1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

[RD] Will we ever travel faster than light speed?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by caketastydelish, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    8,974
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm not buying that we won't. If you showed people from 1,000 years ago what we have today, they would find it indistinguishable from magic. You can argue that "it violates the laws of physics" or whatever, but that's without taking into consideration this all from what we know now. What we know 1,000 years in the future could be light years ahead (pardon the pun) of what we know now. I am almost 100% sure we won't live to see FTL speed travel ourselves. But this is about the future of humanity, not just us.

    Technology is also accelerating extremely fast in this information age. Again, I don't think it will happen in our lifetimes. But so many things that are possible now were thoroughly impossible even as recent as 100 years ago.
     
  2. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9,023
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worthing, Southern England
    I'd like to be proven wrong, but i'm gonna say no to FTL.
     
    TheMeInTeam and stfoskey12 like this.
  3. Broken_Erika

    Broken_Erika Nothing

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    8,024
    Location:
    Glasgnopolis, Grottland
    I like to think we'll figure it out or at least a way to go around it. (i.e. space folding, subspace tunnels or some other method that's currently beyond our understanding.)
    Spoiler :

    *Obligatory Spaceballs Reference*

     
    tjs282 likes this.
  4. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    44,946
    Location:
    Pale Blue Dot youtube=wupToqz1e2g
    Here's my thinking. Existential risks to the progress of humanity make it less likely that we will ever find out the answer to the question in the opening post. By taking action to reduce the odds of existential risks, you're buying time for the science and technologies to occur that we all kind of dream of
     
  5. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    6,045
    Gods, I hope not.

    If such tech becomes common, like FTL drives on every ordinary freighter as in most spacefaring sci fi, all it will take is a single terrorist or unhappy and suicidal person to destroy a continent or even a planet in a 9/11-style attack.

    There could be no defense against FTL weaponry.
     
    Snerk likes this.
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,987
    If we have space freighters, we won't need hyperdrives to take out continents. Dropping an ordinary and suitably large rock in from the belt will do the same job.

    I don't think we can go faster than light ever. I do think that given enough time we'll render it a moot question through space time manipulation. I expect by that time we won't be human any more, rendering the we in the question of 'will we ever reach light speed?' a moot point as well.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    Estebonrober and caketastydelish like this.
  7. El_Machinae

    El_Machinae Colour vision since 2018 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    44,946
    Location:
    Pale Blue Dot youtube=wupToqz1e2g
    There's already no defence against nukes, keep in mind. Your only hope is preventing the infrastructure and causes of the launch.
     
    hobbsyoyo likes this.
  8. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    25,987
    Geeze thanks for reminding us we live under fear of nuclear holocaust debbie downer :p
     
  9. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2002
    Messages:
    23,325
    Location:
    Montana
    We will when it’s time.
     
  10. Zkribbler

    Zkribbler Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Messages:
    7,600
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Philippines
    People who say something is impossible :nono: are usually interrupted by someone else doing it. :smug:

    Assuming we can avoid the imminent collapse of civilization brought about by climate change :run:, a collision with a massive asteroid :scared:, an eruption of a super volcano :faint:, a worldwide pandemic :yuck:, or the re-election of Donald Trump :cry:, then I say yes! :D

    Exceeding the speed of light doesn't necessarily require going fast. :hide:
    We could use wormholes, or like John Carter in the Princess of Mars using noxious fumes to instantaneously transport us, or improbability drives. :dunno:
     
    Birdjaguar likes this.
  11. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Messages:
    6,045
    Towing an asteroid may be a bit more noticeable and preventable than FTL acceleration. But it is one of the two reasons I'm terrified of asteroid mining.

    As for nuclear weapons, not every truck driver has one, at least.
     
    hobbsyoyo likes this.
  12. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2006
    Messages:
    13,321
    FTL travel doesn't directly violate the laws of physics, IIRC. The main problem with it is that travelling faster than light is equivalent to time travel, according to modern physics. Even sending information faster than light makes it theoretically possible to talk with future self, which is considered paradoxical.
     
  13. Bugfatty300

    Bugfatty300 Buddha Squirrel

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2003
    Messages:
    10,233
    Location:
    Mexico
    Poke a tiny hole into a fiber optic cable and blow into it. Lightspeed + spitwad velocity.
     
    Phrossack likes this.
  14. Hehehe

    Hehehe Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    1,391
    Location:
    Finland
    As far as I know, all the FTL travel methods (Alcubierre drive, opening up wormholes) require hypothetical matter which has never been observed or proven to exist. As much as I'd like to believe that we could exceed the speed of light, I doubt it. Barring some unforeseen scientific advance, it seems like a no-go.

    Perhaps the more interesting question is, could we colonize the galaxy traveling much less than the speed of light? There was a paper which suggested that, given the huge amount of planets in the universe, it is very likely that there would have been intelligent life out there. And that, given the age of the universe, this intelligent life would have had more than enough time to colonize the entire galaxy, even if they were traveling only a small fraction of light speed. Yet try as we might, there is no sign of anyone else in this universe.
     
  15. Michkov

    Michkov Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,449
    Why is this in the Off Topic section?
     
  16. Kaitzilla

    Kaitzilla Lord Croissant

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    10,424
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    America!
    I'd say no on traveling faster than light.


    What if the universe had no limit to how fast light could go?
    Or if there was no time dilation for objects approaching light speed?

    If there is an almighty creator, I suspect that the speed of light was established for a very important reason.

    At least the universe has some limits on how large things can get.

    **Edit**
    Oh right, time dilation and a limit on the speed of light enable everyone to experience the same laws of physics no matter where they are and how fast they are going.
    Things would get really weird without that time dilation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  17. brennan

    brennan Argumentative Brit

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    9,023
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Worthing, Southern England
    From the point of view of light, light travels infinitely fast.
     
    Kaitzilla likes this.
  18. Aleksey_aka_al

    Aleksey_aka_al Smiley

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,504
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Moscow, USSR
    There’s no need to. Suspended animation is the key. Much more plausible.
     
  19. caketastydelish

    caketastydelish Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Messages:
    8,974
    Gender:
    Male
    Please elaborate on what that means.
     
  20. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    12,988
    Location:
    Paris, west side (92).
    Very high velocity, when nearing the speed of light, distorts space-time. The faster you move, the more time gets "accelerated" for things standing still around you, and the space around you gets "flattened" as well. At the speed of light, there's no more "time" and no more "space".

    A photon moves at the speed of light. That means that the photons which are leaving the sun takes 8 minute to reach your eye when you look at them. If the sun would magically disappear, you will still see it during 8 minutes. However, from the photon's point of view, that whole distance was travelled instantly. And if you look at Andromeda Galaxy in a telescope, the photons you'll see have taken 2.55 million years to reach your retina. But to those photons point of view, it happened instantly as well.

    As such, the inability to move the speed of light is not what prevents us to travel far, it only makes the return trip quite problematic because everything you knew which stayed at home has aged faster than you, if it still exists.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019

Share This Page