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Passions in Poetry

Faster Than Light

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Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
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0 posted 10-28-2011 07:29 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

“Dr Sergio Bertolucci said it was vital not to "fool around" given the staggering implications of the result.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15471118


What are some of the staggering implications?
.
Uncas
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since 07-30-2010
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1 posted 10-28-2011 08:47 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
What are some of the staggering implications?


There aren't any. Unless you're a physicist, in which case everything you thought you knew just got turned on its head.

I read about this when it was breaking news, my first reaction was wow! Then I thought about how it'd effect day to day life and I changed my mind to - so what.

Eventually I looked a little closer at the details of the experiment and the findings and now I'm more than a little sceptical that it'll actually turn out to be anything other than a miscalculation.

.
Balladeer
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2 posted 10-29-2011 01:43 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I remember, in the movie K-Pax, Kevin Spacey was a visitor from a very distant planet. When asked how he could reach Earth since nothing could travel faster than light, Spacey remarked that it was easy to travel faster than light. When the scientists said Einstein proved that light travel was the fastest travel possible, Spacey made some comment on how Einstein knew there was something faster and he went into some details on why Einstein thought so. I don't remember what it was but it was impressive. Sure, it's only a movie, but travel faster than light could open up one heck of a lot of new possibilities.
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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3 posted 10-29-2011 02:28 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K




     More and more effort is required to move a smaller and smaller weight as it gets closer and closer to lightspeed.  As speed approaches C, the amount of effort required to get to lightspeed approaches infinity.  That's if my understanding of Einstein is correct.

     The way I've heard it expressed by some folks — and I wish I could give references here, but my memory is shoddy and I'm not any good at math — there may be some sort of loophole involved.  That is, one may not be able to get to lightspeed because of the difficulty on the approach.  That doesn't necessarily mean that one can't go faster than lightspeed if one can find a way of getting there without passing C first.

     That sounds a bit odd to me.

     Of course that would depend on how much of the theory depends on something like linear acceleration, which is how I tend to think about speed, and how much may depend on geometry.  I'm told that a lot of relativity has to do with geometry in some fashion, and that in the Einsteinian universe space is not to be considered a dimension involving only length, breadth and height but also time as a geometric consideration, and that mass distorts space in predictable ways.

     I can imagine speed between two points, but when you toss in distortions of mass and time, my brain simply goes on strike.

    It would be nice, however, if we were able to access speeds greater than light and survive the process.  It would make star travel at least a possibility, and that would be something marvelous indeed.
Uncas
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since 07-30-2010
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4 posted 10-29-2011 08:07 AM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

quote:
I don't remember what it was but it was impressive.


What Spacey said  Mike, was that Einstein proved that you couldn't accelerate to the speed of light but that there was no reason why an entity already travelling at light speed couldn't accelerate past it. Which is basically what Bob said:

one may not be able to get to lightspeed because of the difficulty on the approach. That doesn't necessarily mean that one can't go faster than lightspeed if one can find a way of getting there without passing C first.

Bob,

I think your brain going on strike is fairly common when you start to look at the concept of travelling 'faster than light'. That's largely because 'faster than light' is a nebulous definition - it can either mean a speed faster than the maximum velocity of light (299792458 m / s) or simply getting from point A to point B faster than light can get there. It's a subtle difference and separating the two can certainly cause a serious brain strike.

I wonder though, have you read about the experiment they conducted? It's worth looking at because one thing it does prove is that brain strikes are more common than you think and aren't restricted to non-scientific folk like us.

Balladeer
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5 posted 10-29-2011 09:17 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks for bringing that back up, Uncas. I thought it was an excellent movie, by the way.

We don't need light travel to cause brains to go on strike. The Alley does that very well.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


6 posted 10-29-2011 04:00 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

How fast does light travel through something such as a solid and opaque rock?  
Bob K
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since 11-03-2007
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7 posted 10-29-2011 04:34 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Here in the Alley, Ess?
 
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