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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 76
    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 10:40:33 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.
 
2013-04-29 01:06:22 AM  

teto85: Maybe some visionary, enterprising scientists will find a way.

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 550x293]


They will do so Boldly, and with lens flares

/what would those lens flares look like at warp?
 
2013-04-29 01:09:54 AM  

ski9600: 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.


The important thing to remember is that relativity is all about the frame of reference, it is all relative. Assuming that you have secured yourself from the gun's kick by bracing yourself or simply standing in artificial gravity, the bullet will fire(even in space) at the usual speed relative to the gun. Since everybody is on the same spaceship, you are all travelling at the same relative speed. So you, your target, and the gun are stationary relative to each other and the bullet is moving at normal relative speed. The bullet will hit your target a small fraction of a second after it is fired. The interesting part is what a stationary observer sees as the ship passes by.
 
2013-04-29 01:09:58 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?


My understanding is that time dilation is going to resolve this.  You can't actually go the speed of light, since you have mass, and as you approach the speed of light the amount of energy required to accelerate mass curves up to infinity, so, for your question, let's assume you are just going really close to the speed of light.  For the sake of argument, we'll say you have actually gotten closer to the speed of light than the speed of your bullet, so, let's assume your bullet is going 800 mph relative to you when you shoot it out in front of you (I know there are issues measuring bullets velocity in mph since they lose all their velocity due to friction well before they travel for an hour, but I think most people think better in MPH rather than feet or meters per second and it doesn't really matter for our purposes).

Okay, so, you are flying on your rocket, we'll say at just 400 miles per hour below the speed of light.  You shoot something out in front of you at 800 miles per hour.  Is it going faster than the speed of light?  Nope.  It's going faster than you, on an infinitely sloping time dilation curve, (and you are already way up on that curve yourself).  To you, relative to things that aren't moving, you are already experiencing time much slower.  That means the bullet can move away from you and you perceive it to be moving away at 800 miles per hour, but to an outside observer it's still going slower than the speed of light.  That bullet experiences even more time dilation.  If a tiny shrunk down astronaut on the tip of the bullet shot a bullet out in front of him at 800 mph, it would still move away from him at 800 miles per hour relative to him, but slower than the speed of light from your perspective.

The point is, we think of velocity as miles per hour, and when we think about the riddle we focus on miles per hour as a constant.  Miles may be a constant measure, but when you get up near the speed of light the 'per hour' changes because time dilates.
 
2013-04-29 01:50:04 AM  

jso2897: 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.


Are you sure that is the answer?
 
2013-04-29 01:55:21 AM  

Just Another OC Homeless Guy: But, please, don't set him off.


He might have put me on ignore after I told him my goal was to troll him into a froth.. But really, what else can you do with this guy? He absolutely refuses to be intellectually honest or even merely civil. The good part is you can easily work that to make him post a huge rant that makes him look like a fool. I think my record is two words and eight minutes for a thread he wasn't even in yet.
 
2013-04-29 01:59:06 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: 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.


AW HELL NAW NOT YOU TOO MAN

don't be startin that sh*t now or kity will whup yo ass with a femur
 
2013-04-29 02:12:10 AM  

MarkEC: How long


That's a rather personal question Sir
 
2013-04-29 02:24:54 AM  
My wife's nagging depends a lot on the nature of the environment that surrounds us, so I guess it behaves quite like the speed of light, subby.
 
2013-04-29 02:58:29 AM  
bbsimg.ngfiles.com
 
2013-04-29 06:21:37 AM  

Lt. Cheese Weasel: 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.


If you simulate it with nigh-perfect fidelity (that is, to an extent that our senses can't distinguish simulation from non-human-simulated reality), does it matter?

I expect that's the future of exploration, and the future of all intelligent/industrial species: not exploring the physical universe but exploring the possibilities of the universe through simulation. Bonus: useless people get to play real life Warcraft, never breed, population growth solves itself. (A possible exception is the usual von neuman probes, or other forms of artificial life that aren't limited by the human lifespan.)

Of course, it's going to be a while before we get to that point. Not just simulating it with high fidelity, but simulating it to the extent that our brains can't recognize the simulation.
 
2013-04-29 07:16:32 AM  
How close to being close to finishing the warp drive test bed project is NASA?

/REALLY
 
2013-04-29 07:51:42 AM  
And the Creationists rejoice!
 
2013-04-29 07:52:43 AM  

Niveras: Of course, it's going to be a while before we get to that point. Not just simulating it with high fidelity, but simulating it to the extent that our brains can't recognize the simulation.


The rational choice is to deliberately damage our brains so that a lower-fidelity simulation is perfectly satisfying.

/Or as I like to call it, "Friday night"
 
2013-04-29 08:03:47 AM  

White_Scarf_Syndrome: 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.


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you were moving AT c (not just .999...%) then time dilation would be infinite, so to an outside observer, you are frozen and never actually fired the gun, while to an observer on the ship, you got to your destination instantaneously.
 
2013-04-29 08:21:51 AM  
Ok, so besides all the word problems that keep popping up in this thread, i would actually like to talk about what is wrong with this article:

The tell is right in the second sentance of the article

FTFA: But some scientists are exploring the possibility that this cosmic speed limit changes, a consequence of the nature of the vacuum of space.

Lets bold and point out why the rest of this article should not be taken seriously:


1.)  But some scientists are exploring the possibility that this cosmic speed limit changes, a consequence of the nature of the vacuum of space.

Some Scientists - first indicator, they do not tell us which ones, where, how many, or what sort of scientists they are. Anyone with a STEM degree could be considered a scientist as well as anyone who graduated with a metephysics degree from the pat robertson college. Christian "Scientists" have been challenging this claim for years in order to prove young earth creation. By deliberately being vague they are creating a canvas cof conjecture for their entire article.

2.) But some scientists are exploring the possibility that this cosmic speed limit changes, a consequence of the nature of the vacuum of space.

Possibility - This could simply mean that a group of scientists are trying to reformulate the light speed theory. Understanding the scientific method means that is the job of the scientific community to not just take a theory at face value on it's first conception and the challenge of the community is to try and prove the theory wrong. So by it's own design, there will ALWAYS be scientists who challenge certain theories because the system is not designed to just accept someone's theory on faith alone.

The rest of the article is just fluff at this point, and nothing to really report on... There's always going to be a scientist that challenges current theories for a couple of different reasons. One is simply that it is the responsibility of the scientific community to make these challenges as set by the scientific method. Second, is that there is always going to be some scientists that wants to make a name for themselves and become famous...
 
2013-04-29 08:34:59 AM  

Mister Peejay: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you were moving AT c (not just .999...%) then time dilation would be infinite, so to an outside observer, you are frozen and never actually fired the gun, while to an observer on the ship, you got to your destination instantaneously.


Loosely, yes. Except that if you were moving at c, so you wouldn't have a gun, an observer, or a ship, because you'd be a massless particle, such as a photon.
 
2013-04-29 08:59:07 AM  
Nation's locomotive engineers agree that even the mightiest steam locomotive could not generate enough power to become airborne, after the fashion of birds.
 
2013-04-29 09:38:57 AM  

czetie: Mister Peejay: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you were moving AT c (not just .999...%) then time dilation would be infinite, so to an outside observer, you are frozen and never actually fired the gun, while to an observer on the ship, you got to your destination instantaneously.

Loosely, yes. Except that if you were moving at c, so you wouldn't have a gun, an observer, or a ship, because you'd be a massless particle, such as a photon.


Before you got close to the speed of light particle collisions on the front of your craft would have sufficiently high energy to actually undergo fusion and your entire ship would be obliterated in a nuclear explosion.
 
2013-04-29 10:56:23 AM  
Let's say we aim a telescope from earth at a distant planet and notice a sapling growing there.  If we get in our spaceship and fly towards that planet at some percentage of the SoL while still observing the sapling, will it appear to grow faster for those on the spaceship observing it than those from the earth who are observing it?
 
2013-04-29 11:22:31 AM  
Around subby's wife my penis is constantly flaccid.
 
2013-04-29 11:27:20 AM  

OtherLittleGuy: When my wife's nagging hits Warp 10, she turns into a lizard.


That made me groan out loud.
 
2013-04-29 11:54:15 AM  

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.


The trick is building an apparatus that can detect the speed of light from a beam traveling parallel to the ship.
 
2013-04-29 12:42:50 PM  

Egoy3k: czetie: Mister Peejay: Correct me if I'm wrong here, but if you were moving AT c (not just .999...%) then time dilation would be infinite, so to an outside observer, you are frozen and never actually fired the gun, while to an observer on the ship, you got to your destination instantaneously.

Loosely, yes. Except that if you were moving at c, so you wouldn't have a gun, an observer, or a ship, because you'd be a massless particle, such as a photon.

Before you got close to the speed of light particle collisions on the front of your craft would have sufficiently high energy to actually undergo fusion and your entire ship would be obliterated in a nuclear explosion.


Obviously, you need to divert more power to the shields.
 
2013-04-29 12:57:25 PM  
E = mc2
Energy (of me doing anything) is equal to Mass ( of my ass on the couch) times c (the constant nagging of my wife) squared.
 
2013-04-29 02:15:43 PM  
As I understand it there's a limit to the speed of limit.

I KNOW there no limit to my wife's nagging.
 
2013-04-29 03:06:41 PM  

nmiguy: E = mc2
Energy (of me doing anything) is equal to Mass ( of my ass on the couch) times c (the constant nagging of my wife) squared.


No, you're thinking of Newton's Second Law: A body at rest will tend to remain at rest unless it's wife notices.
 
2013-04-29 03:25:41 PM  

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


Nah. Not even Fark trolls pretend to be pro-religious.
 
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