Friday, 4 November 2011

Computers and Time - Special Relativity

In one of my previous Posts   i explained how
 to replace a lithium battery. The battery manages the time on the computer and retains the CMOS settings. Today I'd  like to reflect on the puzzling issue that occurs when objects move really fast and how computers are affected by that.

The original idea was brought forward by Einstein with the general theory of relativity and is discussed by physicists the world over to this day. So what happens to the CMOS at speed. To be totally honest grasping the concept of relativity is mind blowing. Simply accepting it like I accept the sun rises is much easier. Even so curiosity gets the better of me and so the question is asked.

Lets lay out the facts

1. CMOS battery keeps up the time

2. It also maintain the BIOS settings

3. Basic settings are held in a Solid State chip as a reserve.

4. All computers on earth revolve at  generally the same speed. So "time lag", is not  really an  issue.

Lets assume one of  the computers does a very fast trip to the moon. Its clock is set to exactly the same time as the one on earth from  where it left. Upon return the time is different. The fast travelling machine's clock has slowed down. Assuming that a program had to be changed during travel from earth and that synchronising was dependent on exact time then compensation would have to be made.  As this phenomena seems to have been proved repeatedly it shows that the world does not move in a single time but rather in multiple zones. It could perhaps be said that all people are in slightly different time zones, and not in the greenich mean time sense, but in the relativity sense.

Computers are functioning machines with  logic at the core. It is either yes or no. One or zero. It is a perplexing puzzle how such a machine can be modified externally simply by speed. The CMOS  battery has not changed. It still outputs its steady voltage yet the time changes. This is proof that we live in a marvelous puzzle of a universe.

http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html

http://beepingcomputer.blogspot.com/2011/06/computer-clock-and-cmos-settings.html#more

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