Author Topic: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)  (Read 4355 times)

Offline FransonUK

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Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« on: 03/30/2005 03:39 pm »
Apparently Albert says it is, but for the physics people out there, would you claim it is totally impossible - or is there a way around this problem of never actually being able to reach or pass the speed of light? Never mind in a space ship of sorts.
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Offline nacnud

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #1 on: 03/31/2005 09:08 pm »
Nope there is no way round it.

...but there are some interesting effects that came close such as

Quantum entanglement: Athough the effect apears to happen FTL no information can be transmitted this way as it is a random event.

Rotating Universes: Godel show in the the 1940s that solutions to general relativity with a rotating universe can alow time travle. Time travle is closely related to FTL as a FTL particle effectively moves backwards in time. However, there is no evidence the universe is rotating.


Offline Dana

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/2005 11:32 pm »
Impossibility is a conceit based on the limits of accepted knowledge.

Who's to say what can happen in 100 or 200 years? In 1769 it was impossible to go to the Moon. In 1969, it wasn't.

Breaking the light barrier is no more impossible than breaking the sound barrier was. We just haven't learned how yet.
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Offline nacnud

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #3 on: 04/02/2005 12:18 am »
The sound barrier was broken by mankind the first time a whip was cracked. The sound barrier has been broken any time a meteor entered the atmosphere.

Show me an example in nature where the speed of light in a vacuum has been broken by a physical object.

Offline WARPed

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #4 on: 04/02/2005 11:03 am »
Just because we haven't seen it doesn't mean it can't happen.  IMO mankind knows very little of what really goes on around us and a lot of what we do know probably isn't entirely correct.
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Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #5 on: 04/03/2005 09:39 am »
Wormholes, there's your way around it. You can't just speed up past the light barrier. Doesn't matter how hard you push, the more you do the slower you get as you reach light speed.

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2005 11:34 am »
Quote
NASA_Twix_JSC - 3/4/2005  10:39 AM

Wormholes, there's your way around it. You can't just speed up past the light barrier. Doesn't matter how hard you push, the more you do the slower you get as you reach light speed.

Or, as you speed up, on your way to the speed of light, your acceleration slows down (so you're still going 'foward') more and more, throwing all the power you want at it, the closer you get, the less you accelerate.

Offline SpaceMad

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #7 on: 04/04/2005 09:16 am »
Never say never I say!

Offline buckwheat

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #8 on: 06/28/2005 02:18 pm »
My $0.02 - I was a physics major, got a M/S in math and physics (so you know the angle I'm going to take here!)... physically, it is mathematically impossible to travel FASTER than the speed of light.  No way, no how.  Einstein's equations prove it for me; look at the denominator of many of his equations (time dilation, for instance) where we have sqrt(1-v^2/C^2), if v even equals c (the speed of light) then your denominator is 1 - 1 which is zero, which is undefined (or "infinite", depending on your angle!).  If an object's velocity would be allowed to be greater than c, then the denominator would be the square root of a negative number... an imaginary result.  This cannot apply to physical SPEED.

Okay, with that SAID - while I think it is impossible for us to MOVE at a speed greater than or equal to the speed of light, I don't see why we can't WARP space so we can travel from point A to point B faster than the speed of light.  This is also implied by Einstein, but by his GENERAL theory of Relitivity (i.e. the difficult one).  Just find a way - it'll take a tremendous amount of energy - to FOLD space, pick the point you wish to travel TO, fold space, then travel across the fold!  Simple, ain't it?  ;)

Now there's just the little matter of folding space... I just hope I live long enough to see it happen.

Offline FransonUK

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #9 on: 06/28/2005 02:25 pm »
So would you say Star Trek is bollocks? :)
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Offline Avron

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #10 on: 08/04/2005 07:35 pm »
The infinite mass issue as you get closer to light speed, may be a pain...

Offline starhunter

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FTL travel impossible.....and unecessary.
« Reply #11 on: 08/14/2005 09:04 am »
I believe there are properties of the vacuum that can be manipulated to alter (hopefully close) the distance between a spacecraft and its intended destination, without having to travel more than a fraction of C. Such a technology will require alloys unheard of today, and energy magnitudes that would vaporize small worlds, contained within a space vehicle. How exactly, I don't know. But there is much to learn about vacuums and their properties. I'm a "armchair" theoritician (with a humanities background - lookout!) armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous.....but imagination is a good place to start when proposing such possibilities. I have a half-baked theory of my own, about how we might travel "faster than light". It's essentially a variation on Alcubierre's "UFO Physics" but I delve deeper into the possibilities of vacuum field physics, gravity and inertia, than his or any other theory I'm aware of. And I believe I can accomodate Special and General Relativity, as well as Inflationary Big Bang Cosmology, and point to some exceptions to Thermodynamics (where things get really half-baked). Stay tuned....   ;)

Offline Jason Sole

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #12 on: 08/14/2005 11:33 pm »
Are wormholes possible?

Offline starhunter

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RE: Is light speed impossible? (FTL debate)
« Reply #13 on: 08/14/2005 11:43 pm »
My understanding is YES they are possible, but in reality, they close up just nanoseconds after you open them up. So "stargates" that are made of wormholes may be tricky.

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