Watch: Would a Twin on Earth Really Age Faster Than One Traveling Through Space?

The science behind "the twins paradox" explained in just 3 minutes.

5. 27. 17 by Karla Lant
Image by pixabay

In this MinutePhysics video, the channel takes on the famous “twins paradox,” which provides a hypothetical situation to explain special relativity. In the twins scenario, one twin stays in the same place as the other flies out into space in a rocket ship, only to turn around and come back. We already know that moving things experience time more slowly, so the twin staying on Earth may assume that they are older than the astronaut twin. However, the twin on the rocket ship “sees” the Earth and the other twin moving.

As the twins watch each other, time seems to be faster to each observer relative to the other, yet we already know that the moving twin experiences less time because of the motion. This is the same reason that atomic clocks on satellites and on Earth register slightly different times. So how is it possible that time can appear to be faster for both of two different twins at the same time? And of the two twins, one Earthbound and the other exploring the galaxy, who is actually older?

MinutePhysics explains that the mystery is solved by Lorentz transformations, and provides a great way to think about the problem visually. Spoiler alert: riding on rocket ships can keep you younger.

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.


Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy


Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.