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faster than light travel

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15 years 10 months ago #66140 by fguihen
faster than light travel was created by fguihen
Ive been reading up online about potential ways of travelling faster than light.

Im aware its only yet a dream and a bunch of loose theories but , based on past discoveries over the last 100 years, is there a chance that the ability to travel to other stars could be come a possibility in all of our lifetimes or is it something that , in all your opinions ( and you most likely know much more on the topic than i) something that will take thousands of years, if ever to discover?

If we get a unified theory of everything, would that help in development of such technologies, or would it just give us a better understanding of the universe?

"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.

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15 years 10 months ago #66144 by Petermark
Replied by Petermark on topic Re: faster than light travel
There was a young lady named Bright,
whose speed was much faster than light.
She set off one day
in a relative way,
and returned on the previous night.

Mark.
Anybody who says that Earthshine is reflected Sunshine is talking Moonshine.

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15 years 10 months ago #66147 by voyager
Replied by voyager on topic Re: faster than light travel
The problem with all these theories is the insane amounts of energy they all require us to have at our disposal. I just don't see that happening in our life times. In fact, I hope it doesn't happen within our lifetimes or our lives will all be truncated. We are not ready for even the amount of power we can tap, let alone more!

Bart.

My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie

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15 years 10 months ago #66161 by Mike
Replied by Mike on topic Re: faster than light travel
Hi Fintan, interesting questions indeed!
Rocket technology in its primitive form has been around for quite a few hundred years now and in that time we have simply refined and improved rockets as technology progresses (for war and space travel applications). We have sent robotic spacecraft towards the edge of our solar system in the form of the Voyagers and Pioneer probes. Voyager 1 has taken ~30 years to cover a distance of ~105.3 AUs (as of Feb 2008), light would take ~14 ½ hours for the same journey.

Fintan, even we do succeed in theoretical physics regarding unified field theory and other forms of advanced physics does not mean that we will also have the technological capabilities to implement and test those theories as in your example of faster than light travel. A reasonable example of what I mean is the case of George Boole of Boolean algebra fame. His work was profound but not well known and of no real practical use at the time, technology however caught up and with the advent of computer applications in later years, Mr. Boole’s work proved to be most useful indeed.

If light travel or indeed faster than light travel is to be accomplished there are logical steps to be taken, a thought process like the following example maybe… Stage one “conjecture”; stage two “speculation”, stage three “the science”, stage four “the technology” and stage five “the application” as you can probably gather we are perhaps between stage one and two, the time line for progression to each stage is anyone’s guess, it maybe sooner than we think or a very long way off yet.

The idea of physically traveling at light speed (even approaching close to light speed) and faster than light is fascinating and many theories by many people as you know have been proposed, some that come to mind is; Alcubierre, Diametric, Pitch, Induction, Disjunction and Slip String Drives, Worm holes, etc etc.
Perhaps as a species we could also research faster than light communication (personal thought), who knows what the Universe (or Multiverse) has in surprise for us in the years ahead when we truly search, apply logic and use our technology and means thereof in a noble way.

Who would have thought in the 13th century while we were firing rockets at each other for war purposes that the same basic technology would send humans to the Moon and allow us a means of exploring the solar system but as Bart said in his last post and I am in 100% agreement with him as with any of our technologies it can be miss-used, perhaps we are too immature presently to be responsible for such massive power (just research our history and current state of affairs), but perhaps in time we could take our place amongst the stars as responsible and respected humans. In the meantime lets get back to the Moon and then onto Mars, perhaps achievable in your lifetime Fintan! Sorry for the long ramblings!

"We embarked on our cosmic voyage with a question first framed in the childhood of our species and in each generation asked anew with undiminished wonder: What are the stars? Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still. We have lingered long enough on the shores of the cosmic ocean. We are ready at last to set sail for the stars".

Carl Sagan

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket
voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/fastfacts.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Boole
math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SpeedOfLight/FTL.html

Clear Skies
Mike

I83 Cherryvalley Observatory

After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say; "I WANT TO SEE THE MANAGER".

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15 years 10 months ago #66172 by fguihen
Replied by fguihen on topic Re: faster than light travel
Bart and Mike excellent answers, nice limerick PeterMark, but a bit clean for my tastes :wink:


Thanks for your viewpoints. I had not really considered the fact that such a technology would almost certainly be used for evil before good. its a pity that almost all of our technological advances come from advances of warefare technology.

Until we start making significant advances in technology for the sake of bettering ourselves, and not for the sake of finding better ways of destroying eachother we are going to be stuck in quite a rutt and i would view our current actions as those of a small minded species.

how is it that the people who think in this way ( who initiate wars, advancing ways of killing eachother) almost always end up in power. it would be nice to see how the world would be if some more open minded more forward thinking minds got into power.

The question for this topic came up from two areas, one when watching that 70s show, where Red Foreman said Eric's only regret was that he didnt live in space and I actually thought "wow, thats one of my huge regrets!!!" and from a post on these boards showing what would happen if a neutron star passed close to our sun, destroying our solarsystem in a heartbeat.

we really are betting on nothing happening ( asteroid, rogue blackhole, some unknown change in the sun we dont foresee due to our lack of understanding of it, comet etc etc etc) and us being safe on earth for the forseeable future but until we branch out, and i mean out of the solarsystem into other areas of the galaxy the human race is very very vunerable. i know the odds are stacked against something cataclysmic happing but the odds are still there. think about it, someone usually wins the lottery and look at the odds there!

anyway, thats just more ramblings of my idle mind! thanks for humoring me guys!

"Success is the happy feeling you get between the time you do something and the time you tell a woman what you did." Dilbert.

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15 years 10 months ago #66185 by JohnMurphy
Replied by JohnMurphy on topic Re: faster than light travel
Faster than light travel is not possible in the normal sense of the word. Any matter accelerated to light speed unfortunately is predicted to be ripped apart to its constituent components (quarks).
The only matter so far observed travelling close to light speed is a proton dubbed the Oh My God Particle. (see www.fourmilab.ch/documents/OhMyGodParticle/ )

So maybe we can cheat and create something like a "wormhole" i.e. a tunnel from one part of space to another - well this might be possible if the universe were saddle shaped or had some other geometry that we could use to create a shorter straight line distance between points. The current thought process indicates that the shape of the universe is flat, so this may rule out wormholes (I could be talking bullocks here).

Warping spacetime though is another matter - all matter warps spacetime. So maybe if we can isolate, trap and or create Higgs particles and use them to warp spacetime then maybe "faster than light" travel will be an option in the future. We still won't be travelling faster than light but rather we will be taking a shortcut from A to B.

BTW the Higgs Boson has yet to be detected - but they are getting close - the LHC may just be capable of producing one.

Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos

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