Team Proves Einstein's Relativity Affects Aging

Gravity's effect on time means your hair is aging faster than your feet
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2010 4:13 AM CDT
Albert Einstein stands beside a blackboard with chalk-marked mathematical calculations written across it, 1921.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – People age faster—very, very slightly faster—the higher above ground they live, according to scientists testing Einstein's theory of relativity. Researchers using ultra-precise atomic clocks found that time, as Einstein predicted, is slowed down by gravity even over minuscule distances. The scientists found that just moving a couple of feet up a flight of stairs will shave 90 billionths of a second off a lifetime, the Telegraph reports.

People who spent their entire life at the top of the Empire State Building would have a lifetime 104 millionths of a second shorter than if they'd stayed at ground level, say the researchers. "It's not a road to youth," an MIT physicist tells National Geographic. "I think what's impressive here is the incredible precision of the clocks." Scientists say the team's calculations could be used to improve technology used to measure the Earth's gravitational field and predict the movements of bodies of water.

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