Gravitational time dilation
- Gravitational time dilation is the effect of time passing at different rates in regions of different gravitational potential; the lower the gravitational potential (closer to the center of a massive object), the more slowly clocks run. Albert Einstein originally predicted this effect in his theory of relativity and it has since been confirmed by tests of general relativity.
This has been demonstrated by noting that atomic clocks at differing altitudes (and thus different gravitational potential) will eventually show different times. The effects detected in such experiments are extremely small, with differences being measured in nanoseconds.
Gravitational time dilation was first described by Albert Einstein in 1907 as a consequence of special relativity in accelerated frames of reference. In general relativity, it is considered to be a difference in the passage of proper time at different positions as described by a metric tensor of spacetime. The existence of gravitational time dilation was first confirmed directly by the Pound-Rebka experiment.