If you travel faster than light, what happens?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by iholla, Feb 6, 2008.

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  1. fractalfeline

    fractalfeline New Member

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    Well, the pigs would start flying, for sure.
     
  2. Sharky

    Sharky Community Paragon Community Support

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    My view is that you'd get there really REALLY fast. Why anything else? Nobody would see you arrive, well maybe a fast blur, and a lot of turbulence. Maybe a visual like a supersonic boom.

    Everything else is just theory.

    Hey; think of the potential for weapons technology. You'd be able to fire a rocket from one side of the world, and assuming you'd be able to control the direction of travel and have a computer capable of working that fast, it'd be able to eliminate the threat instantly (ok technically "really really fast", but as far as we're concerned it's instant enough LOL). Obviously, to date electrons are slower than light, and fibre optics aren't FASTER than light, so we'd need some major breakthroughs for that to work. Just imagine the calibre of video game possible if the console was able to process the data that fast...
     
  3. Sharky

    Sharky Community Paragon Community Support

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    Yes I can vouch for that. Great fun.
     
  4. denzil

    denzil New Member

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    Your question is invalid.
     
  5. MaestroFX1

    MaestroFX1 Community Advocate Community Support

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    How ???
    It is a valid but hypothetical question.
    Stop bunking your physics lectures.:)
     
  6. ChatIndia

    ChatIndia Community Advocate Community Support

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    The signals in fiber optics are not electrical signals. They are light signals.
     
  7. theguyistheman65

    theguyistheman65 New Member

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    First off: Gravity and acceleration are impossible to tell apart unless give an outside reference.
    Assuming you find a way to cheat acceleration and simply pop into light speed, onec your there, there are no forces involved.
    The time dilation would a occur because, put simply, all objects travel through time-space at a constant speed, c, and as your speed through space increases, your speed through time decreases. This is the simple way to put it, bear in mind. Then there would be the problem of mass increase leading to infinite mass. If there were any magnetic fields you passed through, the cyclotron radiation would probably vaporize you. Then, you you managed to survive being a radiation baked, infinitely flat disk of infinite mass, it is my belief that you would burst out of the universe. And did i mention that the energy involved would turn each particle in the light-craft into black holes one by one. But if we could survive this, and knew the location of a fold in time space, we could break out of the universe and then back into it, or at least this is my belief.
    Solution: We rely on the expansion of space to take us places, not breaking the universe.
     
  8. denzil

    denzil New Member

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    lol my bad :)
    My opinion (yes his question is valid), but travelling faster will require infinite energy, as stated before... and therefore... invalid :)
     
  9. essellar

    essellar Community Advocate Community Support

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    In theoretical terms, you can be a tardyon (or be composed entirely of tardyons), and can never actually achieve c because your mass would approach infinity as you approach c, and thus require energy approaching infinity to accelerate to light speed. Or you can be entirely energy, and travel at c exactly. Or you can be a tachyon (or something composed entirely of tachyons) and never be able to reduce your velocity to c or below (again, due to the infinite mass problem -- in fact, the lowest energy state for a tachyon would be at infinite velocity, sort of equivalent to absolute zero on this side). You can be below the line, above the line or on the line, but you can't cross the line without changing your essential nature. How a tachyon would perceive light is a question we're not equipped to handle, since time on that side of the c line in undefined to us (requiring imaginary numbers), so things like frequency are also undefined. By the same token, though, physics based on reality on the c+ side of the line would put us in the undefined category

    Yes, there have been experiments which have provided data seeming to indicate faster-than-light travel for individual particles (tardyons), but upon closer examination the data actually show a compression of the probability wave -- the particle hasn't actually traveled faster than c, but the wave which represents that article's probability of being at a certain point (locality isn't absolute in the quantum realm) has been compressed towards the leading edge, such that a peak-to-peak measurement looks like the particle has moved faster than light speed, but when measured leading edge to leading edge, it's actually somewhat slower than c.

    I'm not one to say that faster-than-light travel is impossible because it would make for ugly Minkowski diagrams -- I think the sci-fi world has gotten it right in that it might be possible to move from one location to another without actually covering the intervening distance. The strongest argument against that's ever been raised is the issue of causality -- the idea that nothing can happen before the thing that caused it to happen happened. Myself, I'm not so sure that the many worlds interpretation wouldn't allow for something like that.
     
  10. theguyistheman65

    theguyistheman65 New Member

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    I think i just thought of a neat little way to cheat the question a bit, havent read the entire thread yet, so im not sure if its been mentioned, if we consider relative movement. Given a stationary point (the sun) to compare the craft's movement to, and a moving point for an observer to rest on (the earth). For the sake of this problem, lets say earth orbits around the sun at 0.6c. Then, this craft takes off from earth at some insanely high rate, also about 0.6c (all speeds relative to the sun), while neither the craft nor the earth exceeed the sped of a beam of light traveling alongside of them, to each other they would appear to be going at 1.2c. This would therefore have an object traveling "faster then light". In this case, nothing special would happen.
    My question is, what happens if you accelerate two particles to the point that the seal themselves off from the universe and become little tiny black holes, how would the particles view each other?
    My guess, within my limited understanding of string theory, therefore probably wrong, would be that at the energy level involved at traveling at such speeds, the particles would appear to be "bigger" and eclipse the tiny black holes from "view". Could someone more knowledgeable then I in this field clear this up for me?
     
  11. henk506673

    henk506673 Member

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    here is what would happen, basicaly your body would fold in apon its self and you would get all uncoumfortable and then die probably
     
  12. Jennacide

    Jennacide New Member

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  13. sankalpgarud98

    sankalpgarud98 New Member

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    Too much theory for a young boy like me, torture !
    It is probably virtually impossible to travel faster than light, atleast for human beings. But if at all that happens, then we will have Michael Phelps circumnavigating the earth :p
     
  14. FrozenTime

    FrozenTime Member

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    I guess everything would look distorted, since what you see is just reflection of light. There'll probably be too many Gs involved, so that might cause some problems too.
     
  15. brettwhite

    brettwhite New Member

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    If you travelled faster than light, theoretically, you would travel back in time.

    Actually you would just see back in time.

    Good question.
     
  16. stpvoice

    stpvoice Community Support Rep Community Support

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  17. Darkmere

    Darkmere New Member

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    I was going to say ... the clock would look like it froze but once you come out of light speed or faster the photons would catch up and the clock would read the correct time. So it would actually be like time stood still temporarily.

    ---------- Post added at 04:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

    But then again if you are in a vehicle you may see everything as normal. Think about it, you are in a car you throw a ball up and then it comes down and you catch it. The ball is going the same speed as the car. Now throw the ball at the windshield the amount of energy required to throw the ball is exactly the same as if you were standing still. But since the car is moving the ball actually accelerates faster than the car to hit the windshield. So if you think about it an object reflecting or generating light would use the same amount of energy to fling off the photons, so if you are in a vehicle moving the speed of light it may be possible that the light contained in the vehicle will actually travel faster than what you are currently traveling since it would not need more energy to do so. Just throwing this out, not a physics major but what ever lolo
     
  18. stpvoice

    stpvoice Community Support Rep Community Support

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    Highly simplified, think of the speed of light as the "cosmic speed limit". If nothing can go faster, then time actually slows down. Think about it:

    If speed=distance/time, then a larger value for time results in a lower speed, thus preventing anything from reaching or exceeding the speed of light.
     
  19. Interscopia

    Interscopia x10 Caffeine Addict Prime Account

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    Nothing has ever went faster than light, I think that is one feat of engineering that will never be beaten by the human race...
     
  20. SierraAR

    SierraAR Community Advocate Community Support

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    According to every theoretical determination I've heard from various sources, including the discovery and science channels on T.V., Time would /seem/ to slow down, but aside from that, nothing would really happen.
     
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