Relativity Trail Copyrighted material. © relativitytrail.com
Cite (Book): Internet Archives APA Book
Luebeck, R. Relativity Trail. Mpls: L B Writ Publishing, (2008)
Cite (this web page)
Resolution of Einstein's Twins Paradox in Relativity
To resolve the Twins Paradox, one must begin by defining what the Paradox of the Twins is.
Einstein's treatment of relativity is not self-contradictory, strictly speaking.
After all, he did use quotes around "stationary" and "moving", and he never
offered an explanation of where the missing time in the Twins Paradox went.
He merely called it "peculiar", and let that comment stand the rest of his life.
The Twins Paradox is one of opposing interpretations: When an examiner claims
there is no "truth of the matter" regarding clock rates of different inertial frames,
or when he claims clocks of different inertial frames keep time at the same rate
from the God's eye view, he forces himself to claim that an inertial force creates
the time differential of the Twins Paradox in a twinkling, even though nothing is
involved but the simple transfer of local information.
When an examiner claims there is (typically) an actual difference in clock rates
between two inertial frames, no surprise such as found in the Twins Paradox
arises, i.e., no resolution is needed. Yet all the conclusions of Einstein's special relativity are preserved.
Einstein's clock synchronization (identically space-time) is a convenient pseudo
reality of simultaneity for each inertial frame, which can predict, but not
explain, the missing time of the Twins Paradox. When Einstein's
clock synchronization (identically space-time) is allowed a say in the matter,
a "jump in time" is claimed, which amounts to a disagreement between two
It is in a space-time diagram (spacetime diagram) that we find the infamous
sudden shift of a line of simultaneity. The further down the line of
simultaneity a transfer of clock information occurs between the two
pseudo realities, the greater the magnitude of the ultimate "jump in time",
the so called "miscalculation" or "misperception" explanation of
spacetime diagrams (space-time diagrams).
All the results of relativity can be deduced without employing Einstein's clock
synchronization. Thus, we need not be locked into a mode of thinking which will
bring us any surprise upon the change of an inertial frame. We can fully expect
the time differential upon reuniting, seeing plainly that an actual difference of
clock rates is what is bringing it about, and incrementally so.
At every step in Einstein's derivation, as well as in any experiment designed to
test the theory, information must be exchanged across inertial frames.
Party A cannot learn anything of Party B's clock rate or length without some sort
of signal jumping from one frame to the other. This applies to optical perception
as well as to a radio pulse. It is information alone that jumps from one inertial
frame to the other, to be used in one frame for the purposes of taking measure of
the party of the other frame.
No inertial force stemming from a change of inertial frame can affect the
information which jumps frames.
Physicists take the mutual effects of relativity as confirmation that uniform
motion is purely relative, and that there is therefore no meaning to be attached to
absolute uniform motion, and therefore of course, to actual differences in clock
rates, etc. But the time differential present in the Twins Paradox, showing up at the
same place-moment, does not fit with that interpretation. Therein only, lies the true
paradox - one interpretation must be chosen over the other. How has this been dealt
Without exception, it seems, examiners of relativity fail to realize that the very
transfer of information which is involved in mutual assessments across inertial
frames is also all that is involved in the turn-around associated with the Twins
Paradox; for without exception, they appeal to an inertial force associated with the
turn-around, which somehow suddenly creates the entire time differential, as
though some force could actually affect the transfer of information, which involves
nothing more than the simple act of starting a watch.
Do a search on this topic, and you will find the most famous physicists signed
on to such explanation, such sudden shift of a "line of simultaneity" in a
spacetime diagram (space-time diagram).
People seem to forget that Michelson's and Morley's slab was real, with real
separations and real place-moments. Such experiments dictated Einstein's
postulates, but they did not dictate his clock synchronization. With Einstein's clock
synchronization, each party calls simultaneous whatever appears simultaneous,
with light serving as the messenger of moments. Einstein's postulates demand a
time differential, but his clock synchronization obscures the cause of that
differential. It does this by obscuring the reality behind Einstein's assignments of
"stationary" and "moving" to two inertial frames. As we state on page 88 of
Relativity Trail, it nullifies the notion of a universal (albeit undetectable) frame of
reference. On page 82 we note that it proves to be a means to disregard physical
absolutes in favor of absolutes of measure.
At the conclusion of Einstein's kinematical section, where he noticed the
"peculiar" result of a time differential between reunited clocks, he should have
realized that his assignments of "stationary" and "moving" had meaning beyond
their characteristics of certain mutual effects.
The clock synchronization is where the reality gets obscured. The mutual effects
between two frames, which we can derive with or without employing this clock
synchronization, unfortunately reinforces the incorrect notion that there is no
"truth of the matter". That there is a truth of the matter stares us right in the
face when we look at the dispartiy between two reunited clocks at the same
Again, the experiments of the day drove Einstein's postulates of relativity. The
application of the absolute version of these postulates dictates our conclusion
of the time differential independent of Einstein's clock sychronization.
The fatal mistake made by examiners of the Twins Paradox is to apply Einstein's
clock synchronization to the analysis. It forces them to purport a perceived
"jump in time" for the suddenly returning astronaut.
The clock synchronization had been obscuring the reality behind Einstein's
assignments of "stationary" and "moving". The God's eye view reveals an
asymmetry, the particulars of which, can never be detected by the participants
The only correct time-checking paradigm to apply to the Twins Paradox is
the regular sending of radio pulses forth and back between the two parties.
That obvious paradigm shows plainly that there is no perceived jump in time,
rather an observed incremental build up of time-keeping asymmetry,
beginning at turn around. (See pages 12, 13 and diagram 7 on page 12 of
If you wish to understand what is actually creating the effects of relativity,
including symmetrically measured length contraction, mass increase and clock
slowing across inertial frames, you must let go of the clock synchronization.
And you must utilize the absolute speed of light in an absolute frame of reference.
It is the actual constant speed of light that dictates time-keeping of every nature.
Relativity Trail is completely consistent with, and in fact subsumes, Einstein's
relativity, with the effective equivalence of all inertial frames. Relativity Trail is
not the relativity of Lorentz or of the aether or of variable light speed. This book
is devoted primarily to two goals -- presenting relativity in absolute terms, devoid
of any mystery or ambiguity; and, corollary to this, refuting the common
explanations of the Twins Paradox.
Twins Paradox Resolution discusses the basics of motion
in absolute terms.
A Twins Paradox animation. Light rays and traveling
twins are diagrammed in absolute terms against the
(experimentally undetectable) rest state of the universe.
Twins Paradox Explained A lively discussion about the
misperceptions common among leading physicists.
Relativity Trail Synopsis A six page discussion which addresses
the postulates in more detail:
Relativity Trail, with 210 pages, 65 diagrams and 75 illustrations,
will provide you with complete detailed arithmetical derivations of all the
kinematical effects of special relativity. Everything is charted out in
absolute terms against the rest state of the universe for perfect clarity
as well as soundness of theoretical basis. It is the totality of the
universe that imparts the inertial properties of clock rates and lengths
which generate the effects of relativity. This is explained in detail in