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Mad Scientists Science and Mathematics discussion-- theories, arguments, citations, proofs and pudding.

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  #1   Add Evil_Empire to your ignore list  
Old 2007-06-28, 13:53
Evil_Empire Evil_Empire is offline
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Default speed of light problem

ok assuming that as you accelerate towards the speed of light you become smaller, (length dilation) same reason you can fit a 6m pole in a 5m barn (youll have to trust me) anyway since your becoming smaller as you get faster does this mean at some point in time you become an infinitly small point, asuming this occurs you since you havent lost any mass this now becomes to an observer an infinity dense mass.(since density is mass/vol. )
what does it mean if your that dense? could black holes just be particles moving at the speed of light? (us being the observer)
Empire.
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  #2   Add ss23 to your ignore list  
Old 2007-06-29, 06:47
ss23 ss23 is offline
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Default Re: speed of light problem

Just a thought but I'm guessing that could only happen at/around light speed, and I'm sure thats impossible so it really doesn't matter. I really have no idea but thats just what I thought of.

Another light prob thingy. e=mc2 watever. anyways im sure that i have heard that for something to reach the speed of light it must have infinite energy and therefore infinite mass, this is what makes going light speed impossible, but anyway that would mean light must have no mass, therfore no energy.
No energy = no solar power correct? can someone explain.
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  #3   Add danreil to your ignore list  
Old 2007-06-29, 15:15
danreil danreil is offline
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Default Re: speed of light problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ss23 View Post
Another light prob thingy. e=mc2 watever. anyways im sure that i have heard that for something to reach the speed of light it must have infinite energy and therefore infinite mass, this is what makes going light speed impossible, but anyway that would mean light must have no mass, therfore no energy.
No energy = no solar power correct? can someone explain.
The quantity E=mc^2 is only the rest energy of something. The equation for total energy is E = [(p^2*c^2) + m^2*c^4]^1/2 where p is the momentum. Notice if the object is at rest, then p is 0 and you get E=(m^2*c^4)^1/2 which is just m*c^2.

However, light is not at rest so the momentum term is not zero, which means that light is able impart momentum and energy and this is how the idea of a solar sail would work.
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  #4   Add Ouster to your ignore list  
Old 2007-06-29, 18:51
Ouster Ouster is offline
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Default Re: speed of light problem

(a) It's length contraction, time dilation
(b) Mass increases as we approach the speed of light
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  #5   Add maximo to your ignore list  
Old 2007-07-01, 13:35
maximo maximo is online now
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Yorkshire UK Send a message via MSN to maximo maximo is helpful
Default Re: speed of light problem

I'm not sure you would become infinitely small.

This is slightly irrelevant anyway seeing as how we can't get to the speed of light due to our current mass constraints.

I think that the solar energy problem is fundamentally wrong due to the fact that we already harness energy from the sun. It isn't proved that light is in fact a particle, and therefore could be massless anyway.

Oh yeah and what he said ^^^^
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  #6   Add danreil to your ignore list  
Old 2007-07-02, 01:27
danreil danreil is offline
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Philadelphia PA United States danreil is an unknown
Default Re: speed of light problem

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Originally Posted by maximo View Post
I'm not sure you would become infinitely small.

This is slightly irrelevant anyway seeing as how we can't get to the speed of light due to our current mass constraints.

I think that the solar energy problem is fundamentally wrong due to the fact that we already harness energy from the sun. It isn't proved that light is in fact a particle, and therefore could be massless anyway.

Oh yeah and what he said ^^^^
It has been proven that light is both a particle and a wave simultaneously as it exhibits properties of both. This principle is known as wave-particle duality.

Also, photons, which constitute light, have also been proven to be massless. If they weren't they would not be able to move at the speed of light.
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  #7   Add MonsieurGnosis to your ignore list  
Old 2007-07-03, 22:54
MonsieurGnosis MonsieurGnosis is offline
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Post Re: speed of light problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Empire View Post
ok assuming that as you accelerate towards the speed of light you become smaller, (length dilation) same reason you can fit a 6m pole in a 5m barn (youll have to trust me) anyway since your becoming smaller as you get faster does this mean at some point in time you become an infinitly small point, asuming this occurs you since you havent lost any mass this now becomes to an observer an infinity dense mass.(since density is mass/vol. )
what does it mean if your that dense? could black holes just be particles moving at the speed of light? (us being the observer)
Empire.
As your speed becomes closer to the speed of light, your inertial mass (which indicates how much force it takes to change your velocity) increases. Inertial mass is not gravitational mass, which indicates how much the object curves space-time. So your gravitational mass will be unchanged and you won't become a black hole!

As for length contraction, that only happens in the direction of travel. As a result, you'll become increasingly flat as you go faster.
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  #8   Add JoePedo to your ignore list  
Old 2007-07-07, 19:42
JoePedo JoePedo is offline
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JoePedo is helpful JoePedo is helpful
Default Re: speed of light problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Empire View Post
anyway since your becoming smaller as you get faster does this mean at some point in time you become an infinitly small point...
Length is contracted along the direction of travel, so you'd be a 2-dimensional object of your former self at the speed of light, and 3-dimensional, however barely, at infinitely near the speed of light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Empire View Post
asuming this occurs you since you havent lost any mass this now becomes to an observer an infinity dense mass.(since density is mass/vol. )
hehe...

...actually, anything moving at the speed of light has infinite mass anyways, soo... yeah. Unless we redefine "volume" to include the 2-dimensional just for special occasions, its density is infinity/0. Fun, albeit somewhat nonsensical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Empire View Post
what does it mean if your that dense?
...well, it's mathematical results involving this "divide by zero" all up and down every equation einstein uses which have really helped us to figure that attaining light speed is, umm, "radically improbable under current scientific theory."

That, and observing the approach to infinities.

Concurrently, I would tenatively hypotheosize that, shoud an object of infinite mass ever succeed to exist, it would be likely that the universe would suddenly become a nondimensional object. That's a hell of an infinite gravity well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil_Empire View Post
could black holes just be particles moving at the speed of light? (us being the observer)
Empire.
I doubt it, though it's an interesting chain of thought... but there's still the mass contraction, as well as one or two other things, which tend to suggest against the hypotheosis...

...by my humble understanding, the core singularity does have the "infinite density" thing going on (which is why an event horizon can form for any mass, basically), but the nondimensionality applies to three spacial dimensions, rather than the singular dimension of the vector of transit as in the length contraction.

Still... interesting thought. I like your questions.
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  #9   Add onysik22 to your ignore list  
Old 2007-07-12, 22:53
onysik22 onysik22 is offline
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Default Re: speed of light problem

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Originally Posted by MonsieurGnosis View Post
As your speed becomes closer to the speed of light, your inertial mass (which indicates how much force it takes to change your velocity) increases. Inertial mass is not gravitational mass, which indicates how much the object curves space-time. So your gravitational mass will be unchanged and you won't become a black hole!
That's so wrong.

Quote:
Equivalence of inertial and gravitational masses

The equivalence of inertial and gravitational masses is sometimes referred to as the Galilean equivalence principle or weak equivalence principle. The most important consequence of this equivalence principle applies to freely falling objects. Suppose we have an object with inertial and gravitational masses m and M respectively. If the only force acting on the object comes from a gravitational field g, combining Newton's second law and the gravitational law yields the acceleration

a = \frac{M}{m} g.

This says that the ratio of gravitational to inertial mass of any object is equal to some constant K if and only if all objects fall at the same rate in a given gravitational field. This phenomenon is referred to as the universality of free-fall. (In addition, the constant K can be taken to be 1 by defining our units appropriately.)

The first experiments demonstrating the universality of free-fall were conducted by Galileo. It is commonly stated that Galileo obtained his results by dropping objects from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but this is most likely apocryphal; actually, he performed his experiments with balls rolling down inclined planes. Increasingly precise experiments have been performed, such as those performed by Loránd Eötvös, using the torsion balance pendulum, in 1889. To date, no deviation from universality, and thus from Galilean equivalence, has ever been found, at least to the accuracy 1/1012. More precise experimental efforts are still being carried out.

The universality of free-fall only applies to systems in which gravity is the only acting force. All other forces, especially friction and air resistance, must be absent or at least negligible. For example, if a hammer and a feather are dropped from the same height on Earth, the feather will take much longer to reach the ground; the feather is not really in free-fall because the force of air resistance upwards against the feather is comparable to the downward force of gravity. On the other hand, if the experiment is performed in a vacuum, in which there is no air resistance, the hammer and the feather should hit the ground at exactly the same time (assuming the acceleration of both objects towards each other, and of the ground towards both objects, for its own part, is negligible). This demonstration is easily done in a high-school laboratory, using two transparent tubes connected to a vacuum pump.

A stronger version of the equivalence principle, known as the Einstein equivalence principle or the strong equivalence principle, lies at the heart of the general theory of relativity. Einstein's equivalence principle states that it is impossible to distinguish between a uniform acceleration and a uniform gravitational field. Thus, the theory postulates that inertial and gravitational masses are fundamentally the same thing. All of the predictions of general relativity, such as the curvature of spacetime, are ultimately derived from this principle.
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