27 July 2006

Let Einstein help you board your plane

  • 29 July 2006
  • Ben Longstaff
  • Magazine issue 2562
If you want to get onto that airliner without the usual crush and rush, then let relativity be your guide

FROM YOUR chair in the departure lounge you can already see the plane, tanks topped up, ready to go. All that stands between you and a speedy departure are your fellow passengers.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are now ready to begin boarding..."

The surge begins, and within a few minutes you are all hopelessly backed up in the bridge onto the plane. It's enough to give you air rage. What's so hard about getting into a seat?

You may not realise it, but it's a question with cosmic significance. While shuffling on board a plane feels like a distinctly Earth-bound experience, there's more to it than that. In what appears to be the first out-of-physics application for Einstein's theory of relativity, it seems the answer to faster boarding lies in a trip through space-time. And, you'll be glad to hear, this approach shows there really are ways to improve the ...

The complete article is 2223 words long.
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