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Althalus

Can we travel faster than light?

49 posts in this topic

               The biggest problem I have with that article is,  understanding it!   :s9

                 Now I know why kids have short attention spans!  

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It is hard going isn't it.

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               That's putting it mildly,  Al!

      But I can't imagine you having any difficulty comprehending it!   ;)  

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If the question was is there a speed in excess of light speed? Yes, but not naturally(At least that we know of). FTL can be achieved in a controlled environment such as a lab where lasers can be manipulated.  But the question posed was will WE travel FTL some day. The answer is no. Nothing with mass can ever travel the speed of light, much less surpass that speed.  E=mc^2

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its fine reading it.............now..........where'd i put me dictionary??? :sp

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         Great diet incentive!! ;D

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But surely, if there is a faster than light speed, natural or otherwise, surely we could oneday harness that and adapt it to allow FLT?

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Not with mass, and not ever. Unless of course the laws of physics literally change. Nothing with mass can ever achieve the speed of light.

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OK Professor Homer

I/we am impressed with your knowledge (or is it that you know where to look and we don't? ;D)

I can see that mass can't travel faster than light but.........light must have some weight (even if it's only lightweight - God I'm funny!! :s2 :s2).

Presumably, sound is similar - does sound have any measurable weight?  The louder the sound, the longer the distance..............?

What about air?  Does that depend on pressure (therefore weight) and wind?

How fast do nerves transmit to the brain (I can't remember about motor neurons etc).

Which sensation is the fastest?

Can you answer any of the above faster than any of the above? :s2 :s2

PS. Mach 2's are cool 8) (sorry Homer)

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One possibility for a particle actually travelling at a velocity faster than electromagnetic radiation is the Tachyon - a theoretically massless particle, although the use of such a thing isn't particularly obvious. It hasn't yet been proven to exist, but a lot of scientists think that it does.

Although it is uncertain that it is possible to travel at velocities greater than that of light, it will be possible to traverse vast distances without passing through the space in between. Realisticly, this is likely to be the only real option for travelling across vast distances of space.

As for the mass of light - nobody will be able to give you an answer to that, because noone knows. Science has made up the "rules" for the nature of electromagnetic radiation for years. Originally it was thought to be made up of particles - though this was later dumped because light displayed the properties of waves. Once it was proven that light displayed the properties of particles and waves, scientists decided to say that it is made up little chopped up bits of wave, known as photons.

In order for something to weigh something, it must have mass, and since the nature of mass is also not understood - finding the mass of light becomes impossible. I think we may need another Albert Einstein to be able to answer that one.  ;D

:sk

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Light is made of photons, and photons have no mass. Period.

Photons are cool 8)

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Given that photons are particles that are physically present in space, they cannot be massless.

Light is bent by gravitational fields - light bends around certain celestial objects such as quasars, and gravity effects only things with physical mass.

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On the other hand, here is an article which claims the complete oposite of what I just said

http://www.usatoday.com/weather/science/wonderquest/photonmass.htm

This is not the only answer to this question I've seen, there seems to be some debate on the subject.

It all depends on the definition of 'mass' - and that in itself seems to be a matter of some debate.

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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)

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you way over my head brainy guys have lost me somewhat  -can't you speak idiot language?  No wonder Scientists can baffle!!!

I can't accept that light has no mass or particles- if you shine a beam of light you can see particles - ok, they may not belong to the actual light being shone but there are particles, maybe not the air itself, but "bits" which attach themselves (I'm seriously out of my depth here!!) and which "float around".  you can weigh, for example a body which has mass and also attached particles.  Mass means "solid" yes?  No, it can't because water has mass..................................????

Please explain - this is VERY interesting!

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Gizzie, with a post like that, I must agree that you are in way over your head here.

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         Crosis,

      Thanks for the link, that makes it all a (tiny) bit clearer to me!  But I'm still not getting in the middle of this!

          Homer,

        While I am struggling for the 300th post,  I notice you're about to make 700!!  You're going to make Odin an unhappy camper!!  :s02

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Crosis

Thanks a lot.  I still don't agree with what was said (maybe I'm about to change the world of science?  What is it they say about "out of the mouth of fools and children......truth"

Homer, with a comment like that I can only say that you, boy, are up to your neck in brown stuff!! The nasty smelly mass with particles - know what I mean?

So, Mr Smart Bottom, would you care to reply because at the moment, we are only talking light, we have air and sound and nerves to continue with?

How about the speed of dark?

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Gizzie,

Dark is merely the absense of light, and therefore has no speed. If you wish to find some answers not related to light, then start another thread. But don't do it to challenge me just because I know what I'm talking about with regards to light.

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What a shame your spelling isn't as good as your knowledge of light.  I suppose you used to be a big head but now you're perfect

Noone has even noticed I've reached 101 posts  :'(

I give up, I'd rather talk with people than be talked down to.  My knowledge of certain things might be better than yours, but I wouldn't throw that in your face (I'd choose something else). :s08

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Gizzie,

I'm not trying to be a 'know it all', merely state facts concerning the speed of light and mass. The debate can rage for years to come, but it's still a fact unless the laws of physics change.

By the way, congrats on your 100th post WOOHOO!!

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I think that despite the currently regarded "fact" that light is massless, if Photons are both particles and waves, then they must displace space time in a measurably physical way. To exist, implies it must have a measurable physical presence.

To say something is a half-particle / half-wave and has no mass at all, is a convenient explanation for science, where no better an explanation exists. The true nature of light has yet to be determined.

In the same way as the model of an Atom has changed over the centuries, perhaps our understanding of light will also change as new discoveries are made.

Who knows, it may turn out to be something more unexpected than anyone could possibly have imagined.

:)

:sk

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Homer,

You're a gentleman as well as a scholar - thank you for the congrats!

I'm afraid I was always the kid who said "But Why Miss" (went to an all girls school - maybe that explains it!!) I just could never accept certain things and I can't accept that light has no mass nor particles - the Web site reference that Crosis pointed me to is more to my way of thinking but............if you close the thermos flask, can you measure how much light you've captured and surely all light is controlled by gravity unless, you create a false atmosphere and if it's false, then it can only be hypothetical?

Incidentally, I think I read somewhere recently that Quantum scientists have decided that Quantum can be measured....?

If you would prefer I post this as a separate issue, then by all means.  I still would like to know about air, sound and motor neurons. :st

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