from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The relativistic slowing of a clock that moves with respect to a stationary observer. Also called time dilatation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The slowing of the passage of time experienced by objects in motion relative to an observer; measurable only at relativistic speeds.


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  • The phenomenon whereby an observer finds that another's clock which is physically identical to their own is ticking at a slower rate as measured by their own clock. This is often taken to mean that time has "slowed down" for the other clock, but that is only true in the context of the observer's frame of reference. Locally (i.e., from the perspective of any observer within the same frame of reference, without reference to another frame of reference), time always passes at the same rate. The time dilation phenomenon applies to any process that manifests change over time. (Wikipedia)

    May 29, 2008