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Time Dilation Mainframe

The computer stands still, the users move at a high fraction of light speed.
  [vote for,

Thats it really. We build a really big computer, put it at the centre of a space station and spin the station up to some fraction of light speed (hopefully without turning the crew to jelly). They then have the universes fastest computer at their disposal. Of course from our point of view they just have the universes slowest brains but thats not going to bother them.
RobertKidney, Jun 29 2003


       Even aside from all the other objections, the centrifugal (or centripetal, if you prefer) forces will have liquefied your crew long before time dilation effects become significant.
DrCurry, Jun 29 2003

       //Of course from our point of view they just have the universes slowest brains but thats not going to bother them.// ....and neither could they appreciate any relativistic effects themselves.
Why do we have to build a big computer for this to work?
How does this thing get built?.
What is the point?
gnomethang, Jun 29 2003

       Because from the point of view of our hypothetical users (if we can stop them turning into some kind of paste) the computer is very fast. In the time between clicking ok and, umm, playing a game of freecell the computer could do maybe a day of calculations. In a few 'days' it could find the cure to all known diseases, analyse every signal ever recorded for the seti project and possibly even find out the ultimate question to life the universe and everything.
RobertKidney, Jun 29 2003

       I don't think advances in medical research, for example, are purely a function of processing speed.   

       Or am I missing the point?
snarfyguy, Jun 29 2003

       So in order to use this very fast computer, you have to move to a space station and say goodbye to the rest of the human race forever, since by the time the computer figures out all the ultimate questions and you finish playing Freecell, the sun has shriveled to a cinder.   

       Well, I know some techies who might find this a fair trade...
hob, Jun 29 2003

       I just saw the movie "Contact" only last night. hmmmmmmm
thumbwax, Jun 29 2003

       So does Contact half bake this idea?
RobertKidney, Jun 30 2003

       How about just putting them into a coma? Then, when they come out of it, all their problems will be solved.
pluterday, Jun 30 2003

       Well RobertKidney, I think you're getting some of the basic physics wrong on this one. As you approach the speed of light, time slows down for you (although you do not notice this if you are on the space ship). If you then stop travelling at speed of light, you will find that you are ahead of time in comparison to your surroundings (i.e. you have travelled forward in time, in effect, like Einstein's twins - one flies away on a rocket at speed of light then returns after a year to find twin is shrivelled old man). The point is, the time dilation is the wrong way round for your idea - the computer on the space ship will not appear to be going very fast - it will appear to be going very slowly.
goff, Jun 30 2003

       [goff] - no, he has it right. Space *station*, not *ship*. The mainframe is sitting at the core, at rest; the users are rotating at relativistic velocities.   

       Actually, I'm kind of thinking this must be baked. Some companies have their customer service departments in just such an environment. I can't think of anything else which would explain their response times.
lurch, Jun 30 2003

       Ahhh, I see. Still won't work though, But for different reasons. Can'tbe bothered to explain them now as idea is therefore perfectly half-baked.
goff, Jul 01 2003


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