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Can your velocity ever be zero?

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posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 09:14 PM
This is the video that begged me to ask the question.
It's the old Monty Python "Galaxy Song", from the "Meaning of Life" Movie

My question stems from the lyrics at the beginning of the song.

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.

Everything we know, is moving. But is it possible to be velocity free?
How would we know for sure that we are?
And what would zero velocity be relative to?

Weird question..But I thought a few of you might have a good theory or two, to toss around.

[edit on 22-2-2007 by spacedoubt]

posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 10:00 PM
I'd say no.

Even if you managed to completely stop moving, so that no matter what you measured yourself against in the Universe, because the Universe itself is expanding you too would be moving as well.

My guess is, that IF you managed to achieve it, you would have to measure yourself against something outside the Universe.....

posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 10:21 PM
The only thing I can think of is if time stood still.

To me, time measures the movement of matter through space, and the total cessation of movement would be impossible in the Universe as we know it.
Even when you chill something to absolute zero the object continues to move in that it has momentum within the greater whole.

I just don't see any way to come to a complete stop.

posted on Feb, 23 2007 @ 12:37 PM
And, as everyone so far has hit upon this idea, your apparent velocity through space is totally based upon the relative viewpont of the observer. But what about your apparent motion through time. That also will be different dependeing on the relative velocity of the observer.

Einstein said time is experienced differently by a person in motion as opposed to an odbserver whose velocity is "zero" relative to the person in motion. According to Einstein, time seems to "flow" normally to both the person in motion and the obseverver, but not when you try to compare the "flow" of time between the two. (and experiments using atomic clocks and jet planes seem to have shown that Einstein was correct.)

So, I don't think your velocity can ever se "zero" relative to the universe (as stumason has pointed out), plus since observers all over the universe will be moving at different relative velocities to each other, I say time is moving at different rates for each of those observers.

So how is "universal time" (the rate of time flow for the whole universe) measured. Against what "univeral relative velocity" should "universal time" be measured?

...someting to ponder.

[edit on 23-2-2007 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Feb, 23 2007 @ 11:01 PM
so hypothetically if you were to be able to instantly "stand still" would you suddenly appear to an observer to fly away due to the rest of matter/space continuing travelling at its normal pace?

and not to get off topic too far but would beings on another planet say with the same size as earth but spinning faster see time differently than us?

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 09:52 AM
en.wikipedia.org...

It answers every single question posed on the thread and the experimental evidence for it is astounding. Gotta love it.

edit: For those of you who won't bother reading, the answer is basically that it's impossible to find a place and velocity where you can stay still, since there is nothing such as an absolute velocity. All velocities are relative to each other. If this weren't true, then the speed of light wouldn't be constant in all directions and all inertial frames.

[edit on 24-2-2007 by cdrn]

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 10:05 AM
Yah, that always bugged me on Star Trek. "Full stop!" "With respect to what, captain?"

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 10:07 AM

Originally posted by homeskillet
so hypothetically if you were to be able to instantly "stand still" would you suddenly appear to an observer to fly away due to the rest of matter/space continuing travelling at its normal pace?

Yes.

and not to get off topic too far but would beings on another planet say with the same size as earth but spinning faster see time differently than us?

Yes. Just as our satellites in orbit and our probes zipping through the system have clock deviations from clocks here on Earth.

It should technically be possible to come to a complete standstill. First though you have to define a unit of space, so you have something to measure against. However I would imagine your perception of time would approach infinity relative to everything else still in motion.

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:06 PM

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:20 PM
Thanks for the replies so far!

It's still hard for me to wrap my mind around the theories.

If absolute velocity equals the speed of light Where the clocks stop ticking.
( theoretically unobtainable to material objects).

Then if this zero velocity could exist, would all time pass instantaneously?
And if that were true, could it explain the state of the Universe, just prior to the big bang? Where I have heard explained that time did not exist.

does that make sense?

[edit on 24-2-2007 by spacedoubt]

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:31 PM

Originally posted by homeskillet
so hypothetically if you were to be able to instantly "stand still" would you suddenly appear to an observer to fly away due to the rest of matter/space continuing travelling at its normal pace?

and not to get off topic too far but would beings on another planet say with the same size as earth but spinning faster see time differently than us?

if this body of mine were to 'stop' then i would not be in this observable universe. One would say i just popped out of existance, instantly to the eye, but to instruments i would appear to be traveling as fast as the universe is expanding.
all those localized speeds (earth, solar, galactic rotations) get lost in the relativity function (?i think)
theoretically, the 'stopping', would be described as stepping into a worm-hole & disappearing.

on your second pondering...our human composition is made in the earth-sun correspondence(level) and no matter where you go in this universe you will be programmed to 'see' things in this time-packet paradigm.
If however, an alien was constituted on a same size planet which rotated faster, then their rhythm or ?circadian? timing cycle would be attuned to that planets resonance instead of this ones.

they'd most likely have the same expected lifespans because morphic bodies probably only will exist/occur on earth/mars sized planets that are in a 'cinderella zone' in relation to their 'Sun'

posted on Feb, 24 2007 @ 04:37 PM

Originally posted by etotheitheta

Only with respect to another object. There is no absolute reference point. Unless, of course, you want to invoke Higgs fields.

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