 pm

    Makes sense

    Kind regards

  2. #2 by theufopilot on January 8, 2015 - 4:54 pm

    Space time density should be the reason for time dilation, light and time remain relative within it. If you had a chunk of space time that was reduced some way in density, time should move faster, the same goes for light, space time may be regulated by the mass of the virtual particles or matter, the more mass in one region of space time, the slower things interact with each other. On a planet with very high mass and a large gravity, the speed of light will remain relative even though the clocks that measure it are running slower than they normally would. BEC or Bose Einstein condensates are now being used to slow and stop light, even holding data within the light without damaging it, this makes me think that space time is but another state of matter.

  1. Reality and apparent simultaneity | Cordus
  2. Which perspective of time is correct: the absolute clock of quantum mechanics or the spacetime of general relativity? | Cordus

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