An interesting (IMO) theory related to Albert Einstein's famous Theory of Relativity. Einstein discovered that light is observed moving at the same speed no matter what speed the observer is moving. This led to an interesting paradox; If you are 'standing still' and measure the speed of a light ray coming at you, you will measure it at about 300,000 kilometers a second. However, if you are travelling at 1/2 the speed of light and measure a ray of light coming at you, you will still measure it's speed at 300,000 K/sec. Through these realizations, Einstein discovered that the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower percieved time moves. This was later proved correct when 2 cesium clocks were syncronized on Earth and then one was taken on a space shuttle mission. At the end of the mission after the shuttle landed, the times were compared and the clock that was in space travelling at 20,000 miles an hour was slightly behind the clock that remained on Earth.

I wonder what it would be like to actually travel at close to (remember E=MC^2 so you could never travel at light speed) the speed of light... that would be trippy. You would have travelled YEARS in earth time, your great-great grandchildren would be dead, but you have only been travelling a couple of minutes...

This idea was expounded upon in a story called "The Pusher" by John Varley. The Pushers travel in the near-light-speed ships (pushing c) but they don't interact with the people of earth much because the people are all long dead when they return from their few months in space. But there is one, who, when on earth leave, finds a young girl and gives her a glowing red plasma ruby (a by product of the near-light drive) which is a magical gift for her. When he returns, she is in her 30's but he can make contact with her and surprise her by giving her another ruby. In this way he has someone to talk to on his stays on earth.

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