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You are quite right: Einstein is using highly idealised concepts in a thought experiment. In general ALL interactions between light and matter take nonzero time. But Einstein is justified in this approach because: As stated by Nikos M in his comment: "Einstein's observation does not need the light to be reflected, one can very well get the same ...


3

First of all, physics does not ever talk about the question of existence, but about useful descriptions and predictions of observations. No physicist will ever prove to you he is not just a figment of your imagination but he can prove to you that Newton's law works pretty well for what you see. In the scientific method, a theory is indeed used until it ...


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One way to imagine computing the reflection delay is to assume that the reflection process takes place within the first skin depth of the material. Taking numbers straight from the Wikipedia article, a copper conductor reflecting a 100 MHz (radio) wave would do so within its outermost 6.6 μm. In vacuum, light crosses 6.6 μm in about 20 femtoseconds. Skin ...


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Can time be quantised? Would it be the smallest distance between two photons moving in the same direction or the shortest wavelength? "Can" time be quantized? Yes it can. We have atomic clocks working for us after all, giving us increments of time. Is this phenomenon sufficient to say time in general comes in increments? No. The same is true about ...


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"Using the equation of the time unit I derived for time, we can say now a unit of our time for an observer will be the distance (light will cover) for a unit of time to pass for us (observer)" Is this observer meant to be the one who sees the object with the walls A and B moving at velocity v? If so, then although it's true this observer will see the length ...


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I think what you are missing is that these energies are eigenvalues of the time-independent Hamiltonian. i.e. They correspond to stationary states that do not change in time. The scenario you describe is not time-independent - therefore the difference between the energy levels will carry some uncertainty corresponding to the lifetime of the excited state.


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No. My answer is negative, even if I confirm the statements of other answers: "The first thing is almost completely arbitrary, especially in full general relativity. The second thing is an unambiguous result of an experiment."(Jerry Schirmer) "In Einsteinian relativity all observers can still agree on a number of facts, they are just ...


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This isn't a complete answer, but John Baez gave a pretty good treatment of this in a series of blog posts (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4; arXiv paper with some more stuff). Basically, he defines what he calls the "quantropy", which is just the classical entropy formula with $\beta$ replaced by $-i/\hbar$ and the energy replaced with the action. (Note ...


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The answer is: Solve Newton's second law. Really, $\vec F = m\vec a$ is meant to be a second-order differential equation, with the force dependent on position (and, sometimes, time). Writing it as $$ \vec F(\vec x,t) = m \frac{\mathrm{d}^2\vec x}{\mathrm{d}t^2}$$ makes manifest that the distance travelled by something, is, in general, the solution $\vec ...


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You have to be careful about the difference between speed and velocity. Saying that two clocks are moving at the same speed is different from saying that the relative speed between the two clocks is zero. For example, as measured in some inertial frame of reference, two clocks can be moving at the same speed but in opposite directions, in which case their ...


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If we were to try to standardize a unit of time with another alien species based on something fundamental to the laws of physics rather than an arbitrary division of an arbitrary planet rotating an arbitrary sun, do we have anything fundamental and universal reference point to base it on? Yes. For example, the second is currently defined according to an ...


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The aim of special relativity and of spacetime (in particular: the Minkowski space time) is not to know about what time is. Spacetime is showing a relation between space and time from an observer's view only - and this whatever time is in reality (including the question if time exists or not). The result is that time (i.e. the value measured by clocks) may ...



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