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Originally posted by Gentill Abdulla
Many people think of light speed as impassible, inconceivable, and many other adjectives which I don't feel like listing.(Mostly because I can't think of any more. And I would like to mention I am generalizing when I say many people.)
Then there are the ones who think light speed is attainable. I have come to dispute the facts that it isn't, and then explain how it MIGHT be.
We all know of the equation e=mc^2.
This is Einstein's famous equation that tells us how matter and energy are equivalent.
But how?
Well here is how it actually does look....
upload.wikimedia.org...
Well in order to help understand this we need the velocity c to be the velocity of something that has no rest mass.(Light.) We will see this as 1.
Then v^2 must be your velocity squared.
In the equation we have to subtract v^2 / c^2 from 1.(Just to be clear v ^2 is going to be less than 1^2 when an object has la lower velocity than that of light.)
The problem we run into is that 1 when the object velocity squared equals 1, then 1 / 1 = 1!!!!!!!!
This is NOT GOOD!!!
Because 1-1 =0!!
And dividing by zero is COMPLETE MATHEMATICAL NONSENSE. In fact back in 98 a computer on a ship called the Yorktown, I think that was it's name, tried to divide by zero. And guess what happened....
www.wired.com...
The source of the problem on the Yorktown was that bad data was fed into an application running on one of the 16 computers on the LAN. The data contained a zero where it shouldn't have, and when the software attempted to divide by zero, a buffer overrun occurred -- crashing the entire network and causing the ship to lose control of its propulsion system.
Crashed it's ENTIRE NETWORK.
Okay now we know you can't travel at light speed.But what about traveling faster than light?
It is wrong to because what happens?
The answer becomes a NEGATIVE SQUARE ROOT!
In english this means what number squared = -1 (when v^2 / c^2 is 2.)
When you multiply, or divide, 2 negatives you get a positive. This is a fact. Even when you square a negative number it is still a positive. Heck when you square a positive number it is positive too!
But you cannot find the square root of a negative number.
mathworld.wolfram.com...
In math this is an imaginary number.
So now we know that the domain of the function
f(x)=mc^2/ square root( 1 - x^2 / c^2)
f(x) = any real number where x < 1
So in english all of this means we cannot travel at a velocity faster than or equal to light.So to put it in real terms we knew our energy needed to become infinite.
Until now I haven't mentioned any of the other ways to travel at light speed.Well I just proved you can't travel at light speed. But WHO SAID I HAVE TO TRAVEL?
It was Relativity's ability to bend spacetime that led people to the belief that I can move spacetime in front of me faster than light and spacetime behind me faster than light.
In essence I haven't traveled. So since spacetime doesn't have any mass it is not restricted to a certain speed.
This is known as the Alcubierre warp drive.
Another thing that might be used for faster than light travel is a wormhole.
A wormhole is created by mass bending spacetime in such a way that 2 points in spacetime become connected and by traveling through, well you really can't say through do to the wormhole not having any width, the wormhole you are instantaneously at the other side of the wormhole no matter where it is in the universe.
Unfortunately wormholes are very unstable. Kip Thorne proposed using a form of exotic matter that bends spacetime differently than normal matter to keep wormholes from collapsing. The closest thing we have to this is the Casimir effect.
Here is a link....
www.scientificamerican.com...
Now, if mirrors are placed facing each other in a vacuum, some of the waves will fit between them, bouncing back and forth, while others will not. As the two mirrors move closer to each other, the longer waves will no longer fit--the result being that the total amount of energy in the vacuum between the plates will be a bit less than the amount elsewhere in the vacuum. Thus, the mirrors will attract each other, just as two objects held together by a stretched spring will move together as the energy stored in the spring decreases.
Hope that helps.
Post any questions, comments, concerns, and conundrums below.
[edit on 17-8-2010 by Gentill Abdulla]
Here is why you CANNOT travel faster than light!
Originally posted by pauljs75
This sounds crazy, but I think if you could exceed the theoretical speed limit it would be like this:
You're in a spaceship going faster than light. Going from Planet A to Planet B. For you the travel time is such that the trip is going that much faster than the speed of light.
You're outside watching the spaceship that is supposedly going faster than light. However it only seems that it approaches the very lightspeed limit, but never exceeds it.
So what happens is that some kind of time dilation occurs in a relative frame of reference once a certain speed is hit. The ship actually is taking a much shorter and faster trip. But in the universe outside of it, for some odd reason it can only go yea fast. It basically prevents the asymptotic out of range and divide by zero problem by altering the passage of time itself. This means that the rate at which time passes isn't constant and effected by the energy level of objects in it. (In this case it's kinetic energy. But technically mass is energy too, so in very large gravity fields time may also crawl relative to the rest of the universe.) Because of the ratio at which that changes, it appears that going the speed of light is the limit. But from certain relative vantage points, it really isn't.
In such a case I could imagine spaceships that still take hundreds of years to go from Planet A to Planet B, yet the ships themselves and everything on them only age and experience a few months passage of time during long interstellar trips.