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Is faster than light travel possible, do you think?
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Poll Result
  Is travel faster than light speed possible?  
 
No
22%
 22%  [ 6 ]
Yes, nothing is impossible
14%
 14%  [ 4 ]
Yes, cause I think we'd know if all these UFOs in the sightings came from around here
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Yes, we just don't know how to do it yet
51%
 51%  [ 14 ]
Yes, its merely a case of we know how to do it, but the government is holding it from us
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Yes, we have the technology now but we just don't know we could use it for this
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
 
  Total Votes : 27  

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Konedima
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Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 1068
Location: Sydney, Land of Censorship



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 7:04 am    Post subject: Is faster than light travel possible, do you think? Reply with quote

Having a look at icarus's poll about UFOs, i provide another spacey-kinda question: is faster than light speed travel possible (or, fitting with the ufo theme, are they from somewhere:
a) reasonably close
b) far away but it took them ages to get here
c) far away but they got here quickly because they can go really fast)
Please state your reason if you select the "Yes, other" option, I'd like to know what people think.
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is so much scientists don't know it's scary, in fact this is why I do get scared when potentially dangerous technologies are introduced and scientists tell us not to worry as they "know" it's safe.

Don't forget, Einstein spent his later years in seclusion and ridicule fruitlessly searching for a unified theory to explain quantum mechanics without invalidating his existing theories.

Just because you have developed a model to explain something and it gives the right answer in all your observable test cases it does not necessarily follow that the model is reality.
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Fost
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 3734



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought they'd proved Tachyons exist?

In which case, there are particles that can travel faster than light, although that doesn't necessarily mean we can...
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fost wrote:
I thought they'd proved Tachyons exist?


no because they don't interact with normal matter
so it doesn't matter if they exist
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colourblindangus



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Oxford, England



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

icarus wrote:
no because they don't interact with normal matter

If they don't interact with normal matter, how then are they to be detected?

As for faster than light travel, I believe it depends on what you mean.

Is it possible to travel faster than 3x10^8 m/s in a spaceship? No, Einstein forbade it for some reason, I trust him with such things until I am in a position to argue. As I understand it, as you increase your velocity, your mass also increases for some reason, and so the force necessary to further accelerate you becomes greater, until you require infinite force for infinitesimal acceleration. This limit is the speed of light in a vacuum. (Please correct me here folks)

Can you travel faster than light? Yes, you can either be some form of clever quantum phenomenon, which is impractical for space travel, or you can slow light down. I have read of scientists slowing it to only a few dozen mph, so you can travel faster than that light in a car. Cool

Am I being unnecessarily picky? Most definitely.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

colourblindangus wrote:
If they don't interact with normal matter, how then are they to be detected?


colourblindangus wrote:
I have read of scientists slowing it to only a few dozen mph, so you can travel faster than that light in a car. Cool

clever answer!

actually, light has been halted completely, so yeah - I can travel faster than light by rolling out of bed Wink
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OvermindDL1



Joined: 29 Mar 2004
Posts: 138



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speed of light is a variable, but they talk about the speed of light in a vacuum. Neutrinos also don't interact with matter, but we can detect them.
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icarus
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Joined: 01 Mar 2004

Location: Olympia Washington



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2005 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OvermindDL1 wrote:
The speed of light is a variable, but they talk about the speed of light in a vacuum. Neutrinos also don't interact with matter, but we can detect them.


if we can detect them than they interact whith matter
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrinos#Neutrino_detectors
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BluePhoenix



Joined: 08 Jun 2004
Posts: 96
Location: Between Georgia and Cuba



PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2005 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

colourblindangus wrote:
icarus wrote:
no because they don't interact with normal matter

If they don't interact with normal matter, how then are they to be detected?


Mathematically, like many of the particles mentioned in String Theory.

@Fost: what you say about how much scientists know is very true. As they say (whoever "they" are): "The more you learn, the less you know". The more we learn about the universe, the more questions we have about it.

Oh, and no.
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Johnh



Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Posts: 160



PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The speed of light is constant. Period. From all frames of reference. Which is really wierd. Shall I stop talking in fragments? Alrighty - let me show you an example of just how wierd this is: Say you have 2 photons traveling directly opposite of each other (photon A, and photon B). How fast is photon A traveling in reference to photon B? Classical physics dictates that the velocity of photon B would be twice the speed of light (because photon A is also travelling away from it). But light ALWAYS travels at the speed of light, so photon B is still traveling at the speed of light. There have actually been experiments done to prove this.

According to wikipedia, it is possible for the GROUP velocity, or the PHASE velocity of light to exceed the speed of light. Group velocity and phase velocity follow this equation:

(Group velocity) * (Phase velocity) = (speed of light)^2

I would presume this means that, for light, only one of the 2 velocities may exceed the speed of light.

According to the wiki, though the group velocity or phase velocity exceeds the speed of light, it does not mean that any information or energy has actually travelled faster than the speed of light. It is simply a property of the wave. Nothing physical is actually traveling that fast

On to light being slower than the speed of light - when a photon hits an atom or molecule, it is absorbed into an atom. This causes an electron to become excited, and "jump" an energy level (goes from the S1 orbital, to P1, or S4 to D3). After some period of time, the electron returns to it's previous state, and kicks out a photon. This process takes time. So if you shine a laser through, say, helium gas that was cooled to a temperature very close to absolute zero, thus forcing the substance to become very, very dense - a photon can get stuck inside the gas, and take a long time to get through. I presume the experiment where light was "stopped", that the photons were absorbed by the atoms, but they were not kicked back out.
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HunterXI



Joined: 26 Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Playing like there is no tomorrow.



PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Johnh wrote:
The speed of light is constant. Period. From all frames of reference.


Therefore, if I move away from a light source at 10m/s, the light being emitted accelerates 10m/s to compensate for my movement, so the relative speed of the light is once more 3x10^8m/s (to me). However, that would mean that to someone else standing in between myself and the light, the light would now be travelling at 10+(3x10^Coolm/s.

No matter HOW you reword that, it still collapses in on itself. OWNED!

Never try to challenge a Paradox.
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spawnof2000



Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 6



PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

light speed is not possible beacause to achive light speed you need to achive infinite mass and to do that you would create a black hole so no its not possible
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Johnh



Joined: 06 Sep 2003
Posts: 160



PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HunterXI wrote:
Johnh wrote:
The speed of light is constant. Period. From all frames of reference.


Therefore, if I move away from a light source at 10m/s, the light being emitted accelerates 10m/s to compensate for my movement, so the relative speed of the light is once more 3x10^8m/s (to me). However, that would mean that to someone else standing in between myself and the light, the light would now be travelling at 10+(3x10^Coolm/s.

No matter HOW you reword that, it still collapses in on itself. OWNED!

[Never try to challenge a Paradox.]


Actually, it is impossible for light to accellerate. Any particle with a rest-mass of zero (photons, gravitons (if they exist), gluons, W^+/W^-/Z^0 bosons) must be travelling at the speed of light - it can not exceed it, or fall under it. According to general reletivity at least. As such, it is impossible for that light particle to accellerate, or decelerate. It must ALWAYS travel at 3*10^8 m/s. In your hypothetical scenario, the person travelling at 10 m/s would experience a time dilation that would cause the photon to still be moving at 3*10^8 m/s.

This is explained in a hypothetical scenario proposed by Einstein. If you took a rocket ship and blasted it away from earth at close to the speed of light for 10 years, and then turned it around at the same speed for another 10 years, it would arrive at Earth - 20 million years in the future. Thus 20 years passed for the rocket ship, but 20 miillion years passed for Earth (and eveyrone on it). There have been experiments done that support this theory, though as with all theories, it is not certain.
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simonb



Joined: 03 Apr 2005
Posts: 100
Location: Auckland, NZ



PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will scientists ever figure out a way for us to travel faster than darkness?
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HunterXI



Joined: 26 Dec 2003
Posts: 476
Location: Playing like there is no tomorrow.



PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonb wrote:
Will scientists ever figure out a way for us to travel faster than darkness?


Irrelevant, as darkness is simply the non-presence of Light. It has no properties; it has no speed. It is there if no light is there.
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