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Odd thought about light

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posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:49 AM
So I was thinking about light and how we derive its speed. D/T=V

if you shot a photon in a straight line to a receiver at the end of a course say 10 ft away then by knowing when you shot it and how long it took you figure out that light travels at the speed of 3x10^8 m/s.

Now do the same experiment only include a super dense object slightly offset in the lights path. I'm talking about something that has a huge gravitational affect IE a neutron star enough to bend the beam of light.

We all know that the shortest path between two objects is a straight line. When the light bends slightly off course it is going to make the course overall longer. a longer distance but same time would result in V

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 03:51 AM

[edit on 19-5-2006 by Distortion i dont know whats going on its not letting me finish]

[edit on 19-5-2006 by Distortion]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 04:39 AM
Pretty cool, never thought about path distance verus time. BUT!!!!!

The path is the same!!!

Time and space get warped, which means.....TIME AND SPACE get warped in the advent of a huge celesital body. This being said, it is to the obvserver that the path would get longer because it has curved. Well...the path itself is never curved, only space and time.
It happens when their is an eclipse and you can see stars that are behind the sun. The time and space get warped around the sun becuase it is of such a huge mass. Kinda pain in the ass to visualize becasue you have to make a cross section in your mind of a 3d space....

[edit on 19-5-2006 by imbalanced]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:38 AM
In a way you're right... in a way you're wrong.

Since time and space is becoming warped, to an outside observer, when the light beam is travelling towards the neutron star, the light is travelling across greater distance in shorter time. To the light beam itself it is travelling across the same distance in the same time. It becomes red-shifted (since the light-waves are being stretched out).

However, when the light-beam passes the neutron star and starts moving away from it, then it would appear to travel a shorter distance in greater time. It becomes blue-shifted (the light-waves are being scrunched together).

When the whole voyage is complete, it will have travelled across the same amount of distance, in the same amount of time, as a light-beam running parrallel, but unobstructed, to it.

Your paradox is resolved

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 07:40 AM
You don't have to go to a neutron star to see the effects, actually. You simply have to go to your nearest swimming pool.

It's known that light moves more slowly in certain mediums (water is one of them) and that it bends as it moves from one medium (air) to the other (water.) If you're terribly bored or a physicist, you can run the calculations to figure how much slower and how much of a bending when the light hits water with different types of chemicals in it.

It's called the index of refraction. Here's a pretty nice explaination of it and a table with some types of glass and their indexes of refraction.

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