So today I got caught up watching a whole bunch of youtube videos about light speed. Most of the videos say the typical thing which is that going faster than light is impossible, but I read a comment that really made me think. It said something like “when we broke the sound barrier there is a sound delay, so if it was somehow possible to break the light barrier there would be a light delay.”
I thought about this for a while…
So the atoms that make up, I don’t know a warp speed spaceship, can only interact with each other at the speed of light. However, if it was possible to exceed the speed of light (using negative matter or something) then the atoms of the spaceship could bypass interactions with anything traveling less than the speed of light. So in my (un-researched) theory, a ship traveling faster than light could travel through matter.
But then comes the light delay…
So if the spaceship drove through a planet while going warp speed, I’d assume the light “sonic boom” would reach the planet eventually. However this light would be traveling at light speed so therefore the light would interact with the matter of the planet. This would mean that an observer on the planet could see the ship coming at the planet at light speed but then the ship is destroyed once it hits the planet surface because of the interaction of matter.
Could this possibly mean that if it’s possible to exceed the speed of light, alternative realities are created or “clones” are created? Because once the warp speed ship slows down and reaches it’s target it will exist but the carnage from it’s light shockwave will also exist.
Hopefully this made sense. I’m not a scientist but I enjoy thinking about stuff like this.
That is a good theory. I’ll admit that I’ve done little research about light speed and theories on interdimensional travel, but you’ve sparked an interest in me which is kind of nice. I’ve been filled with some pretty stellar energy lately and this seems like a pretty beneficial topic.
That aside, I can’t help but wonder about the relation between perception and existence. I will first say that this is not in fact official (as a CYA) but, since we’re revolving around theories here: You know how back in 2007 MIT was constructing experimental invisibility cloaks…”a hairbrush-shaped device…that would use bristles made out of nanowires to bend light around it, rendering the object invisible”?
I wonder if, by exceeding the speed of light, you would essentially be bending light around yourself as you move… through it. Like an ocean of light and you’re parting the sea. But, though this would make you invisible to our perceptional senses, the actual existence of matter would still remain, I imagine.
There have been designs of translucent concrete material (not like the current art museum trend, but you could actually see the faint outline of a woman’s shadow walking behind the concrete brick wall), which shows that there are ways for light to travel through dense mass in the event it is composed of the same material. Then again, if you shine a flashlight under your finger tip the illumination is visible on the other side. Our bodies… trap light.
So, I supposed where I’m a little hung up (and I’m researching as we speak) is whether matter has mass without the addition of light to add to it. You could assume that the energy our minds/bodies emitt interacts with the energy fields around us, so this could create some form of mass in itself, preventing the human particles from passing through the proposed planet’s surface. Whereas, the ship itself may very well make it through under the assumption that the materials it consisted of had no energy properties. Or maybe we would fuse with the planet/ship, as our form of energy is converted into some immeasurable mass yet remains scattered without the energy field present past light speed…
I think I might have gotten a little lost in that last paragraph, but the cogs are turning surely. I like your proposal
What I meant in the last paragraph is that once the ship that was traveling warp speed slows down and arrives at its destination there would be at least 2 instances of the ship existent in the universe: the crashed “shock wave” ship and the ship that successfully arrived at its destination.
The speed of light is a constant, so no matter how fast you are traveling in space, you would still experience light outside of your ship as you do when stationary.
Light is unique in that photons have no mass, and never decay. They are however affected by gravitational fields (this is where the “red shift” comes into play with distant galaxies moving away from us – the light is shifted towards the red end of the spectrum by expanding space and where it is “bent” so to speak on the way to us by passing by stars and other stellar objects….)
That’s the current understanding in science anyway.
Einstein was trying to prove before he died that all matter is just an affect of gravity warping space (the effect of the warp, instead of the cause). If this is ever proven true, it may lead to a theory where the fundamental element or force of nature is perhaps the photon, instead of a vibrating string. String theory is not testable, so though its currently accepted in science, it could be overthrown in the future…
I’m glad that I kind of went for it because you definitely broadened my understanding of these theories in relation to each other. I’m still digesting your words, but I wanted to say thank you for the step up towards a higher awareness. This doesn’t happen very often in my daily life with those around me.
There has been progress in physics about the light speed barrier in recent years that offers ways around the limitations of the special theory of relativity.
First off there are tachyons (theoretical particles that have not yet been discovered) which travel faster than light. In fact, its impossible for them to travel at or less than light speed…
The way the light speed barrier works, if you could travel faster than light in our conventional space-time reality, you would attain what is known as “negative velocity.” Negative velocity is a difficult concept to get your head around, but basically what it means is that you begin to travel backwards in time once you exceed the light speed barrier.
Also, experimental research on propulsion systems at NASA has come up with some theories as to how to surpass the light barrier. The light barrier again, is only one in conventional space. So in theory you can travel faster than light if you are able to warp the space around your ship instead of actually moving in space in the conventional sense. This doesn’t violate any laws of physics and allows you to travel faster than light by stepping outside of normal space and then back into it at another location.
If we were able to create a spaceship with a constant acceleration of 1 G of force, eventually it would reach close to light speed. At light speed, your velocity becomes infinite, so in such a ship you could traverse the entire universe in no time at all. With theoretical propulsion systems that are not too farfetched we could reach a fraction of light speed that would make it possible for the ship to travel to a maximum distance of about 3,500 light years, or say to the vicinity of some parts of the Crab Nebula. Such a journey from the relative perspective of occupants of the ship would take about 40 years (so within the range of average human life spans). However, because of time dilation, about 3,000 years would pass on Earth in the same time. This means that once the ship reached the Crab Nebula, its likely they would find that planets in the system had already been colonized by humans thousands of years in the past (because of advancing technology) – and they’d likely be as overpopulated as the earth the original ship left behind.
Keep in mind that everything is relative. Time and space are interchangeable, and all dependent on your velocity. So light speed is not really a barrier if you approach it from the right framework or perspective…
No, when you hit the speed of light, an infinite amount of time passes. The definition of speed is distance divided by time. If an infinite amount of time passes – something that hits the speed of light will surpass all time. At least that is what I’ve been told.
Its not like a “Speed limit” its not like, you just CAP OUT at that speed, its that there is literally no way to go faster – all of reality becomes a pancake, a 2-dimensional plane.
It depends on your point of reference. That’s what relativity theory is all about. If you are in a ship traveling at light speed, your velocity becomes infinite.
From the perspective of an outside observer however, say on earth, the opposite is true.
Theoretically this is impossible anyway because once you reach light speed your ship’s mass also becomes infinite.
The velocity throws people off when they think about this – they don’t realize that from the perspective of being in a ship approaching light speed, distance in space gets smaller and smaller until it becomes zero. Space and time are interchangeable, aspects of the same thing, so as you expand one you contract the other.
Again, this is all just theoretical. If tachyons exist, then the whole theory is inherently flawed.
Here are some links on time dilation. The first has typos but the formulas are simple to follow. In the Wikipedia article, check the Space Flight heading at the bottom. Quoted here:
“For sufficiently high speeds the effect is dramatic. For example, one year of travel might correspond to ten years at home. Indeed, a constant 1 g acceleration would permit humans to travel through the entire known Universe in one human lifetime. The space travelers could return to Earth billions of years in the future.”
Essentially, your speed becomes infinite if you could actually reach light speed (as does your mass/energy as well). So you theoretically traverse the entire universe in no time. There are theories where you can get around the mass problem and approach light speed as well…
I have also read of propulsion systems aside from Orion that are not too far fetched and could maintain a 1 G constant acceleration in interstellar space – modified solar sails, using hydrogen in space etc… Probably hundreds of years off but not as difficult as warp drive, wormhole generation, Minkowski based massive cylinders of lined up white dwarf stars… which are probably technologies millions of years off.
Photons can be actually be fused together which results in them having mass, and forming molecules. And the technology that NASA has a small team working on right now is called an Alcubierre drive, which comes from a paper originally written in the 90’s by Miguel Alcubierre. If I’m not mistaken, essentially he proved with equations that space-time could be pushed outwards from a fixed point and encapsulate a ship in an area no longer bound by space-time. The best way I can describe to aid a visualization would be to imagine an ellipse large enough to fit around the ship rotating very rapidly so as to form said “shell” or “ellipsoid bubble” if you will. The resulting bubble will be greatly expanding space-time behind it, while greatly narrowing space-time in front propelling the ship in the desired direction. Putting a long-term time estimation on achieving this would be an underestimation of collective human intelligence. I’m not saying that it’s easy to invent this type of device, but why put such limitations? The more minds that come together, the more perspectives. Allowing for imaginations to be more vast, and calculations to be solved much quicker. As an example, imagine if Einstein worked with a team of leading physicists and engineers of the world, and they all were legally allowed to consume psychedelics such as magic mushrooms, lsd, and dmt. They’re egos would’ve gone bye-bye and who knows how fast they would’ve made discoveries and inventions. I mean shit we’d probably be flying around the galaxy already