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(NBC News)   Physicists say speed of light may not be constant, unlike your wife's nagging   (science.nbcnews.com) divider line 77
    More: Interesting, speed of light, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, virtual particles, Antiparticle, particles, fine structures, faster than light, square roots  
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5979 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Apr 2013 at 6:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-28 03:29:59 PM  
Of course it isn't constant and that's been know for quite some time, just like the speed of sound isn't constant. It depends on the medium it's passing through.
There is still an upper limit....so far.

The wifes nagging on the other hand......
 
2013-04-28 03:48:45 PM  
My wifes nagging is constant, well when she is sober.  Otherwise all bets are off.
 
2013-04-28 06:28:36 PM  
People who misuse this information to ignorantly espouse young-earth creationism in 5... 4... 3...
 
2013-04-28 06:28:37 PM  
So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?
 
2013-04-28 06:33:50 PM  
A am preparing a paper that will rock the physics community to its core. I have discovered a perpetual motion machine: the human female mouth.
 
2013-04-28 06:36:00 PM  

SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?


You can only approach the speed of light, never achieve it.  Because you are mass.  The closer you get to the speed of light, the more energy it takes to get more speed.

A funner mental exercise:  Let's say you have two space ships.  Both take off at the same time.  One is going quarter the speed of light, the other three quarters the speed of light.  The slower ship turns on its headlights.  At what speed does the faster ship see the light passing it?

Answer?  At the speed of light, still.
 
2013-04-28 06:41:04 PM  
When my wife's nagging hits Warp 10, she turns into a lizard.
 
2013-04-28 06:46:11 PM  
Well, the first example just points out that a vacuum is going to contain virtual particles, and light interacting with those particles would have the effect of "slowing" it (just like every other medium, ever). It's a pretty neat argument. The second paper sounds like a mathematician and physicist got high one night.
 
2013-04-28 06:48:20 PM  

cretinbob: Of course it isn't constant and that's been know for quite some time, just like the speed of sound isn't constant. It depends on the medium it's passing through.
There is still an upper limit....so far.


You should read TFA: it's about variations in the speed of light in the cosmic vacuum.
 
2013-04-28 06:59:45 PM  

Cpl.D: People who misuse this information to ignorantly espouse young-earth creationism in 5... 4... 3...


Actually, they beat you to it.

http://www.fark.com/comments/7722584/83888582#c83888582
 
2013-04-28 07:03:14 PM  

Cpl.D: SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?

You can only approach the speed of light, never achieve it.  Because you are mass.  The closer you get to the speed of light, the more energy it takes to get more speed.

A funner mental exercise:  Let's say you have two space ships.  Both take off at the same time.  One is going quarter the speed of light, the other three quarters the speed of light.  The slower ship turns on its headlights.  At what speed does the faster ship see the light passing it?

Answer?  At the speed of light, still.


2 ships leave Earth towards Alpha Centauri  such that they are both going 50% the speed of light and are 0.5 light years apart. The rear ship turns on it's headlights. How long until the front ship sees the light?
 
2013-04-28 07:25:38 PM  
Mark EC: SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?

You can only approach the speed of light, never achieve it.  Because you are mass.  The closer you get to the speed of light, the more energy it takes to get more speed.

A funner mental exercise:  Let's say you have two space ships.  Both take off at the same time.  One is going quarter the speed of light, the other three quarters the speed of light.  The slower ship turns on its headlights.  At what speed does the faster ship see the light passing it?

Answer?  At the speed of light, still.


2 ships leave Earth towards Alpha Centauri  such that they are both going 50% the speed of light and are 0.5 light years apart. The rear ship turns on it's headlights. How long until the front ship sees the light?

"How long", relative to what reference frame?

My gut reaction would be to say that 'the front ship will see the light 0.5 years after the rear ship turns the light on', since they are 0.5 light years apart.

/Whatever that means.  Again, what's the reference frame?
 
2013-04-28 07:29:55 PM  
Quite recently the Institute of Fuzzy Science has announced the discovery of several bold new theories, providing a unified explanation, or at least excuse, for a broad range of natural phenomena. These theories are both extremely ambitious in their scope and modest in their assumptions. Their main trait is that they deduce a great deal from practically nothing.
 
2013-04-28 07:32:04 PM  

Cpl.D: Answer? At the speed of light, still.


But redder.
 
2013-04-28 07:32:25 PM  

Dwight_Yeast: cretinbob: Of course it isn't constant and that's been know for quite some time, just like the speed of sound isn't constant. It depends on the medium it's passing through.
There is still an upper limit....so far.

You should read TFA: it's about variations in the speed of light in the cosmic vacuum.


Yes, but these variations have more to do with the fact that we're learning there is no such thing as a true, mathematical-style vacuum in real life, rather than the speed of light not being constant.

Speed of light is still a constant, relativity is still valid. It's just the idea of a vacuum that is being redefined. Very frustrating that the AP is mangling this story.
 
2013-04-28 07:34:28 PM  

jayhawk88: Very frustrating

typical that the AP is mangling this story.
There we go.
 
2013-04-28 07:36:58 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Mark EC: SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?

You can only approach the speed of light, never achieve it.  Because you are mass.  The closer you get to the speed of light, the more energy it takes to get more speed.

A funner mental exercise:  Let's say you have two space ships.  Both take off at the same time.  One is going quarter the speed of light, the other three quarters the speed of light.  The slower ship turns on its headlights.  At what speed does the faster ship see the light passing it?

Answer?  At the speed of light, still.

2 ships leave Earth towards Alpha Centauri  such that they are both going 50% the speed of light and are 0.5 light years apart. The rear ship turns on it's headlights. How long until the front ship sees the light?

"How long", relative to what reference frame?

My gut reaction would be to say that 'the front ship will see the light 0.5 years after the rear ship turns the light on', since they are 0.5 light years apart.

/Whatever that means.  Again, what's the reference frame?


It would be more than .5 years, since the front ship has moved forward in space (.25 light years)
 
2013-04-28 07:38:45 PM  

SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?


You are more likely to shoot yourself as resistance overcomes enertia on the bullet.
 
2013-04-28 07:48:44 PM  
Raven approves?
 
2013-04-28 07:53:59 PM  

theorellior: Cpl.D: Answer? At the speed of light, still.

But redder.


The speed of light is a commie conspiracy!
 
2013-04-28 08:01:32 PM  
Disclaimer:  I didnt bother reading the article, so I dont know what they were referencing.

Some physicists are playing with the idea that light is simply moving at "max speed", but that "max speed" isnt necessarily a constant.  They've seen some funny variations in recent years to physics experiments.. so they're trying to work out if its measuring errors or if the universe is actually just a bit more variable than we previously thought.
 
2013-04-28 08:02:35 PM  

Nicholas D. Wolfwood: Mark EC: SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?

You can only approach the speed of light, never achieve it.  Because you are mass.  The closer you get to the speed of light, the more energy it takes to get more speed.

A funner mental exercise:  Let's say you have two space ships.  Both take off at the same time.  One is going quarter the speed of light, the other three quarters the speed of light.  The slower ship turns on its headlights.  At what speed does the faster ship see the light passing it?

Answer?  At the speed of light, still.

2 ships leave Earth towards Alpha Centauri  such that they are both going 50% the speed of light and are 0.5 light years apart. The rear ship turns on it's headlights. How long until the front ship sees the light?

"How long", relative to what reference frame?

My gut reaction would be to say that 'the front ship will see the light 0.5 years after the rear ship turns the light on', since they are 0.5 light years apart.

/Whatever that means.  Again, what's the reference frame?


You're answer assumes time dilation is linear, but it's not. To an outside observer, the answer is 1 year. To the front ship it's only slightly less that 1 year due to the tiny amount of time dilation at 0.5C.

On the subject of time dilation. Since your clock slows down as you approach the speed of light, you would actually observe that you are going faster than the speed of light. At 0.8C your instruments would measure you as going 1.33C without some kind of time dilation correction.
 
2013-04-28 08:14:52 PM  
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/neutrinos.png
 
2013-04-28 08:25:08 PM  
So paper 1 is saying that vacuum isn't a vacuum, and paper 2 is saying that *if* the Standard Model doesn't work, then the speed of light *might* be different.

Wow, those are totally ground-breaking.
 
2013-04-28 08:32:29 PM  
It may not be the "vacuum" you're thinking.
Although, I don't know about "soup", it may be something...

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/04may_epic /
 
2013-04-28 08:46:07 PM  
Speed of light is a fantasy.  Never going to achieve it. If you actually do, your molecules will seperate and you will be a light pink mist of organic spew on the bridge.

/spew
//never getting off this rock.  Face it.
 
2013-04-28 08:53:24 PM  

cretinbob: Of course it isn't constant and that's been know for quite some time, just like the speed of sound isn't constant. It depends on the medium it's passing through.
There is still an upper limit....so far.

The wifes nagging on the other hand......


The speed of light in empty space is constant.

Light APPEARS to move more slowly in non-empty space.  It is absorbed and re-emitted by matter.  The time it takes for that increases the time it takes to move across space.  When light is actually moving, it's moving at the speed of light.  When it has been absorbed by matter, there is no light to move until the matter emits the light again.

What they are saying here is that elementary particles interact with light in such a way that light appears to move slower in what is largely considered the vacuum of empty space.
 
2013-04-28 09:02:55 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: //never getting off this rock. Face it.


Ha! Tough luck for you!

I've only got two more weeks here, and then I'm off to Titan.
 
2013-04-28 09:06:01 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-28 09:17:02 PM  

SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?


No, the bullet will travel at the normal speed a bullet does, relative to you.  To those outside, it is NOT travelling at speed of light plus 800mph or whatever.

I am pretty sure that is correcet. Relativity is very weird.
 
2013-04-28 09:19:08 PM  

Renowned transvestite sexologist: cretinbob: Of course it isn't constant and that's been know for quite some time, just like the speed of sound isn't constant. It depends on the medium it's passing through.
There is still an upper limit....so far.

The wifes nagging on the other hand......

The speed of light in empty space is constant.

Light APPEARS to move more slowly in non-empty space.  It is absorbed and re-emitted by matter.  The time it takes for that increases the time it takes to move across space.  When light is actually moving, it's moving at the speed of light.  When it has been absorbed by matter, there is no light to move until the matter emits the light again.

What they are saying here is that elementary particles interact with light in such a way that light appears to move slower in what is largely considered the vacuum of empty space.


Yes, and it's still not new information
 
2013-04-28 09:30:55 PM  
Oops.

First chink in the Dogma Wall?
 
2013-04-28 09:36:11 PM  
my wife's nagging might not be constant but it is damn relentless.
 
2013-04-28 09:49:52 PM  
The wife doesn't nag constantly. She lets up now and then. I think.
 
2013-04-28 09:55:18 PM  
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-04-28 09:57:28 PM  

Fark Me To Tears: Lt. Cheese Weasel: //never getting off this rock. Face it.

Ha! Tough luck for you!

I've only got two more weeks here, and then I'm off to Titan.


Give my regards to Winston and his dog.
 
2013-04-28 10:30:45 PM  
Lots of Luddites in here tonight. The speed of light thing is just like, a theory, man, and technology, like computers for example, will let us have FTL travel, as well as time machines.

Because like, Star Trek and Columbus and stuff.
 
2013-04-28 10:34:40 PM  
jimhillmedia.com
/the speed is more what you'd call "a guideline" than actual rules
//savvy?
 
2013-04-28 10:40:33 PM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: //never getting off this rock.  Face it.


history.nasa.gov
What a person facing the fact that we're never getting off this rock might look like.
 
2013-04-28 10:53:38 PM  

Uzzah: Lt. Cheese Weasel: //never getting off this rock.  Face it.

[history.nasa.gov image 425x315]
What a person facing the fact that we're never getting off this rock might look like.


No shiate. Maybe "never going to another star system and coming back to talk to the people you left behind about it", but getting off this rock is very doable.
 
2013-04-28 10:57:01 PM  

Uzzah: What a person facing the fact that we're never getting off this rock might look like.


Test pilots went in rubber suits and came right back with some dead rocks. Hasn't been done again in over four decades. Don't pack your bags just yet, spaceboy.

I mean people went to the South Pole, doesn't mean we'll live there.
 
2013-04-28 11:02:09 PM  
If you are spinning at the speed of light, is the outer edge of your body moving faster or slower than the inner part of your body? Do they travel the same distance at the same time?

library.thinkquest.org
 
2013-04-28 11:16:44 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: I mean people went to the South Pole, doesn't mean we'll live there.


You are aware that people live down there, right?
 
2013-04-28 11:17:35 PM  
Why would it be constant? Nothing else is.
Nothing is true - everything is permitted.

fisker: If you are spinning at the speed of light, is the outer edge of your body moving faster or slower than the inner part of your body? Do they travel the same distance at the same time?

[library.thinkquest.org image 350x261]


Whoaa, man. You just, like, blew my mind.
 
2013-04-28 11:38:12 PM  
Maybe some visionary, enterprising scientists will find a way.

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-28 11:54:51 PM  
the speed of light if whatever God wants it to be
 
2013-04-29 12:06:08 AM  

OceanVortex: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/neutrinos.png


Excellent find.
 
2013-04-29 12:24:36 AM  

the_rhino: the speed of light if whatever God wants it to be


I'm pretty sure he wants it to be potato. God be funny that way.
 
2013-04-29 12:32:32 AM  

SpdrJay: So if we're on a spaceship going the speed of light and you're standing in front of me and I shoot you, the bullet will never get there?


I think yes, and if we're both on a space walk then the bullet will remain in it's cartridge.
 
2013-04-29 12:41:17 AM  

Mentalpatient87: Quantum Apostrophe: I mean people went to the South Pole, doesn't mean we'll live there.

You are aware that people live down there, right?


Apparently not.

But, please, don't set him off. His mother was scared by an alien and he is fanatically opposed to anything dealing with space travel.
 
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