A second of time is defined as x oscillations of a cesium atom's resonant frequency, and is commonly measured in
atomic clocks. If an atomic clock is propelled at near the speed of light (or at any speed), wouldn't that definition of a second be distorted? If so, shouldn't we add a longitude and latitude to the definition since
all places on earth travel at different speeds?
Asked by: Ryan Gallagher
A second of time can only be defined relative to the observer. Whether you determine the
passage of one second of time with a stopwatch or a Cesium 133 atom, you want the source of
that measurement to be in your own inertial frame. What you are measuring is the passage
of LOCAL time. There is no universal inertial frame of reference that can determine an
'absolute' second to correct for.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor
'For the sake of persons of ... different types, scientific truth should be presented in different forms, and should be regarded as equally scientific, whether it appears in the robust form and the vivid coloring of a physical illustration, or in the tenuity and paleness of a symbolic expression.'