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Can we travel faster than light?


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#46    Ozmeister

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE (Homer @ Mar 27 2002, 11:08 PM)
That's not entirely correct SaRuMaN.

Light bends around other celestial objects because it's those other objects that have mass. Mass causes gravity to bend or distort the literally shape of space/time. So when light is bending around an object, it is bending because space itself is bent and light has to bend with it

Light has no mass. The reason anything with mass can never go the speed of light is two-fold. It would take an infinate amount of energy to move an object with mass to the speed of light; AND it would take an infinate amount of time to do so. That's in accordance with the laws of physics as they're known today.

Physics is cool 8)

The greatest misconception that people have about Special Relativity's speed of light barrier is that Einstein never said that an object can't travel faster than lightspeed. Actually, SR doesn't preclude speeds faster than light.

What is a big no no is travel AT the speed of light.

It's what happens to matter and energy AT the speed of light which is the problem. Spacetime is such that when you achieve the speed of light, an object of mass "X" at rest, reaches infinite mass at precisely lightspeed. And therefore the energy needed to push the object at that speed becomes infinite as well. Or so the theory goes.

Problem with that....and it's something that Einstein had said himself......is when a theory begins to talk of infinite quantites of anything, the theory breaks down and becomes nonsensical. However, it's been the want of most of the physics community for the past 100 years to take Einstein's word as "bible", no matter the inconsistencies of infinite quantities. Yes, the theories are great at predicting the results of experiments in particle accelerators, but no particle has ever been pushed to the speed of light limit. Very close, yes, but not at (for the reasons previously given). However, given present science's incomplete understanding of the nature of particles such as photons, and their dual natures as particle/waves, only approximations as to the nature of these particles can be given.

Yes, photons appear to be massless (and of no size) particle-waves of various energies, but given that energy and mass are equivalent (E=MC^2), it seems that somewhere along the line there's a misunderstanding of what is going on.

The speed of light maybe a barrier for objects moving through spacetime in a conventional manner, but there's no reason that given a change of conditions to the way spacetime behaves, that FTL travel cannot be achieved.

We are children, so far as our knowledge of spacetime and such is concerned. We have a lot more to learn and it's patently obvious that the more we learn, the more we realise we don't know as much as we think we do. The breakthrough might come tomorrow, or in 100 years. But oneday, people will look back on discussions like these and laugh......as they sip a cup of coffee in the transit lounge of the New LA Spaceport, on 18 Scorpii 3 grin2.gif  grin2.gif

(BTW.....notice it's not called Einstein's LAW of SR (or GR.....General Relativity))



#47    MattDuk

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Posted 27 May 2004 - 02:02 PM

this thread is so cool, lol.

well i have an idea thats probably really stupid so i want all you clever people to give ur opinions on this......

if its not possible to go faster than the speed of light does it make sence that if you could open some kind of tunnel in space that anything that goes through it, such as a spacecraft could at least travel close to the spead of light, or at least very fast,  and then that ship can accelarate very fast it self through that tunnel then maybe it would be like for example running while on a train, but more like there being the track that the train is on moving very fast and then the train itself moving very fast across the moving track, then would u be moving faster , does this make sence. what i mean is that the tunel in space u travel through makes the ship or any matter that goes through it travel close to the spead of light, and at the same time the ship itself has the capabilities of traveling close to that speed, then if the ship would go at this speed while in this tunnel then would the speed the ship is traveling go through the tunnel any quicker and so would the ship go much faster than the speed of light becasue of this with out really the ship going faster than the speed of light or the tunnel u travel through accelerating things faster than light so no laws of physics would be broken or anything?  does this make any sence, im just a bored tenager who doesnt know what he is on about but this stuff really facinates me..................im such a geek. please like say if im an idiot.  thanks.


p.s.

theres no real science behind this, just watching to much star trek.

Edited by MattDuk, 27 May 2004 - 02:06 PM.


#48    Ozmeister

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Posted 28 May 2004 - 01:29 AM

You're talking about wormholes......there's nothing "Star Trekky" about that. They are a natural consequence of certain geometries of spacetime.

When you get a strong enough gravitational field present at any one spot in spacetime, you can bend the fabric (geometry) of that spacetime so that it begins to fold in upon itself. Eventually the folding of spacetime becomes so intense that spacetime collapses and forms what is called a singularity.

Basically that's how a black hole forms.

However, under certain conditions, a singularity doesn't form, and the collapsing spacetime forms a tunnel to another part of spacetime elsewhere......either in this universe or another. So here, in this instance, you have a shortcut between two distant points without having to travel the long way around through spacetime itself. This is essentially what a wormhole is.

The best way to visualise it is to take a piece of paper and fold it in half, making an "U" shaped piece of paper. Put two points...."A" and "B".....on opposite sides of the paper. Now to get from one point to another, in the normal sense, you have to travel along the sheet from your starting point, around the curve and back down the sheet to the other point. That's analogous to travelling through spacetime normally......slower than light speed. Now, if you get an old toilet roll, and glue the paper to it so the two points are over the holes in the roll, and then draw a line between the two points via the roll, this is analogous to a wormhole.

Here, you have effectively left normal spacetime behind and travelled a path between your two points which is much shorter than normal. So you get there quicker. With the wormhole, you have warped spacetime in such a manner that you effectively draw the two points together, making the distance between them less than it would otherwise be.

In either case, your ship's velocity of travel will always remain less than the speed of light, but with the wormhole, you have effectively travelled the distance between your two points at a speed which appears to be many times faster than lightspeed.....when seen from the perspective of unwarped spacetime.

I hope that helps you out grin2.gif

Edited by Ozmeister, 28 May 2004 - 03:35 PM.


#49    Marien

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Posted 07 June 2004 - 03:48 PM

this is becoming a faq topic on qantic physic... ^^
anyway, i'd have some questions too tongue.gif :

First of all, are we sure, is there proofs that light is made of photons, or is it just a theory ? Because i really can't imagine something without mass... :/

And about black holes, i've heard that, when approching them, matter is "accelerating"... (i don't know how they say in english, sorry) Concretely, what does that mean ?


Thanks to all the scientists here tongue.gif





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