Letter | Published:

The Clock Paradox in Relativity

Naturevolume 180pages12751276 (1957) | Download Citation



As I have repeatedly pointed out, symmetrical ageing in this problem is an inevitable requirement of the postulate of relativity. I have given tne argument in the simplest possible form1 in order to facilitate refutation if it is indeed wrong. I therefore find it inexplicable that Sir Charles Darwin2, while completely ignoring this argument (in which he is at one with all other critics), can write that “the accepted theory of relativity ċ quite definitely implies that a space-traveller will return from his journey younger than his stay-at-home twin brother”. His reason for this assertion appears to be identical with that of Dr. J. H. Fremlin, on which I have already commented3. Since that comment appears to have been inadequate, I will consider the problem posed in more detail, in order to bring out what I believe to be the misconception underlying such arguments as that of Sir Charles Darwin.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Nature, 179, 1242 (1957).

  2. 2

    Nature, 180, 976 (1957).

  3. 3

    Nature, 180, 499 (1957).

Download references

Author information


  1. Purley, Surrey



  1. Search for HERBERT DINGLE in:

About this article

Publication history

Issue Date




By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.