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About faster than light travel.

Veridas
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4/28/2010 6:14:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Ok, this is just something I was thinking about earlier, comments, thoughts and virgins are all appreciated.

Recently I've been hearing a lot about faster than light travel (or I've been imagining that I've been hearing it, whatever) and how we could use it to explore the universe assuming we get it to work for us.

Light travels at something like 186,000 miles per second according to Wikipedia.

light from our nearest star takes about eight minutes to reach earth.

186,000 multiplied by sixty is 11,160,000

Times that by eight and you have 89,280,000

Yes I did use a calculator.

So the earth is about eighty nine million miles away from the sun.

Now, and this is where it starts to do my head in. If memory serve, Einstein's theory of relativity states that as you approach the speed of light, time slows down. Speed is measured by time and distance (or rather, distance and time, miles per hour, kilometres per second, whatever) therefore when you reach the speed of light, the speed of light increases because light travelling at the same speed during a distortion in the passage of time would enable it to travel for longer distances in the space of a second than currently known, the rate to which time slows down is probably linked to the speed of light, therefore, so it could also be possible that as time slows down, so does the speed of light if we assume that a material object reaching the speed of light is not affected by time slowing down for everything else in the universe (not that I suspect anyone would notice) then we can assume that faster than light travel is possible.

BUT

As I said before, even at the speed of light, it takes eight minutes to reach our nearest star. I propose that faster than light travel is an inefficient method of intergalactic travel because it simply isn't fast enough, and that's even assuming we eventually develop the technology to achieve it, fuel and power for the craft achieving that speed is also bound to be a problem.

Thoughts, I demand them.
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Veridas
Posts: 733
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4/28/2010 6:22:14 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm moderately sure the "fiction" part of the term "Science Fiction" pretty much negates the ability to assume anything it talks about is true.
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Puck
Posts: 6,457
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4/28/2010 6:23:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Writing about the LHC prior to its existence would constitute fiction. See also, a long list of American Presidents who liked sci fi and shaped NASA programs/design with it.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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4/28/2010 6:36:45 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I read this somewhere.

Einstein's way of approaching a problem consisted of hypothesizing a solution to the problem, imagining a world in which he could change anything and everything about it, and then went back to the real world and the "known" "laws" about it, and then figured out how he could go about breaking them.

Regardless of whether or not Einstein actually did this, I find it a creative and useful method if you're trying to think up of answers to "unanswerable problems". Unanswerable problems are only unanswerable due to certain assumptions you're making.

The world changes when the assumptions are changed.

Your way of thinking won't find a breakthrough.
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Veridas
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4/28/2010 6:37:05 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
And yet the idea of lightsabres is more than twenty years old and nobody has yet tried to make one.
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mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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4/28/2010 7:53:55 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't get how the theory of relativity says "Faster than light" travel is possible...

I was pretty sure it only says that lightspeed travel, and up, is impossible.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Vi_Veri
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4/28/2010 8:12:49 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 7:53:55 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
I don't get how the theory of relativity says "Faster than light" travel is possible...

I was pretty sure it only says that lightspeed travel, and up, is impossible.

You're right. That's exactly what it says. Nothing can travel faster than light. It's impossible.
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Veridas
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4/28/2010 3:07:34 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
bleh, my bad about the theory of relativity.

However, assuming that it is possible to travel the speed of light (or, at the very least, way faster than we can travel right now) then the rest of my thoughts still apply, I think.
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mattrodstrom
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4/28/2010 7:21:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 3:07:34 PM, Veridas wrote:
bleh, my bad about the theory of relativity.

However, assuming that it is possible to travel the speed of light (or, at the very least, way faster than we can travel right now) then the rest of my thoughts still apply, I think.

Yeah doesn't look like we're goin anywhere anytime soon...

I sincerely doubt we'll ever travel anywhere near 1/2 the speed of light... no matter how long people continue to survive...

MAYBE wormholes or whatnot might be a way around our apparent limitations..

but as things stand now it seems like we're not really gonna go anywhere outta our solar system...
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/28/2010 7:26:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
If you could travel super close to the speed of light however.... I think you could go pretty much anywhere....

Time would stand ALMOST completely still if you could travel at almost the speed of light...

so you could then travel super far.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
mattrodstrom
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4/28/2010 8:19:59 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 8:14:19 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:
but you would run out of time in the universe going that fast through time!

only if you reached the end of the universe... though it would come rather quick... :)

mmm.... POOF!!!

lol
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
MikeLoviN
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4/28/2010 8:36:04 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
or we could go all Event Horizon and bend space itself to decrease the distance you need to travel.. like folding a piece of paper in half, poking a hole through it and then unfolding it again ^_^
Rob1Billion
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4/28/2010 9:17:32 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't believe in faster than light travel. Maybe in the Kpax sense, but not in the Star Trek sense.
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omelet
Posts: 416
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4/28/2010 10:37:11 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 6:14:57 AM, Veridas wrote:
If memory serve, Einstein's theory of relativity states that as you approach the speed of light, time slows down.
Not from your perspective, it doesn't. However, space contracts from your perspective, which means that relative to you, the distance to that star will have decreased.

From someone on earth's perspective, though, your "clock" will simply be running very slowly. Essentially, many generations may pass on earth while you are on your voyage.

when you reach the speed of light
You can't reach the speed of light. No object with a rest mass greater than 0 is capable of moving at the speed of light - that would require an infinite amount of kinetic energy.

even at the speed of light, it takes eight minutes to reach our nearest star. I propose that faster than light travel is an inefficient method of intergalactic travel because it simply isn't fast enough, and that's even assuming we eventually develop the technology to achieve it, fuel and power for the craft achieving that speed is also bound to be a problem.
The concerns about fuel and power are warranted. It takes a crapton of energy to reach such high speeds. Collision with debris is also a big threat when moving at near-light-speeds.

However, the claim that it "isn't fast enough" is not true. From the reference point of earth, it takes 8 minutes for light to reach us. But from the reference point of the light, not even a single instant has passed since it left the star, and the earth was infinitely close to that star. At sufficiently high speeds, it would be possible to travel any amount of distance in a single passenger's lifetime aboard a craft.

Of course, obtaining those speeds and obtaining the necessary energy for this voyage is another story altogether.
mattrodstrom
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4/29/2010 6:48:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 8:19:59 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/28/2010 8:14:19 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:
but you would run out of time in the universe going that fast through time!

only if you reached the end of the universe... though it would come rather quick... :)

mmm.... POOF!!!

lol

mmm... you prolly couldn't reach the end...

Does the Universe expand FASTER than the speed of light??? or no??
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Floid
Posts: 751
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4/30/2010 9:10:13 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
"Speed is measured by time and distance (or rather, distance and time, miles per hour, kilometres per second, whatever) therefore when you reach the speed of light, the speed of light increases because light travelling at the same speed during a distortion in the passage of time would enable it to travel for longer distances in the space of a second than currently known"

That part is wrong.
omelet
Posts: 416
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4/30/2010 10:30:32 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/30/2010 9:10:13 AM, Floid wrote:
"Speed is measured by time and distance (or rather, distance and time, miles per hour, kilometres per second, whatever) therefore when you reach the speed of light, the speed of light increases because light travelling at the same speed during a distortion in the passage of time would enable it to travel for longer distances in the space of a second than currently known"
That part is wrong.
Indeed, but it's close to being correct.
Consider Objects A and B. Relative to each other, they are moving apart at a speed of 0.9 times the speed of light.

Relative to A, time is passing slower for B. For each second A observes, it observes that 2.294 seconds pass for B.
Relative to A, B is moving 0.9 light-seconds away for every second of "A" time.
Relative to A, B is moving roughly two light-seconds away for every second of "B" time.
The above is also true if we switch A and B.

It's not a single coherent relative viewpoint, but it does create an effect similar: it's possible with high enough speeds to reach something that currently seems 2 light years away in what will only be 1 year for us if we're traveling fast enough. At speeds even faster than 0.9c, we could travel any amount of distance [as measured from our current perspective] in a short amount of time [as measured from our moving perspective].
Floid
Posts: 751
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5/3/2010 11:47:53 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/30/2010 10:30:32 AM, omelet wrote:
At 4/30/2010 9:10:13 AM, Floid wrote:
"Speed is measured by time and distance (or rather, distance and time, miles per hour, kilometres per second, whatever) therefore when you reach the speed of light, the speed of light increases because light travelling at the same speed during a distortion in the passage of time would enable it to travel for longer distances in the space of a second than currently known"
That part is wrong.
Indeed, but it's close to being correct.
Consider Objects A and B. Relative to each other, they are moving apart at a speed of 0.9 times the speed of light.

Relative to A, time is passing slower for B. For each second A observes, it observes that 2.294 seconds pass for B.
Relative to A, B is moving 0.9 light-seconds away for every second of "A" time.
Relative to A, B is moving roughly two light-seconds away for every second of "B" time.
The above is also true if we switch A and B.

It's not a single coherent relative viewpoint, but it does create an effect similar: it's possible with high enough speeds to reach something that currently seems 2 light years away in what will only be 1 year for us if we're traveling fast enough. At speeds even faster than 0.9c, we could travel any amount of distance [as measured from our current perspective] in a short amount of time [as measured from our moving perspective].

It is completely wrong because the speed of light is constant. If one were going 99.99999% the speed of light and you shown a flashlight forward, the light would move away from you at the speed of light. If you shinned it in the opposite direction, it would do the same. So in other words, the time dilation caused by relativity does not effect light which is the basic idea the original poster was missing and what you don't address in the above example.
InsertNameHere
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5/21/2010 5:18:27 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/28/2010 6:37:05 AM, Veridas wrote:
And yet the idea of lightsabres is more than twenty years old and nobody has yet tried to make one.

Real life lightsabers would actually be awesome.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/21/2010 5:50:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 4/29/2010 6:48:44 AM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/28/2010 8:19:59 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 4/28/2010 8:14:19 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:
but you would run out of time in the universe going that fast through time!

only if you reached the end of the universe... though it would come rather quick... :)

mmm.... POOF!!!

lol

mmm... you prolly couldn't reach the end...

Does the Universe expand FASTER than the speed of light??? or no??

meh... the observed expansion of the universe is 71 km/s per megaparsec of distance. IOW, multiply 71 km/s times the distance an object is away from us in megaparsecs and you will have the speed at which it is moving away. (about 2200 mph!) but a megaparsec is like 3.26 lightyears... which is an EXTREMELY large distance. so shrunk down to human distance scales the expansion is exceeeedingly slow. like 10^-13 mph. you could outrun it!

no need to worry though our gravity holds us together....

but ANYWAYS. for especially distant objects (5000 mpc or more!)(which is actually around 16 billion light years, meaning we wouldn't be able to see those objects anyways cause the universe is only around 14 billion years old and the light wouldn't have had time to reach us yet) their recessional velocity will be greater than the speed of light. we will literally NEVER see these objects. from earth. but if you're in a spaceship, theres no reason you couldn't travel that far, assuming you manage to approach lightspeed. as probably several people already said... getting the energy to power that kind of flight is the issue.

oh and also the expansion rate of space appears to be increasing.... eventually we won't be able to see any other galaxies in the sky at all... assuming there's still someone to look that far down the line!

(ps this is what you all get for bumping this thread while i am in the middle of studying for my astronomy final >.<)
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
Rob1Billion
Posts: 1,338
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5/21/2010 9:17:05 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
So your on Earth, ready to travel to Mars. You have a telescope on Mars, looking directly at the spot your standing. You travel faster than c and arrive at the site of the telescope, in order to watch yourself in the past (and enter your past light cone). My question: if you jump to c or above again and arrive on Earth, will you arrive essentially before you left? My understanding of the process (which is limited) is that you would.
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mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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5/21/2010 9:19:37 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 5/21/2010 9:17:05 PM, Rob1Billion wrote:
So your on Earth, ready to travel to Mars. You have a telescope on Mars, looking directly at the spot your standing. You travel faster than c and arrive at the site of the telescope, in order to watch yourself in the past (and enter your past light cone). My question: if you jump to c or above again and arrive on Earth, will you arrive essentially before you left? My understanding of the process (which is limited) is that you would.

is this supposed to be sci fi reality or actual reality...

b/c the current scientific understanding of Actual reality is there is no "faster than c"
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Rob1Billion
Posts: 1,338
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5/22/2010 3:51:41 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Well assuming that there are wormholes (which I don't personally believe in), one could arrive on mars instantaneously, essentially traveling faster than c.
Master P is the end result of capitalism.
PiperPhoenix
Posts: 168
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10/2/2010 3:01:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I thought it was called Hyperspace!?
Demons run when a good man goes to war;
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war,
Demons run, but count the cost,
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PiperPhoenix
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10/2/2010 3:02:40 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
I thought it was called Hyperspace!? faster than light travel that is I thought it was called Hyperspace.
Demons run when a good man goes to war;
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war,
Demons run, but count the cost,
The battle's won, but the child is lost,
When a good man goes to war.
SuperRobotWars
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10/2/2010 8:57:06 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Mass-less Drive . . .
Minister Of Trolling
: At 12/6/2011 2:21:41 PM, badger wrote:
: ugly people should beat beautiful people ugly. simple! you'd be killing two birds with the one stone... women like violent men and you're making yourself more attractive, relatively. i met a blonde dude who was prettier than me not so long ago. he's not so pretty now! ha!
:
: ...and well, he wasn't really prettier than me. he just had nice hair.
PiperPhoenix
Posts: 168
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10/3/2010 6:27:21 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
What???
Demons run when a good man goes to war;
Night will fall and drown the sun
When a good man goes to war.
Friendship dies and true love lies,
Night will fall and the dark will rise,
When a good man goes to war,
Demons run, but count the cost,
The battle's won, but the child is lost,
When a good man goes to war.
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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10/4/2010 1:30:14 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
The problem here is your conception of time.

Time is not a state of being or anything, its a measure of the expression of all sensible forces in the Universe. In other words, the Universe is constantly expanding since the Big Bang and a measurement of this expansion is time.

There are two reasons why we use light as the terminal velocity of all matter. The first is because we see matter through sensing light. In other words, a great deal of our sensory perception is based on light--how much there is, how fast it's moving, etc. Therefore, once you move faster than light, you move past the limitations of your sensory perception. In fact, you will have exceeded all of them--given that matter is stretched the faster you go and it's held together using light, it will begin to atomize as you exceed the speed of light. You will have long since exceeded the speed of sound and obviously, there would be nothing for you to see in the absence of light. Effectively, although it may be possible for *something* in the universe to go faster than the speed of light, it's impossible for humans because it exceeds our threshold for experience in general. It would essentially be like passing into nonexistence.

The second reason why light is the terminal velocity is because it is the fastest known substance to man. Indeed, the Universe is not expanding at the speed of light and therefore, light can presumably outrun the universe. Therefore, if man were to move faster than the speed of light, we would also outrun the universe.

Basically, you come to a logical fallacy. You must pass into nonexistence in order to achieve it. This translates as impossible.

I'll bet the answer to space travel lay in size--mass--rather than speed.