Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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gold foil time

With accurate timing, measure the alpha particles entry and exit.
  [vote for,

I don't know if this has been done but my mental curiosity wonders if there is a time difference between an alpha particle traveling through the space of the gold foil and an empty space. Since charged and the space being full of electron orbited nuclei in the electromagnetic field, timings should be consistent with current models.

We all know the difference of walking through an empty office and one full of co-workers.

wjt, Aug 03 2019


       Interesting question. A beam of alpha particles traveling through a material loses energy following a Bragg curve, as individual particles in the beam collide with particles of the material, losing energy (speed) which is deposited into the material. So alpha particles which happen to collide with particles of the gold foil clearly do travel more slowly through the gold foil as a result of the collision. I do not know what happens to alpha particles which pass all the way through the foil without colliding with any of the particles which make up the foil. Presumably the alpha particles would be affected by the electromagnetic field of the nearby gold particles, but not substantially affected by gravity or nuclear forces from the gold particles. For light waves, the effect of electromagnetic fields induced in the gold foil is to reflect the light wave (if the foil is smooth). But for alpha particles, I would guess electromagnetic forces would cause the alpha particles to slow down quite a bit, as the fast-moving positively- charged alpha particle induces a magnetic field and an electric field in the gold foil. I would guess this would be similar to what happens when a magnet is dropped through a copper pipe, but sorry to say my untrained mind does not know what would happen.   

       Sometimes when the office is only half-full of coworkers I walk more quickly to get out of there.
sninctown, Aug 03 2019

       I can see people sneaking an emitter and a receiver on opposite sides of Fort Knox, so people can check the time.
not_morrison_rm, Aug 03 2019

       You could refill Fort Knox thrice with what we're spending in 2019 on the military alone.
Voice, Aug 04 2019

       Well, light travels more slowly in anything that's not a vacuum.   

       I wonder what happens if you declare the speed of light to be constant *in any medium*, and simply allow the speed of time to vary instead.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2019

       Same thing innit?
pocmloc, Aug 04 2019

       Dunno. There are other things going on in non-vacuum that depend on time.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 04 2019

       //allow the speed of time to vary instead//   

       You emerge from the pool late for your next appointment.
pertinax, Aug 05 2019

       //I wonder what happens if you declare the speed of light to be constant *in any medium*, and simply allow the speed of time to vary instead.// - More useful to imagine *everything* travelling at c *all the time* - so if you have a graph with 3D space on the x-axis and time on the y-axis, your vector of motion through this spacetime is always of length c. So, if you're moving fast through space you're moving slowly through time, and vice versa.
hippo, Aug 05 2019

       Yes, that's sort of what I meant. Everything would be travelling in spacetime at C (as under normal relativity), but light would travel at C in all media. I could explain further but my head would explode.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2019

       There is a sense in which, in Relativity, time speeds up or slows down in order that the fundamental principles are not broken and all the sums add up. I think what you're saying is that in your New Theory of Relativity, as well as time-dilation, the density of the medium would increase or decrease in order to make the sums add up. Different observers will experience a region of space either as totally empty or as a treacle-like goo depending on the speed they are travelling at.
hippo, Aug 05 2019

       It's entirely possible that that's what I'm saying. Unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to know for sure. However, if it turns out to be a clever idea then yes, that's definitely what I'm saying.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 05 2019

       Perhaps the cleverness of the idea is also a relative concept and the same idea will appear more or less clever to different observers travelling at different speeds
hippo, Aug 05 2019

       I'm either travelling so slowly that this idea makes my brain feel as slow as treacley goo; or, I am travelling so fast that this explanation has gone completely over my head without me even noticing it.
pocmloc, Aug 05 2019

       //Different observers will experience a region of space either as totally empty or as a treacle-like goo depending on the speed they are traveling at//   


       Isn't light always in it's own medium?(except birth and death transitions), which means that this medium has to be affected by other stuff.
wjt, Aug 06 2019


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