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Why Can't we travel faster than the speed of light?

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posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 02:42 PM
I don't completely understand the focal point of lightspeed travel. Certainly, under conventional physics, it would take an enormous amount of power to do so, and the key might be to utilize existing nuclear reactions rather than onboard "fuel".

What I don't understand is that why we seem boxed in by this desire to exceed lightspeed. Just my opinion, but I think a better focal point would be to perturb the space-time continuum, so as to "travel" great distances quickly -- resulting in an overall "average" speed in excess of lightspeed. There's a fair amount of theoretical physics to support this. Maybe when I have time, I'll wander back through the papers, pick a few applicable ones.

When dealing with infinite quantities, it raises questions that are not currently testable on our little blue marble we call home. Some of these questions might be hinted at with the Atlas program, assuming, of course, that the oddball strangelet isn't produced and turn us all into goooey, supercompacted smush. Yah. That's a scientific term --smush.

Good thought-provoking thread.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 03:22 AM
i know this is an old topic and i wonder if anyone will ever pick up this debate again, but i remember in 2004 reading an artical out of i think scientific america saying that scientists actually produced faster than light travel of photons by taking the wave out. so that instead of having a wave length they just traveled in a beam, not a laser.
the applications were considerd to be used in such things as future circuit boards and electronics to send information faster or somthing..
anyway upon further reading i found tha the catch to the story was indeed the title, " faster than light travel possible" when in actuality the scientists working on the project actually explained that the light is not moving faster, it is moving smarter. if that makes any sense at all because to me its kind of a mute point. i just thought i would throw in my two well more like 1/2 a cent.
basically by taking a wavelength out creates a more efficient way for light to travel not necessarily faster.

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 10:35 PM
reply to post by Grock

The definition of acceleration is change in velocity, Newtonion model anyway. So you can't change velosity with out accelerating.


posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 10:35 PM

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 01:11 AM
I believe light is only limited by what is in its path.

Much like how a jet can only go so fast because of the friction from wind in front.

What happens when you turn that wind into a vacuum, and you instead are flying through a vacuum with a jet? Your first thought would be that the wings will no longer work. But, what if the vacuum was a beam, and all around it's edges was air? You could fly like water through an empty pipe.

Clear the path of light, and light will go faster. Do true vacuums exist?

[edit on 20-6-2008 by ALLis0NE]

posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 08:15 PM
There was a wonderful short story many years ago by Robert Sheckley (I think) about a group of scientists who invented a way to jump into hyperspace where they could travel faster than the speed of light in this universe because the speed of light in hyperspace would be almost infinitely faster.

The first hyperdrive ship sets out and returns quickly. Upon debriefing the crew, they learn that man is forever trapped on earth. The scientists made a mistake in the equations that the speed of light in hyperspace is slower than in normal space.

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 07:45 AM
OK, so light travels at the speed of light all the time, photons have mass, and doesn't require infinite energy...

I will wait patiently for an explanation on that one.

ALSO: I think there are things moving fatser than light naturally, we just can't see them due to the fact that they are probably going backwards in time.

[edit on 23-6-2008 by smans]

posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 09:08 PM
I agree with Einstein..
on this physical plane...that is an objects top speed.

but what if the object was converted to a different type of energy
and then fed into a quantum string/s to be reassembled/ re- converted at the destination?

kinda like the ultimate analog to digital
strings operate on resonance and are believed to be able to
send energy in a non-linear fashion...

traveling INFINITE distances instantly with no linear motion,

[edit on 23-6-2008 by Maya432]

posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 12:52 AM
From what I've heard is that if you reach the speed of light, you, in theory, turn into light, but that if you were travelling at the speed of light and someone else was travelling slightly slower than the speed of light, you would be perceived not as light, but as you normally looked. I think that is Einstein's theory of relativity. What if you were travelling along side the sun's light, what would you perceive the light to be?

posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 05:41 AM
Here is a concept for the physicists to mull over. If it would take more energy than exists in the universe to propel a ship to light speed. If you can efficiently exchange the energy in the motion of light to accelerate mass, then you would have a limitless supply of energy.

An alternative would be to suck all the energy out of a couple of those quantum alternative universes which they are so fond of under the Copenhagen interpretation. Since this physics already violates the second law of thermodynamics by instantiating an entire universe everytime a subatomic choice is made, There is no limit to the power available.

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 12:54 AM
Ok just wondering, If you could travel faster then light. Wouldn't you disappear since light could not keep up with you, and if this was true couldn'tlu there be things out there that travel faster then light but we just cant see it to know that it exists?

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 02:46 AM
I have no education in this area, but in order to see light, don't you need to be traveling at the same speed?

If I were standing with a person who had a flashlight and a wall was in front of us at 10 ft lets say, and I was told to sprint to the wall before the beam of light could hit it, i would lose, yet my vision wouldn't. My vision would perceive the light before my body could move and my perception would not only beat the light, it would be back to me before the light could shut off having gone no distance.

Perhaps we are overlooking which vehicle actually needs to travel distance since distance is perception and not time and space, the last two being a product of perception. I'm not trying to sound kooky, but maybe we are missing something that is so minor, it blinds us.

We are energy contained within a mass and that mass has a density dependent upon the energy keeping such together.

If it is true that anything with mass can not go faster then light, the how does light itself travel being comprised of particles? A particle is not a particle without mass correct?

Perhaps it is not the mass, but the density of that mass which must be accounted for with the addition of electrons, thus changing the density to a more porous state? If we change the density of the mass, then wouldn't the same mass be able to travel through the perception of its density thus scaling time and space?

Forgive me for any lingo mess ups, I just find it interesting, but am by no means knowledgeable. I was lucky to graduate high


posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 03:21 AM
we can its called cheating or going around the theories of Einstein

Alcubierre drive
Quantum tunnelling

Oh and the Elegant Universe was a great series

posted on Aug, 20 2008 @ 03:23 AM
We can't ever travel faster than the speed of light...

Because if we did we wouldn't be able to see where we were going and we would crash.


posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 04:32 PM

Originally posted by VIKINGANT
Some people seem to e getting upset with the "Einstein is a fake" link. In fact it was a question. "WAS Einstein a fake?"
I am not saying he is a fake (not in context of this thread anyway) but I am saying his SoL theory can and should be questioned.
It is as though as soon as he announced the theory walls went up for everyone. "Einstein said therefore is must be true, so lets stop looking any further"

"Back to the Future" confirms, Einstein was a dog, but he was the first to time

That movie has all kinds of hints..

"Wow, this is heavy"...Marty

"Why do you keep saying that, is everything in the future heavier due to the Nuclear fallout"...Doc Brown

"Lorain, you are my DENSITY...I mean my Destiny"...George McFly

"No, no this suckers electrical, but I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 jiggawatts (Gigawatt) of power"...Doc

"Once this sucker hits 88 mph, your going to see some serious sh!t"...Doc...(88 two circles locked in loop same as in Contact)

Maybe we don't need to travel faster then light, maybe we need to slow light down....Peace

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by Warlon

i'm pretty sure it has to do with this equation, E=(MC^2)/sqrt(1-(v/C)). As you can see, the closer your velocity gets to the speed of light, the closer your denominator gets to zero, which is undefined. Of course, that equation is theory and could be wrong. If you think about it, some things have to be moving faster than the speed of light relative to positions. Some galaxies are moving away from us at nearly the speed of light, so there has to be an object moving away from these galaxies in the opposite direction with a high enough velocity so that their distances between them are growing faster than the speed of light.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 06:41 AM
firstly, "theory" is not equal to hypothesis. It's something that explains all the facts. that's why gravity and atoms are still theory.

Secondly, you are right on the part about infinite energy required to move something at lightspeed because of infinitely increasing mass. Anything with mass traveling at lightspeed has infinite mass and hence infinite momentum and hence infinite kinetic energy. There is not infinite energy in the universe os it's impossible. The reason light can move at that speed is because it has no mass and no momentum or kinetic energy.

So I think the better question is why is the speed of light specifically 299 792 458 m/s?

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 06:49 AM

Originally posted by letthereaderunderstand
Maybe we don't need to travel faster then light, maybe we need to slow light down....Peace

We can. The "speed of light" or 'C' being 299,792,458 m/s is the speed that light travels through a vacuum. Different mediums like glass or water or a prism will slow light.


reply to post by Anonymous ATS

Yea but that's a relative speed.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 01:34 PM
I look at it this way, the equation of E=MC2 is factual, but the interpretation of how the equation is applied is subjective. Often the lack of an accurate understanding of relative properties leads to false conclusions. The potential for something to move faster than the speed of light does exist if the fault lies with our interpretation of the equation and how it applies to light speed.

There are many unproven theories about this topic, one of which is that the cohesion of light as it exists between particle and wave is lost once the speed of 186,282 miles per second is surpassed. It is theorized that at this point and time, once the cohesion is disrupted, particles go “dark” and exist at speeds beyond our ability to detect them. A recent development in scientific fronts helps to define this new understanding and further advances the concept.

It was once theorized that black holes were these big empty voids in space that gobbled up and destroyed anything that came too close. Their gravitation field was so overwhelmingly powerful that not even light could escape its pull and once in, nothing could get out. Black holes were thought to be rare, basically because the nature of these dark spots made them undetectable by conventional means. But that has all changed.

It has been recently learned that black holes are not rare as once thought but are instead, very common, so common that every spiral galaxy in the universe has one at its core. Black holes have been discovered to be the very heart of spiral galaxies. Since astronomers have been able to photograph these various galaxies and then return years later to compare the same areas, they have been able to witness the stars movements near the center, circling a dark and previously undetected core which brought about this discovery. The closer the star is to these dark centers, the faster they move, approaching near light speeds at the perimeters edge of the black holes.

One of many theories as a result of this discovery is that a black hole is a vortex of particles that have reached speeds beyond 186,282 miles per second and have lost the cohesion between wave and particle. This state of existence is the cause for the exceptional gravitational field, but the particles are not trapped inside the dark core, instead they are spun outward along the equatorial plan of the spiral galaxy. These particles are the dark matter of our universe and continue to travel at these super light speeds until met with great enough resistance to slow them down to visible light speeds.

It is therefore believed by some that not only is faster than light speed obtainable, it is a naturally existing state and very common. This theory has been recently used to explain the gravitational strength of a black hole, its position, relative function in behavior and the identity of “dark matter”, while still maintaining the validity of Einstein’s equation along a different interpretation of the traditional and relative properties previously described.

At least that was how I understood it, but I could be wrong.

posted on Oct, 26 2008 @ 02:41 PM
I've wondered this same question many times myself..

One thought that occured to me after reading an ATS thread (I forget the title and cant find it in the search function) is that it has been suggested that stars are linked by a stellar 'circuitry' of Birkeland Currents

would it not be possible to travel at near-light-speed inside such a field, where the speed of the current that the ship is travelling in is moving at a particular speed and combined with the ship's speed inside the field, gives a combined RELATIVELY faster than light speed outside the Birkeland field effect?

In essence, using the hypothesised currents much in the same way as a sailing ship moves over a body of identical vessel would not be moving as fast over a static body of water and propelled by wind, as a ship moving over an oceanic current PLUS being propelled by the wind

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