Drink Induced Time Dilation Effect

Quantum Qorner
Drunk on Science

Too much is not enough, it’s over too soon: Drink Induced Time Dilation Effect
(or…the bits missing from Einstein’s General Relativity)

Author: Round A.Bout

Originally published on World Drinking Tour June 14th 2006 and in GTG Dec 2009

Applied Science

Sorry to start talking quantum mechanics before we’ve even started drinking (although this inversion of cause and effect could in itself be proof that serious drinking is definitely going to happen) but I’ve been pondering the subject of how time becomes increasingly compressed in proportion to the volume of alcohol consumed.

I shan’t bore you with my highly scientific analysis, but here are my conclusions:

1. Start drinking as soon as you can, because you will almost certainly run out of time later (although it has been known for the bar to run out of stock first, but that’s a different problem…)

2. The reason you can’t remember anything about an evening after a certain time is that after a certain volume the evening ceases to exist.

3. Some misguided folk think the time-dilation effect can be counteracted by doubling up on the orders as the evening progresses. Unfortunately this is self-defeating, particularly when at closing time and with a taxi waiting, you have to down four Westvleteren 12s in 45 seconds.

4. The compression of time has a benign effect on the journey home, because it allows you to get home before you need the loo (or before you need the wash basin…..depending on the nature of the emergency). This is particularly useful on the long taxi ride back from St. Sixtus to Brussels, or from The Skim to Knightsbridge.

5. The reason sober people think you are slurring your speech when you’re drunk is that they’re in a different time dimension. Quite by accident I’ve discovered the antidote to this – drink Westvleteren 12s. I’ve found they allow you to switch between time dimensions at will. This is particularly useful when phoning random friends on the journey home. Note: this only works if you stick exclusively to the 12’s – diluting with 6’s and 8’s counteracts the effect.

6. In physics, every action has an opposite reaction, and the proof of this is that the compression of time is balanced by the expansion of your mobile phone bill.

Fancying myself to be a mathematician (a common fantasy here in Croydon), I’ve devised the following formula to describe the above phenomena:

DT = t / ( 15v * square(AI))

DT = Drink Time (perceived time in hours)
t = “normal” time elapsed in minutes
v = Volume (in units) consumed
AI = Alcoholic Index

Sample AI values:

Water = 1
Budweiser = 1.0000000000000000001
Cobra = 5
Addlestone’s = 7 (note: based on observation rather than experience)
Westvleteren 6 = 6
Westvleteren 8 = 8
Westvleteren 12 = 12
Dry Martini (c/o Tiger Tiger, Croydon) = 1
Dry Martini (c/o Zaika, Kensington) = 25
Coffee = 0.5

You will note that although increased volume results in ever more compression of time, time never stops completely. Note also, that drinking coffee or not having at least one drink every 15 minutes reverses the effect and can cause time to drag. Worse still, drinking nothing at all makes DT seem, literally, like an eternity. This means you will have no choice to repeat the challenge the following day. This is proof that there really is a meaning to life, the universe and everything.


Addendum Dec 2009: drinking multiple units of water or coffee will also reduce perceived time – that’s because you keep wanting to go to the loo – but the effect is much smaller than for proper alcoholic drinks (and it’s not as much fun).

GTG Downtime

Quantum Qorner
Drunk on Science

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