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# light speed and space exploration

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:17 PM
Either goldeneagle's physics prof was wrong or goldeneagle misunderstood him. The explanation seems to address only a kind of Doppler effect where the astronaut would observe the clock to be frozen at 12:00. This would contradict the fact that c is a constant in any frame of reference, and thus the prof was not explaining relativity at all. Doppler shifts are not the same as relativistic time dilation.

And if two hours worth of clock light were to hit the astronauts eyes in a flash, he'd not only be blind he'd prolly be burnt to a crisp!

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:32 PM

Originally posted by Kama
i'm talking strictly sub-light here, how does velocity determine mass? how is a body more massive traveling at sub-light speeds than if it were at absolute rest?

Okay,
Remember that energy that is not "attached" to a massive body travels at c because energy has no rest mass. But, as soon as it is "put to work", it becomes a part of a massive body and increases that body's mass according to E=mc^2.

Matter has mass, but matter is made up of energy.

Since a body cannot be accelerated to c, more and more of the energy that is applied to accelerate that body is stored as increased mass rather than increased velocity.

[edit on 25-9-2006 by Tuning Spork]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:35 PM
I may have misunderstood him but he did say that the theory of relativity can be interprated differently. The irony is that the same calculations apply to calculate the effects in an enviroment that time is dilating and when you are moving relative to the speed of light. The prof's all have there own theories about relativity. One prof said that time dilation exist, mine said it's caused by relative movement to light and it's an illusion. The reason there are so many theories is because no one has ever been near the speed of light and there are many interpratations that exist. With that being said it would be ignorant and plain foolish to jump to conclusions about the forces at work as we approch the speed of light. Everything said is a guess no matter how educated it might be.

Also mind the spelling errors, I suffer from dyslexia.

[edit on 9/25/2006 by GoldEagle]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 07:36 PM
Without having read the entire thread(as my brain would warp) I would like to put a quick explanation of E=mc*2 as I haven't seen anyone actually explain it.

E is equal to Energy and Energy is equal to mass times the speed of light(3x10*8)*2.

So that's energy is equal to (mass(speed of light))*2.

The Speed of light is a universal constant measured at 300,000,000 I forgot the measurement actually, I'm not sure where my tables are I'll probably find them down the road somewhere.

Given the constant and a mass you can find energy and with that you can begin to understand how velocity is related to mass. Also F=ma is the same as weight. F is force, m is mass, and a is acceleration. mass*acceleration is the same thing as weight. This proves that mass is not the same thing as weight(I brought this in because I read that someone had confused the two).

I'm not too sure on all of Einstein's relativity(as a matter of fact I know very little about it as it wasn't covered) but, I do have some idea of how to plug in the figures to prove certain formulas. These are just physics basics, before you can jump into the advanced stuff, you need to have a good understanding of the basics, otherwise you might as well be reading ancient latin if you don't know what any of the words mean.

Hope this helps dig some confused people out of a hole, I know this helped me at best to understand what some of you are talking about.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 09:03 PM
the real question should be, can anyone travel at the seep of light, and live?

if not, how far can we approach the seep of light, and live?

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 09:29 PM
lets say it takes 10 GW of power to accelerate our fantasy ship 1 km/s

as the speed increases so does the mass, which means it will take more than 10 GW of power to accelerate the ship the same 1 km/s?

so the reason we cant go anywhere near c is because it would take too much power to even accelerate 1 km/s after the ship's mass has increased so much?

i still find this hard to believe since it would refer to absolute rest to determine actual mass. on top of that it would mean that we could decrease mass if we were able to come closer to absolute rest (it would basically mean that if we were to accelerate west for 1 year it would take more energy than it would to accelerate east for 1 year, which i find hard to believe)

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 09:52 PM
i don't understand where you're getting the east-west analogy.
but yes, your first sentence and following two paragraphs are correct.
your exceleration adding to your mass as you continue to try and approach c is still going to happen no matter which direction you're going in.

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:01 PM

Originally posted by danwild6
Because of e=mc*2. The faster you travel the heavier you get and thus you have to add more energy to make you go faster thus increasing your mass again.

Assuming this is true:

The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can change its form.

The law of conservation of mass (the Lomonosov-Lavoisier law) states that mass cannot be created or destroyed, but can change its form.

Where does the extra mass come from when you speed up, and where does it go when you slow down?

[edit on 25-9-2006 by craig732]

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:01 PM
lets say you did attain absolute rest, and lets say that somehow decreased your mass. that still wouldn't mean anything if you then tried to attain c, from that absolute rest. your mass would still increase the faster and closer you got to c. so basically it would still take more energy then you could possibly get your hands on.

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:07 PM
it also differentiates between relativistic mass, which is what we're talking about, and invariant mass....

math.ucr.edu...

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:32 PM
Well, I may sound a little off-topic here, but I stumbled across this thread and it reminded me of a 2-part video series I saw on Google that discusses the theory of existence of UFOs and explanations into just how they are able to manuver at such high velocities without breaking apart, and how this alien technology is capable of surpassing FTL speeds in order to travel through space and time.

The documentary is entitled "Evidence: The Case For NASA UFO's" and consists of two 90-minute videos by Ufologist David Sereda. If any of you are interested in investigating ALTERNATIVE theories to the possibility of fast-than-light-speed travel, then I strongly suggest you watch the full documentary in order to get the full picture.

Or just skip to Video #2 at about 20 minutes in to listen to the FTL explanation.
The entire documentary can be found at:

PART 1:

PART 2:

posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 10:40 PM
To clear one misconception, Einstein's revelation was that light always appears to move at a constant speed, whether you measure it coming or going. If you fly in a space ship at 1/2 c, a beam from a flashlight always moves at c. So does light coming at you from an outside source so in effect it is impossible to fly alongside a beam of light and see it standing still relative to you. This seems impossible but the compensating factor is time; it slows down to allow light to continue at a constant speed. There have been a number of very concrete experiments done which have proven this to be correct so I have to accept it even though I don't understand it. One scientist said once that there were at the time only a handful of people who understand the theory of relativity and I know I am not one of those yet.

A side note on e=mc2 for anyone wondering what the units of measurement are: e=erg, a unit of energy roughly on the order of that represented by one flap of a mosquito's wing.
m=mass in grams (gram=a little under 30 grams to an oz)
c= speed of light in centimeters per second, or 186,000 miles per second x 5,680 feet x 12 inches x 2.5 centimeters. That is an enormous number and bigger still when squared. Thus one gram of any matter contains a mindboggling (that's a highly technical measure) amount of energy which explains the early enthusiasm for atomic energy. And keep in mind that only a fraction of that energy is ever released even in a nuclear plant. Perhaps someone out there can estimate the total energy contained in one gram; in any case it would only take a very small quantity to annihilate the whole planet if 100% of it were to be liberated, through let's say a matter/antimatter collision.

This nuclear energy is found in the forces that keep the nucleus of an atom bound together. The positively charged protons should naturally repel each other and further be pulled out of the nucleus by the attraction of the negative electrons but the strong nuclear force, represented by 'gluons', keeps them tied together. Uranium 238 for example has 238 of these protons so this force has to be enormous. It still wouldn't get us to the speed of light if we believe Einstein but what if we were able to harness all this energy for space travel?

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:29 AM
THANK YOU optimus primal that at least gives me more hope

so back to my original belief

invariant mass does not increase with velocity meaning if you maintain thrust you maintain acceleration (hopefully we could reach 100,000+ km/s?)

we get a good sling shot maneuver to take us out of our solar system at a decent speed, use some high efficiency space engine to build speed, and reach alpha centauri between 4 and about 100 years from now

sure its a long time but why not get an early start while we try to figure out alternative means of travel? sure we may have to dumb or suspend our animation...and of course the high probability that anyone making the trip would die AND probably never get word back to earth if they did or didnt die or find anything BUT STILL

imagine if there was an earth-like planet out there to discover?
imagine if there were other intelligent life forms out there to discover?
would that not be worth every once of the effort?

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:46 AM
Another thing that's got me thinking.

Why is roughly 3e8m/s considered the maximum speed able to be travelled through space?

I mean, everyone's going on about "appears to the observer" and that. That's just it - it's all based off being able to see it. True, we wouldn't be able to see things move faster than the speed of light, because the light needs to reach our eyes first.

But hypothetically, assume we're blind, we can process information infinitely fast, and we instantly know where an object it at any point in time. What's to stop something going physically faster than the speed of light?

I believe nothing is stopping it. I'm halfway convinced that objects can travel faster than light (even if we can't see it happen). Hmm... Requires more thinking. Sort of like reality, really - if you make yourself believe something, it's true.

But anyway... Here's something that bugged me again. E=mc^2. Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. Light is electromagnetic radiation, so it must obviously have energy. So that means it must have mass, too.

So what's the mass of visible green light at 550nm wavelength? And if it has no mass, it has no energy - so how does chlorophyll convert light into energy for itself? How do solar panels do it?

I may be wrong, but personally, I don't think light is anything special. It's just the same as normal electromagnetic radiation - the only reason we run into these problems is because we can see it with our own eyes, I reckon.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:26 AM

Originally posted by Xar Ke Zeth
But hypothetically, assume we're blind, we can process information infinitely fast, and we instantly know where an object it at any point in time. What's to stop something going physically faster than the speed of light?

I don't know a thing about physics, but I have to agree with you here Xar... the blind man analogy is a perfect example.

670,616,629.384 miles per hour is just a number. Why can't something travel a little faster, say 680,000,000 miles per hour?

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:46 AM
Science speculates that there are other dimensions along side our own where the laws of physics operate differently. Making use of these dimensions would enable us to travel faster than light. Thats where the hyperdrive comes in.

AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government.

news.scotsman.com...

I personally believe in UFO's and also believe that there is a secret space program. My guess is that they are already using this kind of technology and have been doing so for the last 50 years or so. And they have no intentions of sharing this technology with anyone ever. I guarentee it, NASA will still be using rocket propulsion or something similar in a 100 years time.
Unless of course some private company develops the technology themselves, if there allowed to do so, by the powers that be.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 04:42 AM
Well... Einstein mention an example let say if you are travelling faster than the speed of light and you hold a mirror in front of you basically you will not see your own reflection .. So even if we manage to travel faster than the speed of light ... i suppose we can't see a thing ? And Human have yet to set foot on mars , travelling to a Alpha centuari i feel it might be too early and we have more worry on earth ... We have to solve problem of a natural disasters ... the show Deep impact is not real but the senario is realistic in 1994 there a metorite that flew pass earth lucky it flew back into space ... so i think space exploration to nearby star maybe too early but i hope can live to see it

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 06:19 AM

Originally posted by Tuning Spork
Either goldeneagle's physics prof was wrong or goldeneagle misunderstood him. The explanation seems to address only a kind of Doppler effect where the astronaut would observe the clock to be frozen at 12:00. This would contradict the fact that c is a constant in any frame of reference, and thus the prof was not explaining relativity at all. Doppler shifts are not the same as relativistic time dilation.

And if two hours worth of clock light were to hit the astronauts eyes in a flash, he'd not only be blind he'd prolly be burnt to a crisp!

Correct me if I'm wrong but this is a relativity issue similar to tossing a ball up in a moving car. If you're in a convertible and toss a baseball straight up in the air it will come back down right to you regardless of the car's speed (if there's no force via air resistance). This is because the ball has no horizontal velocity or acceleration in your frame of reference (inside the car). However to a person on the road the ball will make an arc because the ball's horizontal velocity is equal to that of the car.

The clock would not change at all and neither would the guages as far as what they actually readout. To your frame of reference, they are not moving at all (well what they are measuring might change depending on how they work). I'm not sure there would be time dilation visible on your clock either ... you'd really have no way of knowing if time was dilated because you would be experiencing it as well.

I haven't read up enough on the extremes of the theory of relativity to explain what the clock would say if you passed it OUTSIDE the ship when you hit the speed of light.

Keep in mind the math behind relativity only works in lab situations. For instance, throwing the ball in the car will not work perfectly because of air resistance, an additional variable to the equation. In space you'd have all the forces of gravity from other objects, and I would think even dark matter, anti-mater, etc. would come into play.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 09:09 AM
There are some craft that can travel much faster than the speed of light. I believe the craft change their vibrational frequency enabling them to travel faster than light speed so they can travel vast distances.
I havent seen one of these craft and dont know how they work exactly but I know they exist.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 09:57 AM
This is all assuming what you "know" about space is true.

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