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light speed and space exploration

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posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:53 PM
i dont care to respond to the alternate dimension and ufo posts cause i dont believe any of that stuff at this point

i've said this numerous times already but looks like its not reaching everyone

the reason we cant travel FASTER than light is because the electromagnetic forces inside of molecules is traveling light speed, if we go faster than light speed that force will not be able to hold all those little protons and neutrons together. our molecules would lose structure and then you can only imagine what would happen (you become a big A-bomb?)

FTL would be great and all but i think we need to master sub-light travel before we go zooming around at FTL

why go to alpha centauri when we havent even gone to mars? because we can see mars and know that its nothing super special. it has no breathable atmosphere and no rampantly dominant life forms. our current space exploration (which is a joke imo) is so concerned about safety and money that they wont even get out of the solar system in our grandchildren's lifetimes

think about all the productivity that the human population is capable of at this point. think about every retail store, every tv show and movie out there. think of every ounce of work that a human does each and every day. how much of that would you consider "useful"? i bet that less than 5% of that productivity actually provides us with necessary food, shelter, and medicines. we waste insane amounts of human effort on meaningless exsistence while real life outside our dismal planet goes on without our participation

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 02:06 PM
im jumping in a little late...and sombody might have all ready said this...but i know you "cant" (i use the word "cant" very very loosely) cant travel the speed of light because in theroy (einstein of coarse) you'll turn into a beam of that true, i do not know, but that is the theroy...

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 02:10 PM

Originally posted by Xar Ke Zeth
...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?

When we talk about the speed of light we're talking about all electromagnetic radiation, not just visible light. And it isn't just how we see things with our eyes, it's how we may observe by any means using EM radiation. This is how elementary particles communicate. To a proton a neutron is an outside observer, and they communicate with radiation/energy.

"What's to stop something from going physically faster than the speed of light?" Time. Keep in mind that energy is not a material "thing". Light, while in transit between it's latest source and it's next pit stop, is pure energy and has no rest mass. It has only the potential to do work and, when "unobserved" (meaning it is not interacting with any matter), is described as a "probability wave".

So, light (EM radiation; energy that is set free and is looking for something to do) will travel at c, but not because there is a property of light itself that prevents it from going faster. If anything could travel faster than 186,000 miles per second, it'd be light. Physical reality, cause and effect, of space-time requires that there has to be a speed at which communication among particles of matter must occur. It can't be infinitely fast or there'd be no seperation of matter, no here nor there. It must take time, so there must be a top speed at which free, massless, bodiless energy (potential to do work) can travel from one place to another, and that happens to be c.

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.

Aah, yes, but it has no rest mass. Light in transit has no mass. In fact it has no anything except the potential to do work once it interacts with matter again. When that light is absorbed by an electron it will add to that electron's energy state and thus add to it's mass. Light/energy travels at the fastest speed possible because, being massless, it has no reason NOT to.

But, when we're talking about an increase in mass at high velocities, we're talking about inertial mass, not rest mass.

It's not just about "outside observers" versus "inside observers" and how it appears due to the speed of light. Time and space must have definite limits if they're to exist and have any meaning at all as dimentions. The speed of Light (homeless energy, so to speak) is the upper limit of relative velocity.
You can't leg out a triple on a slow bouncer back to the pitcher. It's just not physically possible to cover that much ground in so little time. Neither can light travel faster than c, and any body with mass can't be pushed to that speed. Why? That's just the way it is.

Now, I did say "relative velocity". The trick is not to be tempted to say "it's just RELATIVE velocity" as if that means that relativity of velocities is not REAL and has no real consequence. Unlike the Newtonian relative motions we experience in our everyday world, relative velocity at high speeds (those approaching c) have real meaning, as it's the only way that one region the universe can keep communicating with every other region, and it seems that the universe is inclined not to lose touch with itself.

No matter how fast a ship will travel away from an observer, it'll always encounter more observers on the way. Observers aren't just people with telescopes, though. Observers are everything in the universe that have mass. So you can never escape observation cuz no matter where you go, there they are.

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 03:49 PM
Aaah, Kama, you remind of the final scene of Things To Come.

Passworthy: I feel what we've done is monstrous.

Cabal: What we've done is magnificent.

Passworthy: If they don't come back--my son and your daughter--what of that, Cabal?

Cabal: Then, presently, others will go.

Passworthy: Oh, god, is there ever to be any age of happiness? Is there never to be any rest?

Cabal: Rest enough for the individual man--too much, and too soon--and we call it death. But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and, at last, out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning!

Passworthy: But...we're such little creatures. Poor humanity is so fragile, so weak. Little...little animals.

Cabal: Little animals? If we're no more than animals, we must snatch each little scrap of happiness and live and suffer and pass, mattering no more than all the other animals do or have done. Is it this -- or that: all the universe or nothingness.
Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?
Which shall it be?

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 04:03 PM
lol thats how i feel

i find our society to be so redundant and meaningless

theres got to be more to exsistence than what we are living now

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 08:18 PM
Sorry I didn't read the whole thread. (I am in a hurry, ironically I have to do my massive amount of physics homework.). But, form what I read so far there are some misconceptions. E=MC2 does not have anything to do with matter turning into energy or vise versa. It is to do with energy released from breaking bonds, not turning matter into energy. The reason you can't reach the speed of light because it takes infinate energy. Also, space is anything but empty. There is still is friction in space.

[edit on 26-9-2006 by halfmask]

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 08:54 PM

Yep. Gravity = friction = energy.

Now, read the whole thing before you take that exam, bro'!

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 09:19 PM
not really in such direct terms

if there was anything above miniscule friction in space then stable orbits would not be possible (such as the orbit of our moon around earth, which doesnt require the moon to have a rocket booster)

gravity is severly weakened based on distance and mass (notice how our moon is not pulled into the sun. earth is big enough to be strongly pulled by the sun but the moon is only pulled slightly by the sun since its much smaller). a spacecraft that is any reasonable distance from a planetary body is almost unaffected by gravity

friction is caused by an object colliding with particles (air, water, etc). in space there are very few loose particles (most have been pulled into a planetary body

if a ship was traveling at 0.1c toward alpha centauri half a light year from our sun it would need virtually 0 thrust to maintain that speed indefinitely

posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 09:54 PM
Aah, yes indeed, Kama. But witness how the moon has been receding from the Earth, and vis versa.

It only gets weirder and weirder, dammit.

"Friction" may not exist in the perfistic scheme of things but, gravity-wise, it does exist.

"Perfistic". I made up a word!

I really need t' get some sleep...

[edit on 26-9-2006 by Tuning Spork]

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 07:49 PM
As of late, I have begun to doubt if light speed or faster travel is even needed. (sure it would be nice!) But if we deal with what we know and current technology... I would say the capacity for infinite expansion in a progressive manner off the Earth is already a reality...

The Solar system is ripe with places to live... IF your willing to train your mind, to accept living very differently than you currently do... Take Mars as an example. The real hold back, the WHY there is no Mars colony... Govt Bone Heads are busy envisioning life on Earth... But really to live on Mars and begin Terraforming, your going Underground... there will be no Domes on Mars... LOL unless all the worlds people come to harmony and invest 50 Trillion Dollars... But drop off a robot drill and dig out a cave... stable temps... water...raw material... it's all there... even air. My guess... there are caves deep enough on Mars that stuff grows in them.

But more importantly... regardless of debate of HOW we would live... via space station... to moon colony, to Mars Colony, to Europa Colony... and outward...

Regardless... we now know the solar system doesn't end at Pluto/Neptune The Kupier Belt... lots of little mini colonies possible... plenty of water Ice... The Oort Cloud? Something in there is big enough to toss Comets our way... Even if not... Lots of water to support a big colony... the raw materials exist there...

So is Alpha Century from Furthest Out Post to Furthest Out Post we could build there 4 Light Years?


Is it a bigger leap of faith to assume that if we just keep expanding out that we won't find a Void... then it was to sail off to America and assume you wouldn't fall off the Earth?

I'd wager... A Centuri has an equivelent Kupier belt and Oort Cloud... I'd wager the distance between us... is an easy Light Year or more less than we think it is...

Maybe Much Less? How much of our universe is unaccounted for? So Called Dark Matter... How much of that "Dark Matter" isn't Dark Matter at all? Just Dark Jupiters... Or Dark Earths... lost from orbits and dead stars floating free between the Stars...

What I'm driving at here is... A centauri May be our closest bright companion... but surely...there are more Failed Stars than Stars... 2/1 4/1 8/1... we Just don't know...

But me common sense dictates... that between us and A centauri... there is probably a failed star or two... a Lonely Jupiter or Saturn with a mini system of moons... resources, a place to set up a colony, a base on the trip in between...

So do we between any Stars... ever have to go 4 light years without a place to stretch our legs? I doubt this... I extremely doubt this...

So while Light Speed still a big Maybe... Traveling to the Stars... Doable...

Some one just has to bother trying... What we lack is Faith, not technology... We went as much as a Thousand years at a time between brave groups of humans getting the nerve to get on boats... LOL Polynesians did find little Islands in the Pacific... so will we in space. Science likes proof... But what we need at times like this is Faith... not the dogmatic moronic variety everyone seems to have... but Faith, that it's all out there and closer than we think... doesn't matter if it's pure science... or G-d or mother nature... The design or randomness of things did not leave us without the ability to just go...

I am sure there are stepping stones the entire way

Light Speed... a nice Holy Grail Me... I'm down for the Bigger is better method... Big mosterous ark of a craft... bigger than a city... as big as we can build, as fast as it can go... which is LOL kind of slow... build em... send em, drop people off along the way... and LOL hope they don't spend the next 11,000 yrs fighting over who droped them off...

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 08:18 PM
The problem is even with the speed of light it would not be sufficient to explore the universe, if we wanted to travel to the nearest star we believe have a habitable planet it would take 14 years. Moreover, we are not even sure that it is habitable.
Another problem is that the special relativity theory proclaims that the closer we get to the speed of light not only do we need more energy than we ever could muster. Nevertheless, time comes to a stand still, only for the ones travelling at the speed of light of course; the rest of the world would have their time pass normally. Even when you are driving your car or running time slows down for you, though this is so little that is has no effect on your life what so ever, when you travel with a plane, let us say from London to Tokyo. You will step out of the plane about 0.00001 second younger than the rest of the world’s population.

Terra forming is also not an option, since it would take more than 10000 years to make mars habitable, and even that is not possible since mars is to far away from the sun to make use of photosynthesis. We could of course just terra form it with bacteria’s of various kind, but we could never make it habitable for complex life forms like us.

I theorise that if we are to traverse the universe and the galaxies we need to make some thought of singularity thus in practise “shrinking us” into bits of information and using electron entanglement to travel through space. After you arrive, your information would be downloaded and a new body would be made for you.
This of courses ruins what most think of space exploration, they want a space ship and want to travel with warp around the infinite space, it is just not possible, and we would not get anywhere.
You would have to download from your brain all you memories, and your gene pool from your dna and rna, and put that information inside an electron, thus killing you. Then use an already entangled electron to send this information over space, and recreating you when you arrive.

There are of course some spiritual and ethical questions to this, but I see this as the only plausible way of ever traversing the universe, at least if we want to get out of our own solar system with out dying from old age.

Now you might ask, well what about the first traveller, what would recreate him upon arrival? Well if you can store the information about the human genome, and all the individual emotions and memories, we can store the code for amino acids and proteins to make a human being. We have to of course know the secrets about the how to activate the genes in the right order and also how to program them to do all this very fast, since we do not want to arrive as an infant.

EDIT: typo

[edit on 27-9-2006 by Tetragrammaton]

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 08:18 PM
see i thinkk i once read that once you reach the speed of light, you would have infinite mass or something like that, something having to do with you turning into a beam of energy, i think it's due to that the speed of light can only be reached if "you" do not have mass and is not a "material thing" tht means i can't get a peice of iron to go at the speed of light, why?, because there will always be something holding it back, sometimes gravity, sometimes it's own mass, something....

i don't get it, i tried to read about relativity on wikipedia once before, i read the whole article, and the only thing i understood was E=MC*2, and a few other things, but nothing about how or why, if anyone who is educated in the field, someone into astrophysics or something like that, could explain to us ignorant on the subject, like me, we could probably do some good little thinking and come up with something!

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 08:22 PM
Well if I understand the special relativity theory, your mass does not increase. In that case, we would be hit with giant photons all the time because they travel with the speed of light.
What the problem is that the faster you go and the more you close in on the speed of light the more energy you would need, unless you are a particle of course.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 08:55 PM
LOL What's with the need for speed anyway?

I see lots of objections in lots of forums... based on... "it would take XYZ" Years... so why do it...

Or teraforming... No... it would take hundreds or thousands...

What if these things are just the sorts of things, we can start, but won't live to see the final result of...

What if Terraforming Mars, means 1,000 people live under ground..and dig and suffer and figure it out and half croak in the process... then a few hundred more come and dig in and so on and so on... and in 1,000 years we can finally walk on the surface...

Is that Not worth doing?

The Americas... colonized multiple times over thousands of years... and thats just Earth... Worth the results? Maybe atm politically no... snicker... but mostly Yes

We don't do these things... drown in boats, Freeze in Quebec... or die on Mars for us, you do them for humanity, the future of the human race...

Personally... It would be kind of cool to get 1/10 lightspeed... at 37 in low G I'd easily see A Centauri with my eyes before I croak... My son... would see the next star...his son, very likely would get off some where...

It's not like you'd be cut off...sure your grand kids would get TV and internet 8 years behind schedule... But you'd have generation after generation of power telescope helping yopu find the best systems and relaying the findings...

You'd never be alone unless we blow it all up... and LOL what better reason to spend a few generations on a ship...

Crew would have to start small... 2 families 3 max... and be able to sustain a thousand people after a couple hundred years... doable

Light Speed ehhhhhh Maybe... but why wait... IF we attain that, we send ut a ship for them...upgrade the engines bail them out... whatever is needed.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:10 PM
maybe but what the hell, see people want to see effects now, now meaning in the next decade, not in a 1000 years, and as long as politics are involved in space explorations, we would'nt start until it's too late...

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:13 PM
Well we have attained 1/10th of the light speed at least close to, the voyager travels with 60000 kilometres per hour. However, it took it around 10 years to reach that velocity.

The problem is you do not understand the sheer size of space, to get to the nearest star with a conventional space ship it would take around 25000 years to get there. It would take 10000 years just to leave our solar system. (Passing the Oort clouds)
In addition, what you have not accounted for is the solar particle radiation; we still have no means of protecting us against these particles. (This is a form of particle that goes right through planets, only reason it does not pass through earth, is our magnetic protection field.)
The average distance between stars is 30000000000000 kilometres; we as a species are just too insignificant for the vastness of space.

In addition, what do you mean when you say that America have been colonized for thousands of years? I hope you are talking about Native Americans then, because if not you need to read up on your history.

Though I share your pioneer spirit, I am not about to go on a suicide mission having me skin eaten away before even having the chance to die from old age. Moreover, you would need around 20 families, for your mission, unless you want to start inbreeding.

EDIT:In addition, I mentioned that Mars could not be terra formed; only way to live there is in domes, we could never walk on the surface since that would require photosynthesis. We could use bacteria’s to create oxygen in a closed environment; this is what we call a closed eco system.

[edit on 27-9-2006 by Tetragrammaton]

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:23 PM
Btw... Not hijacking this discussion LOL

I Just got to be honest... I see no short term solution to getting off Earth at Light Speed...

Completely would take what I could get... to get the Hell out of here LOL

Give me 1/10 Light Speed and a big enough ship for a bit of expansion the right tools... I'd go right now... couldn't care less if it's a 4o year ride to the next star...

Hopefully some of you guys would catch up in your 1/2 light speed craft by the time I got there...

If not i'll send you photos...

It's just 5 Billion Pessimists and Dogmatics... I'm pushing for big slow ships... I have little trust in my long term future being better on Earth than locked up in a cruise ship sized space craft...

I swear If I had Paul Allens Money... I'd build a big ol space ship and just go... hope for the best... I'd be the star of the longest running reality show in history even if it was a disaster LOL...

Gosh if I had the loot... no cops, no armies... no conspiracies hehe... Life could be worse minus light speed... Adam and Eve on a Space Ship... Why Not, Web Design for a living sucks... sex in zero G has to be cool... what would I be missing, the next season of Survivor.... Contrails over my house... 40-60 years growing a family... Die in orbit around A Centauri Why Not? How many hours does the average Joe spend in Rush Hour...

At least underground on Mars or on the ship... i'd be my own person...

AND ROFL IF you want to see space colonized...let there be 20 Americans on Mars... not paying taxes every year... watch some colony ships get built real fast... LOL... Thats why I say the space ship..not even Mars... SOBS will come Tax me on Mars... I'd get like 8 Months in a Cave before a guy in a Nasa Suit with a Gun and a Neck Tie comes knocking on the Cave door...

"We heard you found some valuable resources in this cave and the UN voted to extend the water tax to Mars and we have suspicion that you have killed and eaten a rare Endangered fungus in this Cave... that's a 12 Million Dollar fine sir... and heres your house arrest colar, we put up a satellite, don't leave the cave for 3 years there is an automatic microwave device posted outside your Cave"

Mars... just isn't far enough...

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:36 PM
Sorry to burst your bubble but it is 25000 years to the nearest star, and from that it is 57000 to the next one using 1/10th the speed of light!
And you would die from radiation before reaching mars orbit, but other than that, count me in... I want to explore space, i just dont want to die before getting even near someplace other than the vacuum of space.

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:42 PM
Tetra... perhaps I do not understand this... But if we could do 1/10 light speed... a simpler goal... and A centauri is 4 light years... would not it be a 40 year trip?

Were you refering to the fastest we currently have?

I am sure I have seen multiple research projects that believed 1/10 was feasible in the near future... but no expert btw...

But Again... The oort cloud I believe is only at Max 2 light days... at it's fiurthest reaches from Earth... If we assume the same applies to A Centauri...

Yes your right that shaves 4 light Years by 4 days... LOL

But I really, Really think... It's not as empty as we think...

I am seriously Guessing there is Lots of stuff in between...

Multiple factors lead me to believe we can go for it... maybe the reality is that even the distances between random bodies... is as large as our whole system out to the Oort cloud... That's not nearly as bad as VOID

Nature... doesn't seem to like a vaccum, I have trouble with the "Empty Space" Theory... Empty from our perspective... But sooooo much gets flung out from stars... they explode you know

Seriously... I think there is a ton of stuff between here and A Centuri... from dirty snowballs... to failed stars Jupiter...

Being reasonable when I say 1 to 2 ratio...

Honestly... it would not be very improbable... if there were 10 or 20 Jupiters in between, each with moons... of which Earth isn't much more than a plesant sized moon...

Takes allot of plasma to form a star... why should I think for a second... matter ends for 4 light years where the Ooort cloud ends?

20 yrs ago...who knew what an Oort cloud was... or a Kupier Belt or a Sedna...

Why think it's a complete void... when every bit further we look..we keep finding more stuff..and more stuff circling the stuff...

Stuff not void is the rule of thumb?

Dark Matter? 80% of the Universe? Maybe there is exotic Dark Matter... but I have to guess that an enourmous amount of that missing Universe... is plain ol unilluminated Matter

My imagination... can only concieve that for every star there has to be 6 Jupiters or more inbetween...

Just like we are finding most stars have dwarf companions... why expect this trend to dissipate...

Gravity ends at the limits of our solar system... surely LOTS of stuff was pulled together inbetween the whirl pools of A Centauri and Sol

posted on Sep, 27 2006 @ 09:45 PM
But where do you get 25,000 as a number to go 4 light years if we could achieve 1/10 light speed? Just curious...

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