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Old 04-18-2008, 12:22 AM
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Default Physics!

If this thread has already been established at some point, I apologize, but thought it was good idea. Just somewhere we can chat about physics, anything from ancient Greek conceptions of the atom to the most cutting edge theoretical physics out there!

So let's talk physics!
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:57 AM
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So what if FTL is possible? How will be beat the Eienstien concept?
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:14 AM
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I don't think you can beat Einstein, you can get around him maybe though. Matter can't travel at the speed of light, if it were accelerated to the speed of light, according to the theory that matter would become the universe, it's mass would be infinite, and for it, so would time. It would be every where and every when. Particle accelerators move subatomic particles at near the speed of light but they can't travel at it cause they are not energy but if somehow they did, that'd be some headline. Government accelerates proton to the speed of light, proton becomes universe and kills all life everywhere! Well, there couldn't be a headline if that happened obviously.

There are certain instances in quantum mechanics and cosmology where the speed of light is not a constant, I'm not too familiar with these, I'll see if I can find any info on them. I think Eliza posted an article along those lines in another thread awhile back.

I think Star Trek's warp drive gets around FTL nicely. I mean if you could accelerate a ship towards the speed of light you'd have to deal with time dilation and it'd take you 4 years to get to the closest star. Light speed is pretty fast! it'd be some achievement to accelerate a ship carrying people to that speed and survive the trip. There's a Stargate Atlantis episode where these aliens, the ones who built the stargates are traveling in a ship at near the speed of light and they left their home some thousands of years ago and are in hybernation and millions of years have passed for everyone else cause of time dilation. They left before the stargates were created.

Anyway, with warp drive, it makes sense theoretically and gets your characters to where they need to be every week without having to deal with time dilation. They create a pocket of normal space around the ship and compress the space infront of the ship and expand it behind so the ship itself may not be moving that fast at all and cause of the warp bubble, you don't have to deal with dilation but realistically, it'd take so much power to warp space to that degree any civilization capable of harnessing that kind of power must be pretty advanced. Wormholes, Einstein-Rosen Bridges are another possibility but actually having a living being travel through one of these things and surviving would be tough. Remember Contact, they made a big deal of saying how the environment inside the pod was perfectly fine whereas outside it was absolutely insane, totally inhospitable to life? That was pretty cool! Somehow, who ever designed that machine were able to create pod that would withstand the environment created when forming a wormhole, don't have any idea how. Maybe the pod itself existed in another dimension, some sort of dimensional barrier that protected it. Who knows, but regardless it'd take a huge amount of power to do anything like that, it may be easier to accelerate a space craft towards the speed of light and see how fast we can go, before achieving the sorts of powers it would take to manipulate space/time like they do in Star Trek.
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livingston View Post
I don't think you can beat Einstein, you can get around him maybe though. Matter can't travel at the speed of light, if it were accelerated to the speed of light, according to the theory that matter would become the universe, it's mass would be infinite, and for it, so would time. It would be every where and every when. Particle accelerators move subatomic particles at near the speed of light but they can't travel at it cause they are not energy but if somehow they did, that'd be some headline. Government accelerates proton to the speed of light, proton becomes universe and kills all life everywhere! Well, there couldn't be a headline if that happened obviously.

There are certain instances in quantum mechanics and cosmology where the speed of light is not a constant, I'm not too familiar with these, I'll see if I can find any info on them. I think Eliza posted an article along those lines in another thread awhile back.

I think Star Trek's warp drive gets around FTL nicely. I mean if you could accelerate a ship towards the speed of light you'd have to deal with time dilation and it'd take you 4 years to get to the closest star. Light speed is pretty fast! it'd be some achievement to accelerate a ship carrying people to that speed and survive the trip. There's a Stargate Atlantis episode where these aliens, the ones who built the stargates are traveling in a ship at near the speed of light and they left their home some thousands of years ago and are in hybernation and millions of years have passed for everyone else cause of time dilation. They left before the stargates were created.

Anyway, with warp drive, it makes sense theoretically and gets your characters to where they need to be every week without having to deal with time dilation. They create a pocket of normal space around the ship and compress the space infront of the ship and expand it behind so the ship itself may not be moving that fast at all and cause of the warp bubble, you don't have to deal with dilation but realistically, it'd take so much power to warp space to that degree any civilization capable of harnessing that kind of power must be pretty advanced. Wormholes, Einstein-Rosen Bridges are another possibility but actually having a living being travel through one of these things and surviving would be tough. Remember Contact, they made a big deal of saying how the environment inside the pod was perfectly fine whereas outside it was absolutely insane, totally inhospitable to life? That was pretty cool! Somehow, who ever designed that machine were able to create pod that would withstand the environment created when forming a wormhole, don't have any idea how. Maybe the pod itself existed in another dimension, some sort of dimensional barrier that protected it. Who knows, but regardless it'd take a huge amount of power to do anything like that, it may be easier to accelerate a space craft towards the speed of light and see how fast we can go, before achieving the sorts of powers it would take to manipulate space/time like they do in Star Trek.
So by your definition FTL would become more like the "Infinate Improbability Drive" occupying various if not all points of the universe?

Do the Warp Drive is bascially opening a "wormhole" of sorts to pass through soemthing else to get from point a to point b?
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Old 04-18-2008, 07:51 AM
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I love this kind of talk. But I am by no means well versed in physics. I have been watching all the History channel's "the Universe" series though!

So is light just energy, or a particle? I thought a photon was a light particle. I thought particles had mass. I think the lines between matter and energy aren't as concrete as some believe. I also saw on TV (the universe) that tachyons are theoretical particles that DO travel faster than light.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:07 AM
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Only if they have negative mass (or negative something) before they can do this.

Photons are either electromagnetic waves with particle-like properties or particles with wave-like properties (or something).

Everything is relative!
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by MrQ1701 View Post
I love this kind of talk. But I am by no means well versed in physics. I have been watching all the History channel's "the Universe" series though!

So is light just energy, or a particle? I thought a photon was a light particle. I thought particles had mass. I think the lines between matter and energy aren't as concrete as some believe. I also saw on TV (the universe) that tachyons are theoretical particles that DO travel faster than light.
Yeah, that's a great show! 'the Universe', I'm glad it's coming back for another season.

From my understanding of it energy particles are called bosons, matter particles are called fermions, so everything that makes up atomic nuclei of all the elements; electrons, protons, neutrons are all fermions and photons are bosons. Photons do not have any mass so they travel at the speed of light. All fermions have mass so they can't reach that speed according to relativity. The lines do get kinda blurry, because light behaves as a wave and so does the electron so when dealing with wave duality the lines definitely get blurry.

Anyone know anything about wave duality, everytime I read something on it it's difficult to grasp fully, Shrodinger's Cat and all that, it's a very strange concept, but seems to be very much grounded in fact from what I've read.
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:15 AM
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So if you had to get from here to Alpha Centauri and retrun within...let's say 10 years earth time, how owuld you do it?
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:19 AM
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From NOW any method would be impossible.

Hypothetically, a real world warp drive seems the most feasible(not saying that it is feasible)...
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zardoz View Post
So by your definition FTL would become more like the "Infinate Improbability Drive" occupying various if not all points of the universe?

Do the Warp Drive is bascially opening a "wormhole" of sorts to pass through soemthing else to get from point a to point b?
Yeah, kinda. I haven't read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but that's sort of it. I read about this infinite probability thing in a book on string theory. The idea was that according to quantum mechanics you could wake up one day circling a star in another galaxy given enough time, say the entire lifespan of the universe. According to quantum mechanics it's possible because a particular sub atomic particle here, will be connected to another particle in another part of the universe and it is possible that over enormous amounts of time, those particles could exchange information. I may not be describing that right, it's been awhile since I read it, but it's something like that.

Anyway with the Einstein thing, it's more that if you accelerate a proton or neutron to the speed of light, it's mass will increase and time, relative to the particle, will slow. If you could accelerate the proton to the speed of light, which according to Einstein is impossible, then the mass of the proton would become infinite and time, relative to the particle, would become infinite, so it would be every where and every when. Anything that has mass though, cannot travel at light speed, only energy, photons, neutrinos, phonons, mesons, tachyons and it goes on.

I don't think the warp drive goes quite as far to open a wormhole, it's not that strong a warping of space, they just take the space infront of the ship and then expand it behind, it's kinda like riding a wave, surfing, you're riding the warp, kinda. Basically it's not manipulating space so to the point where you create a wormhole, it's just bending the space around you to make the trip much shorter and they use a bubble of normal space surrounding the ship to protect it.

In Dune they fold space, they actually take two points in space and fold them on top of one another so the points occupy the same place and time and then the trip is instantaneous. Ever see Event Horizon, good movie, supposedly that ship did the same thing but they opened a gateway to a dimension human life was never meant to exist in and that ship had been there and brought it back with it.
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