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# FASTER than the speed of light. Yes.

timberlandko

1
Mon 15 Sep, 2003 08:55 pm
LOL ... well I see I screwed up that post ... the bold and underlined "TACHYONS" that headlines it was s'posed to be this link: TACHYONS

Try that on for a propper brainscrambling. That little blurb in my earlier post was just a tease by comparison.
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deniZen

1
Tue 16 Sep, 2003 12:37 am
Charmed, I'm sure, Mr Timber, mind if I do a little lepton dance?

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akaMechsmith

1
Mon 22 Sep, 2003 08:13 pm
Wonderful link Timber. I'd suspected as much myself.

Can I quickly point out that if something is travelling at the speed of light one must also ask "Where". This little note is what causes the gravitational "red shift", a subject of many discussions!
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Brandon9000

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 09:26 am
bigdice67 wrote:
Yeah, but what happens if I turn on the headlights when I'm travelling faster than light?

According to Relativity, you can't travel faster than the speed of light. At least, you can't accelerate up to the speed of light, and no one can figure out how you can go faster than that speed without passing through it. A more meaningful question would be, "What happens when I turn on the headlights when I am travelling at, say, 99% the speed of light?" In that case, Relativity says that you will see the light move forwards at the speed of light, but that an Earth based observer will see you moving at 99% the speed of light and the light from your headlights going at exactly the speed of light, that is moving away from you at a relative speed of 1% the speed of light. One of the basic ideas of Relativity is that velocities don't combine in a simple additive way, and that if any observer measures something, e.g. light, as travelling at the speed of light, all other observers will too, regardless of their state of motion.
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timberlandko

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 10:19 am
Brandon9000 wrote:

According to Relativity, you can't travel faster than the speed of light. At least, you can't accelerate up to the speed of light, and no one can figure out how you can go faster than that speed without passing through it.

From the article "Tachyons" linked to in my earlier post:
Quote:
Tachyons are particles whose velocity exceeds the velocity of light. While many believe that the existence of particles with hyperluminal (superluminal) velocities (FTL, or Faster-Than-Light velocities) is precluded by relativity, this is not the case if the particle is created with a velocity already exceeding the velocity of light. What relativity precludes, within the boundaries of our present technologies, is the acceleration of a subluminal particle to hyperluminal velocities. What is also not precluded is the possibility that technology might someday be developed that will permit the relativistic limitations to be overcome, and hyperluminal velocities to be achieved by subluminal objects.

"A sufficiently high level of technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke.

"The obvious is that which is never seen until someone expresses it simply."
- Christian Morgenstern

"I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it."
- Erwin Schrodinger talking about Quantum Mechanics.

"... after a few more flashes in the pan, we shall hear very little more of Edison or his electric lamp. Every claim he makes has been tested and proved impracticable."
- New York Times, January 16, 1880.

"There is no likelihood that man can ever tap the power of the atom"
- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize physicist, 1923.

"As far as the Laws of Mathematics refer to Reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Reality"
- Albert Einstein

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite."
- Bertrand Russell

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' (I found it) - but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
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Brandon9000

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 10:33 am
Quote:

I'm not saying it can't be done, but within the currently believed theory of mechanics, the answer is well understood.
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ebrown p

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 11:20 am
timberlandko wrote:
Brandon9000 wrote:

From the article "Tachyons" linked to in my earlier post:
Quote:
Tachyons are particles whose velocity exceeds the velocity of light. While many believe that the existence of particles with hyperluminal (superluminal) velocities (FTL, or Faster-Than-Light velocities) is precluded by relativity, this is not the case if the particle is created with a velocity already exceeding the velocity of light. What relativity precludes, within the boundaries of our present technologies, is the acceleration of a subluminal particle to hyperluminal velocities. What is also not precluded is the possibility that technology might someday be developed that will permit the relativistic limitations to be overcome, and hyperluminal velocities to be achieved by subluminal objects.

Relativity says nothing about *current technologies*. It says that Faster than Light travel is impossible - now and forever. Relativity (and physics in general) deals with this problem on a theoretical level. The current standard belief is that going faster than the speed of light violates basic laws of the Universe.

Yes, it is possible that a loophole will be found to this rule. But the way your linked article states it is simply wrong.
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timberlandko

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 02:47 pm
It may be "wrong", ebrown, but the math works and it is not inconsistent with observed phenomona. That there are no relevant observed phenomena supportive of the case neither confirms nor denys the hypothesis, it merely demonstrates the absence of documented observation of such phenomona.

I call again your attention to a quote from Einstein: "As far as the Laws of Mathematics refer to Reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Reality"
- Albert Einstein

What we know for certain about superluminal velocity is that we do not yet have the means to achieve it. Untill Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, many learned physicists and other academics had lengthy and well-thoughtout reasons why the speed of sound represented a barrier immutable to penetration. If bumblebees could read accepted physics, aerodynamics, and physiology, they would dismiss the notion they could fly.
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ebrown p

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 05:09 pm
Timberland, technically you are right, the theory of relativity *could* be wrong. But the evidence that relativity is right is pretty darn overwhelming.

First, as you note, this theory is completely consistent with observed phenominon.

Secondly, there is no other rational theory that anyone has come up with that can meet this standard (i.e. that explains the observations)

Third, the theory of relativity has be extensively tested. People have said "if this is true, than we should objerve this...". The predictions about time have been proven with Atomic Clocks, with partical colliders and with observations in space.

Incidently discussions about the sound barrier never came close to being this certain. They were just that, discussions. Relativaty (and the speed limit of light) has been supported by experiment, observation and mathematic proof.
----

Lastly, people who want to discredit science in one way or another always mention the poor bumblebee. This is a complete myth with no grounding in fact whatsoever.

Blind rejection of a fact is just as narrow minded as blind acceptance. If you look at the evidence that the scientific reasoning that the law against FTL travel is based, you just may be convinced.
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timberlandko

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 05:43 pm
I'm convinced we can't do it now. I'm unconvinced we'll ever be able to, but I'm convinced there's always the possibility we may someday figure it out, even if I don't think it likely.
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ebrown p

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 06:07 pm
We are in agreement.

I am convinced that the law that the prohibition against FTL travel is based on is correct, or at least very certain.

However, there certainly may be a loophole. Theoretical physicists have have brought up the possibility that a wormhole, for example, could move a particle from one point in the Universe to another without travelling in the space between the two points. This is kind of a spatial shortcut.

This would have the affect of FTL travel, that is going a large distance in a short time, without ever breaking the Universal speed limit.
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timberlandko

1
Sun 12 Oct, 2003 09:01 pm
See, I'm not hard ta get along with at all ... all ya gotta do is agree with me :wink:

Have you heard there appears to be a phenomenon of instantly shared spin-state change between paired subatomic particles which appears to be neither time nor distance related? That's causing a bit of stir among the cyclotron crowd.
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Brandon9000

1
Fri 24 Oct, 2003 12:17 am
timberlandko wrote:
It may be "wrong", ebrown, but the math works and it is not inconsistent with observed phenomona. That there are no relevant observed phenomena supportive of the case neither confirms nor denys the hypothesis, it merely demonstrates the absence of documented observation of such phenomona.

Actually, the idea that any material object can be accelerated to the speed of light is inconsistent with observed phenomena. Both mathematically derived theory and observation indicate that as an object is accelerated, its mass increases in such a manner that it would be expected to approach infinity as the speed approaches the speed of light. Therefore, it would appear that to accelerate an object to the speed of light would take an infinite amount of energy. It would, therefore, seem that to accelerate an object to the speed of light or beyond would require some kind of loophole that circumvents the difficulty.
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satt fs

1
Fri 24 Oct, 2003 01:20 am
Cerenkov radiation (see the link in the original question) is observed for particles in a medium where photons move slowly. Anyhow it is not in a vacuum.
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Brandon9000

1
Fri 24 Oct, 2003 05:39 am
At some point in this thread, there was a discussion of exceeding the speed of light in vacuum, and I am denying that "it is not inconsistent with observed phenomena."
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