Game Development Reference

In-Depth Information

Now, besides those implications to games involving space flight or high-velocity travel,

time dilation is also important to some surprising digital electronic applications. For

instance, the Global Positioning System (GPS), described in detail in
Chapter 22
, must

take relativistic time dilation into account when calculating position. The satellite's high

speed slows the clock compared to your watch on Earth; however, being farther up the

Earth's gravity causes it to tick faster than a terrestrial clock. The specifics of this com‐

bined effect are discussed in
Chapter 22
.

Another point you might find interesting is that it is now easy to see how the “you can't

travel faster than light” rule is a result of the theory of relativity. Should you accelerate

such that your velocity,
v
, is equal to
c
, the Lorentz transformation attempts to divide

by zero. For games where faster-than-light travel is a practical necessity, you will have

to imagine a mechanism to prevent this but be able to break the rules with style.