posted on Feb, 3 2006 @ 03:14 AM
I'm not a physics major either. Yet.
I can tell of you though, that you kind of need to be to understand properly.
If you are travelling at the speed of light, and shine a light forwards, from a flashlight or whatever, you will observe that light moving away from
you at the full speed of light.
A person off to the side of you would not see the same thing as you, they would in fact just see a single beam of light move by, were it that they
could 'see' beams of light.
The fact that c, the speed of light is constant, and that t, the amount of time or x, the distance of space, is not constant, allows for your length
to contract and your time to dilate in such a way (while travelling at near-light velocities) that the second beam would move away from you
noticeably, but only to you.
I don't have my equations sheet with me, but I believe it's Lm=Lsgamma, or, movingLength=stationaryLength*1/root(1-v^2) (where v is 0.xx of c, a
decimal amount of speed in the unit c) And ts=tmgamma.
It's fairly complex, but it is by no means a new question, and .. is actually "the question" that relativity answers. The fact that so few people
in this thread knew what was going on shows that the real concepts of relativity don't get expressed very well to the mainstream public knowledge.
Relativity does not just mean "you can't go faster than light" - it means that light is absolute while time is not, and regardless of you, or what
you're doing, light will always do the same thing.
And to sardion: The thing with the several times faster is actually a very clever trick. Imagine setting several people with synchronised watches each
2 lightseconds apart. Then, go to one, and tell them to shout "Hello!" at 12:00:01, and go to the next, tell them to shout "Hello!" at 12:00:02,
and continue. From 12:00:00 to 12:00:30 or whenever, it would appear that a message has travelled at twice the speed of light. As you said, no
information is actually carried, and causality is not broken, but it's less impressive than it seems. By spending a phenomenally larger amount of
setup time, we are able to get a phenomenally faster transmission, but it's useless. So, oh well.
Still a fun