Time Dilation


In the famous movie «The Matrix» Neo dodge bullets for him being around slowed.  People affected by stressful situations often report about «time-slowing» during  the fall, car accidents and other unexpected events.

In that case, why in the fall people do not commit or do not have time to take the necessary steps to avoid falling over, if they have this «time»?

This question occupied the minds of many people, including scientists at Baylor College of Medicine  USA: Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences David Eagleman and two of his graduate students Chess Stetson and Matthew Fiesta.

The Scientists decided to test: whether in times of danger a person perceives himself in slow motion?

To get people to really get scared, the researchers decided to lose volunteers on special grid (Suspended Catch Air Device — SCAD) from a very high altitude (50 meters) without insurance, even backwards, and they did it twice. This method make people feel that they are flying a lot longer than it actually happened, because on the third second of flying their fall speed was 113 kilometers per hour.

The researchers created the so-called «perceptual chronometer» and fixed it on the volunteers wrist. This device resembles watches. Its display can be configured in different modes in which the numbers on display flashes at a certain speed. So, if the human brain can really speed up the perception of reality in a time of danger, then, according to scientists, during the fall of the volunteers will have to see what numbers is displayed on the screen.

However, a similar result in the experiment had not been received. Many participants rated the duration of they own fall on 36% longer than fall of other participants. In the experiment, the scientists found that during the fall of the subjects easily read the numbers that are displayed at a normal rate, and could not distinguish  them from each other, when they are displayed at high speed.

Therefore, whatever the perception of time in the fall — our body and rate of reaction  would continue working as usual.


Do you pay attention to the wonderful resourcefulness cats? They always land on four feet and can calmly jump from great heights.

There is separate area of science that studies the fall of cats called Pazematology (from the Greek «pasema» — «Fall»). Richard Montgomery (Mathematics Professor) developed a theory, called «falling cat theorem», which states that a cat that falls back down, turns back up, even if the angular momentum is zero.

And in 1976 Gordon Robinson (veterinary surgeon from New York) describe the so-called «high-rise syndrome cats», according to which: «…than higher the building, from which the cat fell, the less damage will get a pet. This is paradoxically, that the 15th floor is more safer than 2nd.»