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# Why are Speed of Light and Time entwined?

Thu 19 Jun, 2014 04:38 pm
my question is based on the following understanding

As we approach the speed of light, everything around us slows down. To reach 100% the speed of light would render time at a standstill, and any faster would send time backwards

On what grounds are these statements made? why do we understand time to have a peak?

If I am mistaken, please correct me, I am unfortunately no scientist and I have certainly been wrong before
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Type: Question • Score: 9 • Views: 2,534 • Replies: 17

Romeo Fabulini

1
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 04:54 pm
Scientists know time is stretchy and elastic but they don't know why.
Incidentally time slows down for you even if you're not moving but are standing next to a massive object, I learnt that fascinating fact from a recent TV episode of 'Stephen Hawking's Universe' where it showed two people standing next to the Great Pyramid and speeded up their view of the world..

At 22:15-
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rosborne979

1
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 04:57 pm
@Smileyrius,
I believe it goes something like this... as you increase the velocity of an object by pushing it, you also increase its mass (because it is accumulating energy), and the increase in mass warps space-time around it, and that warping results in a distortion of time (and other things).
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JLO1988

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 05:26 pm
Thanks for this question.

It inspired my to read up on imaginary time which I have been meaning to do.

Imaginary Time is the answer to the confusion you're facing with this dilemma.

I cannot fill in the gaps for you and you do not need to understand imaginary time for this to answer your question.

Simply understand this statement (joke because it's impossible to do): Time is imaginary because the idea of time requires itself as part of its own definition.

Explanation: Imaginary time is that time which we do not imagine (which our consciousness is unaware). Sure, we imagined... imaginary time but not exactly... we imagined multiple dimensions and we use imaginary time to represent what multiple dimensions might appear like if multiple dimensions were "a dimension of space." IE if we could glimpse multiple dimensions in our own universe this is what imaginary time represents (multiple dimensions in our own universe).

so... running a few minutes leaving work now... hahah

So perhaps to travel at the speed of light would be to travel through imaginary time...

I hope that helps solidify any confusion you had

=D
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chai2

1
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 06:43 pm
It's not imaginary time, it's spacetime.

The speed of light is a constant.
Speed is distance divided by time.
Therefore, either distance has to shrink or the passage of time has to contract to maintain that constant.

It's an equation where both sides must equal.

Taking the speed of light out of it for a moment
Let's say you are traveling on a road that goes straight North at 100 mph. You need to be at a certain point in exactly one hour.

Suddenly the road you are on starts veering NE. Looking at a map, you see up the road in 25 miles it turns back going NW, going to your destination.

If you keep going 100 mph, you will never make it by your deadline. That's because even though your speed remains the same, your progress Northward is being impeded. You may have to go, for instance 120 mph to get to your finish line.

If you are standing still, and the person next to you takes off at half the speed of light away from you, you might think that to the traveler, light is only moving at half the speed it is to you. Not true. The speed of light is traveling away from him on his spaceship at exactly the same speed as it is to you standing there. So, to you, it looks like moving through time really slowly. To the traveler, time is fine to him, but if he looks back it looks like the clocks on earth are going really fast.
Brandon9000

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 06:49 pm
@Smileyrius,
Smileyrius wrote:
my question is based on the following understanding

As we approach the speed of light, everything around us slows down.

This is true.

Smileyrius wrote:
To reach 100% the speed of light would render time at a standstill, and any faster would send time backwards

These are false since they cannot occur. The basis is the theory of relativity. For details, see, for instance, Einstein's original paper (translated into English):

https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/
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mark noble

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 07:27 pm
@Smileyrius,
You are mistaken.
Light is physical.
Time is a measurement.

You cannot (at any velocity) Precede an event. A. It would require relocation of ALL (In this and every realm of energy) criteria to its original position. B. Your (now) addition to that set would negate, through corruption of quantity, the original event.

Light is not the fastest thing that exists - It's just the fastest thing we can measure.
If I dropped a feather on the floor - Travelling faster than the speed of a falling feather would also generate the above principles.

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mark noble

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 07:46 pm
@chai2,
Time doesn't change, only the beholder's perception of it does.
You may (As a humour-based description only) have convinced your wife your 6 inch penis is 8 inches long - therefor her perception of 8 inches is based on your inaccurate description of length. Again - only the beholder's perception has changed, not the length of your penis.
Time, as with length, height, width, circumference etc are merely (abstract/non-tangible) measurements. They do not exist in the physical realm.
chai2

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 07:50 pm
@mark noble,
mark noble wrote:

Time doesn't change, only the beholder's perception of it does.

Where does this conflict with what I said?

Oh, BTW JLO, I apologize about the "imaginary time" thing. I wasn't familiar with that term.
mark noble

0
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 07:55 pm
@chai2,
I added it as a supplement, not as an argument.
But the speed of light is not a constant - It slows to approx 28 mph when travelling through a chrystaline prism.
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gungasnake

-1
Thu 19 Jun, 2014 08:09 pm
@Smileyrius,
Einstein interpreted the Michelson/Morley experiment literally to mean that light speed does not add the way ordinary velocities do and attempted to adjust physics accordingly, i.e. to claim that that time itself was deformable. There are two or three other and more intelligent ways to understand the MM experiment which Einstein did not investigate.
neologist

2
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 12:35 am
@Smileyrius,
Well I wonder if there is any reason to believe speculations about the origin of the universe?
Setanta

3
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 01:54 am
@Smileyrius,
You have to keep in mind that time is one of the four cardinal dimensions--three spatial dimensions and time.

You seem to fail to understand the concept of relativistic effects. As an object approaches the speed of light, the relationship of that object with regard to dimension time is altered. Nothing "slows down"--the relationship of other objects to which are not moving at the same speed is simply different with regard to the dimension of time.

Attaining the speed of light turns matter into energy--BOOM. That's how atomic bombs work. You're not going to be going backwards in time when you have become radiation energy.

You really need to catch up. If the string hypothesis is correct, there are ten dimensions, six which are microdimensions, in the Planck realm (very, very, very, very, very small. It is in those six dimensions that "strings" exist, and vibrate, creating matter. String "theory" (it ain't a theory yet, but it's fan club likes to call it that) has the problem that it's not observable (those six microdimensions, at least) and that it has made no predictions which can be verified.

That's why you need to catch up. Physics is down the road, and you're not even out of the driveway.
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Brandon9000

0
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 04:08 am
@gungasnake,
gungasnake wrote:

Einstein interpreted the Michelson/Morley experiment literally to mean that light speed does not add the way ordinary velocities do and attempted to adjust physics accordingly, i.e. to claim that that time itself was deformable. There are two or three other and more intelligent ways to understand the MM experiment which Einstein did not investigate.

Einstein was unaware of the Michelson/Morley experiment when he wrote the relativity paper.
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mark noble

0
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 05:01 am
@neologist,
Good point. I wonder if there's any point to anything.
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Brandon9000

0
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 05:17 am
@neologist,
neologist wrote:
Well I wonder if there is any reason to believe speculations about the origin of the universe?

Meaning what, exactly? You have a habit of making coy hints instead of plainly stating what you mean.
neologist

1
Fri 20 Jun, 2014 12:01 pm
@Brandon9000,
Just checking to see if you were awake
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TyroJack

1
Wed 11 May, 2016 04:20 am
@Smileyrius,
"As we approach the speed of light, everything around us slows down."
OK; yet it is not as simple as that, is it?

What do we mean when we say: "As we approach the speed of light..."
The speed of light relative to what?
For in our own individual frame of reference, the tool that we use to measure Spacetime from, we are at rest. We do not move relative to Spacetime, cannot know how or if we are moving as we have no way of determining or defining a state of rest for the Spacetime.

We can only measure our movement relative to other bodies - or rather, their movement relative to us - for we are at rest!

The only movement we know relative to Spacetime is that of light (electromagnetic radiation): because we know by experiment that light always travels at 'c'.

But how can that be? What does that mean? How can light move at the same speed relative to any observer?

Well the answer is very simple...

Light travels between Spacetime events. Locations in Spacetime at moments in time.
Each event is fixed and unique.
And, as the reference frame we are measuring from is at rest, as we measure it, in Spacetime, each event occurs at a fixed location, only the coordinates vary from frame to frame.
And as when we are measuring events there can be no movement (movement is change of location - and events are fixed - over time - and as events are fixed in time) and if what we are measuring is not moving there can be no time dilation or length contraction...

So light travels between events, whose only difference between frames of reference are their coordinates relative to the frame in question, Light always travels the same distance over the same time, regardless of the frame we use.

Therefore 'c' is the same whichever frame it is measured in.
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