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Einstein's theory 'may be wrong'. Sweet

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by marshal zhukov, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. marshal zhukov

    marshal zhukov good economist wannabe

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    GREAT NEWS, everybody ( I think )

    I read this article at BBC, and the article talks about a proposition made by Australian phisicists that the speed of light was faster 6 to 10 billion years ago.
    The site below has the details of the phisicist's suggestion.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2181455.stm
    Quoted from the article.
    "Australian physicists propose that it may have slowed over the course of billions of years.
    The theoretical physicist believes the speed of light was faster six to 10 billion years ago than its current value - 300,000 km (186,300 miles) per second. "

    I still don't understand his theory, but if his theory is correct traveling at the speed of light will never be possible.
    This new suggestion offers a possibility of traveling even faster than the speed of light without having to slow time and all that.
    At least that is what my understanding of the article.
    All I know is that traveling faster than light is vital for the future space exploration.

    Why can't the speed of light be passed ? Meaning why is it such a barrier ?
     
  2. Sh3kel

    Sh3kel Emperor

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    Because travelling at the speed of light would compress you to death.
     
  3. Eli

    Eli Emperor

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    Nah... It's just a photonic quantum fluctuation in our main deflector array.

    Oh wait, we're not in Star Trek.
     
  4. redtom

    redtom Proudhonist

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    Some nerd told me that Eistein Theory Of Relativity is wrong in another matter, tell me if i'm wrong but according to the theory:

    as object travels at the speed of light it will need infinite power in order to contain the infinite energy it will need to infinite in size therefore everytime a light particle travels at the speed of light it would absorb the entire universe and then some. This is only a given if light particle has a mass at first. Its a piece of matter so it must have weight nomatter how infinitely small.

    Another point, light does change speed in certain conditions, apparently some American scientist in (I think) Colorado Uni. slowed some light particles down to about 30 mph.

    Also, I read somewhere that they managed to make a light particle travel back in time.
     
  5. Eli

    Eli Emperor

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    Light speed can definitely slow, it depends on the matter is passes through. But I think the article is saying that it's the light speed in vacuum that was faster than it is now.
     
  6. anarchywrksbest

    anarchywrksbest Deity

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    Of course light can slow down, like when it passes through water - refraction - rainbows and stuff.

    And isn't right that you have to have a mass of absolute zero to travel at the speed of light?
     
  7. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    Hey, that was a Danish scientist in the US! I don't remember her name, but she was the first to ever slow light and she managed to get the speed down to 6 km/h IIRC... :cooool:
     
  8. CivMonger

    CivMonger Ruler of Insignificants

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    there is a physics formula I learned in grade 11 physics, that I have now forgotten that states travelling at light speed is impossible. Something about the faster you go the heavier you get so the more fuel you need to propel you which makes you even heavier or something like that.
     
  9. IceBlaZe

    IceBlaZe Atheist Proselytizer

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    Well according to Einsteins relativity theory e=mc^2 right?.

    That means, that Energy and Mass are actually the same thing in a different measure.
    Just like, for example, Inch and Meter are the same thing only a different measure.

    So, based on that theory, the coefficient of the formula is the speed of light square.

    It is known therfor that the faster we go, the heavier (well, the mass increases but let's not aruge about tangentials) we get.

    If a baseball player throws a ball at 100mph, the ball will get heavier, even if only a bit heavier.

    The closer we get to the speed of light, the heavier we get, and the slower our perception of time is because even the neurons in our brain get heavier, etc.

    Now, if a certain machine keeps accelerating the closer it's speed gets to the speed of light the much heavier it will get, the more energy it will need, etc etc.

    It comes to a situation where you just keep getting heavier and heavier for every slight increase in speed and speed of light is unachievable or something.

    I can explain it better and more precisely, but im too lazy.
     
  10. The Troquelet

    The Troquelet Conscious

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    If I remember correctly, light NEVER slows down. Light isn't matter, it's energy. When we speak of light "particles", that would be "photons" which is just a convenient way of splitting up light which acts not only like a particle but also in some respects like a wave [like Xrays, which are the same thing as light only more compacted, both are "EMR" electromagnetic radiation, or radiant energy].

    Matter, of course, also acts not only in particles, but can be said to act like a wave, according to Heisenberg I think. Of course, the waves of ordinary matter are so compact we can treat it like a particle, if I understand correctly.

    Anyway, LIGHT NEVER SLOWS DOWN, refraction, the effect of water on light, is a DEFLECTION of light not a RETARDATION of light, IIRC.

    Also, FTL [fasterthanlight] particles have been discovered, they are called tycons, or typhons or something like that, they are tiny quark like particles, and apparently move at greater than light speeds while moving backwards relative to us in time [they go back in time]. Wierd.
     
  11. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. It will probably be somehow oversimplification, but well...

    It's plain obvious that if you want to speed up, you need to use more energy. The faster you want to go, the more energy you need.
    Reaching the light speed would require infinite energy. As nothing can produce "inifinite" energy, you can't go as fast as light.
     
  12. anarchywrksbest

    anarchywrksbest Deity

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    Not if you create a 'bubble' of subspace around FTL vessel. This will mean your ship is always in a place with different rules and so you won't be affected by the regular laws of phyics......:rolleyes: I either heard that on Star Trek or my physics teacher, probably Star Trek.....
     
  13. jpowers

    jpowers Emperor

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    The Internet is slow enough already - do we really need light moving at 6 km/hr? Talk about a long time to download...
     
  14. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Energy and matter are the same thing under two different forms.

    I'm sorry, but light CAN be slowed down. You just need the appropriate force applied on it. Gravitation can do it (see the black holes).

    "tachyon"
    If I remember well, they were purely theorical "particles" that could have existed.
    I don't know if they were proven right, wrong, or if the idea is still waiting a conclusion.
     
  15. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Computer does not use light/photons, they use electricity/electrons :D
     
  16. JuicyCivNewbie

    JuicyCivNewbie Greatest civ player ever!

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    Tachyons have not yet been discovered, and there is some debate about weather they can actually be detected at all, IIRC. Tachyons would need to have 'imaginary' mass, to travel FTL. Photons, and anything else with 0 mass, always travel at light speed in a vacuum. Heavier things can't ever reach light speed, although if they could, they would have to have infinite mass, and yet zero length for outside observers.
     
  17. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    Lene Vestergaard Hau is a Dane, and a very Danish name! [dance] :cooool:

    So, light has been slowed...
     
  18. Pongui

    Pongui Deity

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    Maybe light isn't magically special, after all. What if Einstein had not used the speed of light as a constant, but chosen "speed of snails"? Could anything then travel faster than a snail?
     
  19. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    You fail to understand the concept. It's not that someone suddendly and arbitrarily chosen the speed of light to be absolute limite. It's just that light is massless (or at least has no measurable mass), hence it's able to reach a speed that nothing having a mass can equal.
     
  20. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    OK, if we consider what would happen if we travelled faster than the speed of light, what would happen (assuming it is possible, therefore purely hypothetical)?

    If we travel faster than light, then we would be invisible, right? if not, then we would be seen after we had passed, right?

    Would we be seeing into the future, if we had windows in whatever craft we were in? Would everything be black, since our speed simply would stop us from seeing anything?

    Would time stand still, since time slows the faster we go? If we travelled faster than light, would we then also be travelling back in time?

    What do you think?

    (fascinating subject...)
     

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