Can we Travel at The Speed of Light??


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Profile Johnney Guinness
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Message 428728 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 11:00:13 UTC

I was just chatting about something else when Diego
asked the question, Can we travel at the speed of
Light. All the Greatest Names we know in recent history say that it is impossible. They say that when we approach the speed of light, Time itself slows down. And Mass becomes heavier and more dense.

So Einstine is telling us that we cant. Is he right?

For us to explore any further than our owen solar system at the current speed (17500 MPH)would take a life time.

To even explore our owen Milky way (2000 light years accross) we need to defie Einstine and Gravity???

Can we do it?
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Message 428830 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 14:32:05 UTC
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 14:34:30 UTC

Actually our galaxy is over 100,000 light years across, putting it in the class of the largest spiral galaxies known (although our neighbor galaxy Andromeda is even larger). The sun is about 35,000 light years from the center of the Milky Way and 40 light years above its plane.

The energy required to go faster approaches infinity as you approach the speed of light, so no conceivable method of accelerating a spacecraft to that speed is going to work. My hope is that some trick can be found to move across vast distances by another means, like wormholes or something we can't even imagine today.
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Message 428834 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 14:45:56 UTC

No we cannot. No matter how close you are to the speed of light if you have all the thrust in the universe you cannot get going past the speed of light. "The famailar notions of absolute space and absolute time independent of your relative motion must give way." - Carl Sagan. There is a nice thing that happens though. As you mentioned time slows down when you approach the speed of light. This is because atomic particles dont decay as quickly near the speed of light. I could survive a trip to the farest galaxy and back to Earth. If I left today when I am 17 years old. The trip would only seem to me and my body to be 56 years. So when I got back 15 billion years later I would only think that I had been gone for 56 years and I would be 73 years old. Although nothing would be living on Earth anymore and our sun would be dead. Anyways you could also have so called generation ships where the people that leave would not be around when they arrived at their destination but rather their decendents on the ship would.
Going faster than the speed of light is a problem as far as space travel goes. I bet very few civilizations actually come into physical contact with each other because of this barrier. I don't fully understand relativity as few people do.
Carl Sagan's Cosmos episode on relativity and time travel.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7123713475675144509&q=Carl+Sagan+the+cosmos
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Message 428940 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:32:44 UTC
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 18:35:47 UTC

Also we shouldn't neglect the (most likely, imo) possibility that the extraterrestrials are immortal machines. They might simply switch themselves off, so that for them, no time would pass between embarkation and arrival.
They might also be skilled in cryonic preservation.
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Message 428944 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:39:41 UTC

Because we really do not understand the true nature of matter or light, we cannot say for sure if we can or cannot travel faster than light. It's current theory that suggests that we cannot travel faster than light and current theory is obviously wrong or incomplete at best.
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Message 428947 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:44:21 UTC - in response to Message 428944.
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 18:45:28 UTC

"...and current theory is obviously wrong or incomplete at best."



There is such a mountain of evidence that shows that Relativity is correct that we should call it a Law now instead of a theory.

We can never accelerate to the speed of light.

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Message 428952 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:56:57 UTC

That must be why direct measurement like LIGO and VIRGO which would validate his theory have thus far failed. Science is never law. Once something is accepted as absolute, it's history not science. Science should always be questioned. Maybe the view of it being "law" is why there have been no major advancements since relativity.
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Message 428953 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:57:52 UTC

Sleestak, I like your line of thought. You know full well that we cant travel at the speed of light, but i think you are also open minded to the idea!!

If we simply can never do it then we are stuck here in this solar system for the next while anyway.

Just looking through telescopes. Its like looking at a bag of sweets and not being able to eat them.

We need to crack this speed of light thing and soon, very soon.
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Message 428956 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 18:58:04 UTC - in response to Message 428947.
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 18:58:14 UTC


There is such a mountain of evidence that shows that Relativity is correct that we should call it a Law now instead of a theory.


Tell me specifically what this evidence is.
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Message 428961 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:06:10 UTC

sleestak, I think it is possible. I also believe that einstine and relitavity make sense aswell. So i contradict myself.

Its a kind of inner belief that today's science is wrong. I think we are going to prove it wrong aswell. we need to go faster than light.
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Message 428964 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:10:41 UTC - in response to Message 428953.
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 19:12:31 UTC

You know full well that we cant travel at the speed of light, but i think you are also open minded to the idea!!


In my studies, I have developed a unique world view different from most others. Because of what I have learned, I have become unsure whether light speed can be broken. Solomon has jump on this before... Light is dominated by the same law that governs electricity and magnitism and we know this because of the effects velocity has on mass. What we don't know is the exact law but some claim it to be relativity. But relativity is not unifying with electricty and magnitism. So, because most beleive in some unifying connection and relativity and E&M (electricity and magnitism) don't mesh, there must be a mistake in relativity or in E&M or both. I would first point my finger to relativity, but I won't publicly go into why I personally would. But because relativity is in question in my mind, I cannot trust all things it produces such as singularities and speed limits.

Also going back to the underlying law that governs E&M and baryonic matter, it would suggest that a truly neutral particle or a particle that "appeared" to be neutral would have no defining speed limit because it's not clear if the known laws would be applicable. Neutrons and neutrinos have magnetic spin which means that they are not truly neutral. It's easy to find tidbits that don't fit into popular belief that go ignored on a daily basis. This is debatable and a sore point for some physicists it seems.

The point is that we can be sure that we have not obtained the true underlying law yet. Or at least it's not yet published. Therefore, we must doubt all bounderies set by current theory because if we don't, we'll never move forward.

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Message 428970 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:19:42 UTC - in response to Message 428947.

Prajna Dhyana said:
There is such a mountain of evidence that shows that Relativity is correct that we should call it a Law now instead of a theory.

We can never accelerate to the speed of light.


"A machine heavier than the air will never fly."

I tell ya, those crazy scientists are... well.. crazy!
Imagine the blasphemy! To defy Einstein's notions?
How dare we!

;-)
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Message 428974 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:23:16 UTC

Can you answer a question, and its very relivent to the topic. How fast do electrons travel when moving through a copper wire. Lets say first a 9volt dc circuit with a battery and a bulb. Then 1 million volts dc like when lightning strikes.

Do the electrons move faster with a higher potential difference. Lets assume that the lightning also has a copper wire with the same resistance.

Do electrons in a copper wire move at the speed of light. Or close to it??
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Message 428989 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:43:07 UTC

This is taken from http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SpeedOfLight/FTL.html
"
When Einstein wrote down his postulates for special relativity, he did not include the statement that you cannot travel faster than light. There is a misconception that it is possible to derive it as a consequence of the postulates he did give. Incidentally, it was Henri Poincare who said "Perhaps we must construct a new mechanics, . . . in which the speed of light would become an impassable limit." That was in an address to the International Congress of Arts and Science in 1904 before Einstein announced special relativity in 1905.
"
If I got this right the limit i resticted in a given space, the space it selfe does not hav the same restiction.
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Message 428993 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 19:48:11 UTC - in response to Message 428974.
Last modified: 30 Sep 2006, 19:49:02 UTC

Do electrons in a copper wire move at the speed of light. Or close to it??

Actually, depending on the current present, I think the electrons themselves only reach speeds of about a couple cm per second.
It's the "energy" that moves fast, almost instantly, along a copper wire. Is it not?
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Message 429020 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 21:02:26 UTC

This topic requires me to go to google, the old favorite and do some research
on the topic.

I need more answers. I dont have them at this point in time. If i could somehow slow down time. maby if i was traveling faster than the speed of light then i would have the answers now.

Google.....
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Message 429056 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 21:47:24 UTC - in response to Message 428974.

Can you answer a question, and its very relivent to the topic. How fast do electrons travel when moving through a copper wire. Lets say first a 9volt dc circuit with a battery and a bulb. Then 1 million volts dc like when lightning strikes.

Do the electrons move faster with a higher potential difference. Lets assume that the lightning also has a copper wire with the same resistance.

Do electrons in a copper wire move at the speed of light. Or close to it??


Yes they move at close to the speed of light (minus the resistance of the medium they are traveling thru).

Admiral Grace Hopper used to carry around a piece of wire about 8 - 10 inches long (as I recall anyway) that she called nanoseconds, that was the length that electrons traveled in a nanosecond.

http://www.cs.yale.edu/homes/tap/Files/hopper-story.html




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Message 429091 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 22:26:24 UTC

Yes indeed, Admiral Grace "Murray" Hopper. The woman must have had Irish
roots. She sounds like an interesting person.

It seems I am getting conflicting views on Google on the relationship between speed of an electron in a conductor and current. I dont believe it. Im going back to google again and i will tell you why. Yes, electrons dont move through the conductor, they just move next door to fill the empty "hole" in the atom beside them. But Electrons have Mass and DO move at the speed of light in a relay batton change over that results in the movement of what we call "current".

So, that is Mass traveling at the speed of light without dammaging the atomic structure of the atom.

So maby we can travel at the speed of light without being destroyed or crushed by E=MC2

More answers are needed.
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Message 429097 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 22:33:35 UTC

That statement is missing information such as voltage...

I think Diego is the closest. With a given current, the electron going in simply bumps into the next one that bumps into the next one and eventually the end electron is pushed out. So much of the action is the field of the electron pushing the next one. That piece will move at the speed of light or the speed of light in that particular medium. The electrons, however, will move much slower and that can be calculated based on current, length, and area of wire. Electrons will move fast and it's know that different conditions such as magnetic fields effect it.

At this point, I could propose a Schodinger Cat analogy. If you have an electron in a hypothetical box and you shield that box from any information coming from outside the box and shield it from information leaving the box. So anychanges of motion outside the box will be invisible to the electron. One could imagine a "perfect" resonance feedback system. Effectively, you've made it a "neutral" system. If you move the box to another location, the electron would not know that it traveled at all. The electron records zero velocity. Since we cannot record anything emminating from the box, we conclude that nothing happened. Now we remove the resonant feedback and we can see that the box with the electron has moved with respect to everything else.

If you're still missing the point, it's the permeability of space that's in question. Space is permeated with E&M fields which cannot be escaped. These fields are generated by other charged particles. All we really know is that an electron cannot move faster than the speed of light in the presence of a E&M field. It's extremely possible and likely that the bounderies are set because of the enviroment of the premeating E&M fields around us. What happens when we eliminate them?

The only way we can truly know what happens when you eliminated the effects of the fields would be to have a detector with our electron which would be unable to reference the detector outside of the box during the test. i.e. can we reduce the resistance of "space" which is filled with E&M fields on an electron so that it appears, to the electron, that it's moving slower than the outside environment would say it's moving.
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Message 429121 - Posted: 30 Sep 2006, 23:28:44 UTC

Sleestak, you know your stuff.I enjoy your feedback because I know it will have some substance.

Since man invented the engine we have done nothing but race them. There has been the constant chaseing of the land speed record. The the chase for the fastest aircraft. Can we break the sound barrier. then can do Mach 2, Mach 3 and so on. I'm not even sure what the fastest speed is today. I think that rockets do about 17500 mph. I think thats the speed the satalites travel at to stay in orbit.

I think that no better men than Richard Branson and Burt Rutan to start this chase into space. Who's going to follow them?. You can bet your life its going to be a speed race once there's a couple of crouds involved.

I bet there will be an almighty chase to get close to the speed of light. Who's name will go down in history with the holy grail of speed. 3x10^8 M/S
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