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Photon, length contraction ?

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posted on May, 20 2006 @ 12:26 AM
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I was just wondering. If a photon travels at the speed of light, is it possible that it will witness length contraction to such an extent that from the photon's frame of reference, the universe will have an infinately small length, and the universe will be infinately small ?

Thought experiment :
If i were to travel at the speed of light, would I see all the universe as having an infinately small length ? And therefore, being infinately small in theory ?




posted on May, 20 2006 @ 12:55 AM
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you know, this is one of the more intelligent things ive heard in awhile.....

actually from the frame of the photon the universe would be SIGNIFICANTLY smaller, not infinitely.

but good question! good thinking behind this



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 05:49 AM
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Why would the universe not be infinately small for the photon ? Cause if you apply the length contraction formula, it does seem like the universe will have 0 length isnt it ? Obviously I'm missing something



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 05:56 AM
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From the photons point of view it would occupy every point in an infinitely small universe that existed for an infinitely small length of time.



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:01 AM
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Yes that makes sense.
Basically the photon from its time of release is frozen in time, and has travelled from one end of the Universe to another in a fraction of time that is unmeasurably small.

[edit on 20-5-2006 by siddharthsma]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:05 AM
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edit - Put your previous point back in


Good question, I think you just disproved special relativity!

[edit on 20/5/06 by Strodyn]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:10 AM
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for the photon view: it is like the universe has no expansion in the direction it travels..(universe dimension -1) and the exchange happens instantan.

why should this disprove special relativity theorie?



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:17 AM
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his pre edit question - I thought about for 30 seconds before realising that I would never be able to answer it.

Something along the lines of "If two photons are travelling in the universe and you altered one would it not therefore alter the other as they are in the same point and time".

My only response is that Special Relativity is therefore wrong.....but then as I said above I doubt I would have enough brain power in a life time to build an answer to it, so essentially I copped out.

[edit on 20/5/06 by Strodyn]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:32 AM
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Actually having thought about it a little more I think that each photon would exist in its own little universe that consisted of the space and time that it took in our universe, rolled up into an infinitely small and short universe of its own, thereby nullifying my previous conjectuer.

I have a bad hangover so aint going to think about this anymore.

[edit on 20/5/06 by Strodyn]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 06:44 AM
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The post which I edited was something like this :

If you have a source that releases photons, and it releases two photons travelling at the speed of light in opposite directions. Each photon will in its ref frame, experience length contraction, so that it seems to occupy the whole Universe. Would this not mean that doing something to one photon would instantaneously affect the other also.



[edit on 20-5-2006 by siddharthsma]



posted on May, 20 2006 @ 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by siddharthsma
The post which I edited was something like this :

If you have a source that releases photons, and it releases two photons travelling at the speed of light in opposite directions. Each photon will in its ref frame, experience length contraction, so that it seems to occupy the whole Universe. Would this not mean that doing something to one photon would instantaneously affect the other also.


The photon, being a point particle, has no "size" at all. So there's room for every photon in the universe to fit into the compacted reference frame of even a single photon. Of course, you're talking about a lot of energy in a tiny space when you look at it this way. But it all gets redshifted out of existence, at least to us, I suppose.

Harte



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