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  • The World of Physics

    I have a degree in Physics - this area of science always fascinates me. Anyway, here is an interesting article I found about slowing down and stopping light waves at different frequencies:

    Researchers help 'catch' a rainbow

    http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Science..._rainbow/9178/

  • #2
    Seeing beyond the speed of light

    Physicists are finding ways to detect particles that move faster than the speed of light.

    http://www.sciencecodex.com/radiatio...cosmic_mystery

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    • #3
      How hard is it to move an object at the speed of light?

      WingedPaladin:

      In my mind I need to clarify a physics question.

      I have been told and read that nothing can travel at a speed greater than the speed of light. But this seems ridiculous to me. If I add the cumulative effect of objects traveling through space, surely there must be two objects whose relative difference in speed exceeds the speed of light. Objects that were on the opposite sides of the focal point of the big bang would have been driven in different directions. Unfortunately, they may not be aware of each other, since light of one may never reach the other. Am I missing the point? Or are all things in the Universe emitting light in the range in which I can observe visible to me and to everyone?

      Now I could understand if we said that the amount of energy required to accelerate something to the speed of light was so huge that it is unlikely that much energy would be generated and therefore it is improbable. Or that when we generate that much energy we create a "black hole" or something like that.

      What do you think?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ronschaum View Post
        WingedPaladin:

        In my mind I need to clarify a physics question.

        I have been told and read that nothing can travel at a speed greater than the speed of light. But this seems ridiculous to me. If I add the cumulative effect of objects traveling through space, surely there must be two objects whose relative difference in speed exceeds the speed of light.
        If I may, I'd like to interject a short response before I give the stage back to Winged Paladin who might wish to expand more:

        Yes, logically, our mind tell us that if we were to fly (say) at a 1000 miles per hour, on a collision course with a photon, that the photon SHOULD appear as if it would be traveling at the Speed of Light (Warp 1... for you Trekkies) PLUS 1000 miles per hour.

        On the flip side, if were to fly away from a photon that is traveling in the same direction, it SHOULD appear as if it is only making "Warp 1" minus 1000 per hour, as it catches up with us.

        The fact IS, and therein lies the mystery: no matter how fast we travel, and what direction we take, Light will ALWAYS (to us, humans) appear as if it is traveling at the SAME speed.

        And THAT opens up a WHOLE can of worms... Newton's Universe almost disintegrated until Einstein (first) introduced his theory of SPECIAL RELATIVITY, in which, basically, he proposed to correct Newton's Law by removing the concept of the ABSOLUTE when it came to TIME.
        Last edited by Mario; 12-05-2007, 03:09 PM.
        "Fail, to succeed."

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        • #5
          I think I heard this before, but I am having difficulty grasping it. I think you are saying that the photon is traveling towards us at precisiely, the speed of light although we are moving towards its' source at 1000 MPH. But you specifically mention a photon with certain characteristics such as mass and behaves both like a wave and a particle. But something larger, would it tend to have wave characteristics when traveling at or near light speed?

          But then what is wave length or doppler shift all about? I guess that must be unrelated to the actual speed of the light, but only to the wave length?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ronschaum View Post
            I think I heard this before, but I am having difficulty grasping it. I think you are saying that the photon is traveling towards us at precisiely, the speed of light although we are moving towards its' source at 1000 MPH. But you specifically mention a photon with certain characteristics such as mass and behaves both like a wave and a particle. But something larger, would it tend to have wave characteristics when traveling at or near light speed?

            But then what is wave length or doppler shift all about? I guess that must be unrelated to the actual speed of the light, but only to the wave length?
            The Doppler shift (quite simply) is what happens when you hear a car honking as it rushes past you. As it approaches, the frequency of the sound rises because you are getting more waves per second due to the approaching vehicle, and yes, the relative speed of each wave will seem even higher in speed and pitch if you decide to rush towards the coming car (and lower as the car passes you, with its horn still activated).

            Incidentally, in water, the speed of sound is faster because the higher the density, the higher is the speed at which the sound waves travel.

            Doppler shift is the reason the Leslie Amplifier gives us the "rotating" shwoosh sound of the classic Organ... But I digress.

            Doppler shift IS used when trying to figure out if Light waves/particles (or, quite simply ... "Light") is traveling away from us, or coming towards us.

            The speed of light WILL be affected by changes in the density of the environment in which it travels. That is why, for example, a broomstick looks bent when seen through water.

            Light is also bent due to GRAVITY...

            All that aside, and unlike soundwaves, and all things being equal, nothing (in our known Universe) can travel faster than light.

            If an object or anything that has a mass attempted to reach the speed of light, in short, its size would grow infinitely...or close to it...

            The bottom line is that Gravity, Time, and Light are interconnected. And what is "Time" anyway? It is an illusion... The Atoms in our bodies "pulsate" at a particular rate... that rate is affected by the Universe in which we exist. But ironically, even if that rate slows down, we might not even feel it... until we compare our experience with that of someone else, existing in another "reality"... where the Atoms might pulsate faster...

            To give you an example: If you place an atomic clock in a region where Gravity is weaker (say, a few hundred feet above see level...), or subject it to extreme acceleration and in an airplaine, and compare the time with an other identical clock, you'd see a difference. But to the pilot who flew the jet, nothing is out of the ordinary, even though compared to the observer on the ground, he aged a little less. Have you seen this, BTW?

            http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/program.html
            Last edited by Daheshville; 12-06-2007, 01:59 AM.
            "Fail, to succeed."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ronschaum View Post
              WingedPaladin: ... What do you think?
              I think Mario did an awesome job of tying it all together. A few months ago, I read the term "Tachyon Energy". I had never heard of it before so I looked it up:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyon

              That night I had a dream I was in a house with several other people and then we saw something flying through the room and smashing through walls looking just like the picture from the article. We were a bit afraid of being hit by it so everyone was ducking and lying on the floor. Although it is said to be a "hypothetical" particle, it certainly came to life in my dream!


              (It seems that the transparent blue ball in the picture is the actual object in motion and the elongated and shortened colorful objects are what the observer would actually see due to the Doppler effect.)



              In my studies, I've read about people who had died and said they were able to spiritually travel on this Earth and beyond at astonishing speeds. They could float around a certain area or move swiftly over trees, but as soon as they desired to be somewhere else (ie. China), there they were, with little or no memory of how they got there as their travel seemed to them to be instantaneous.

              Brigham Young expressed this spiritual condition beautifully:

              "The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered with this clog of dirt we are carrying around here so that when we advance in years we have to be stubbing along and to be careful lest we fall down. We see our youth, even, frequently stubbing their toes and falling down. But yonder, how different! They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or, this, that, or the other place—and I presume we will be permitted if we desire—there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on these western islands, or in China, we are there; in fact, we are like the light of the morning, or, I will not say the electric fluid, but its operations on the wires. God has revealed some little things with regard to His movements and power, and the operation and motion of the lightning furnish a fine illustration of the ability and power of the Almighty. If you could stretch a wire from this room around the world until the two ends nearly met here again, and were to apply a battery to one end, if the electrical conditions were perfect, the effect of the touch would pass with such, inconceivable velocity that it would be felt at the other end of the wire at the same moment. This is what the faithful Saints are coming to; they will possess this power, and if they wish to visit different planets, they will be there. If the Lord wish to visit His children here, He is here; if He wish to send one of His angels to the earth to speak to some of His children, he is here.

              When we pass into the spirit world we shall possess a measure of this power; not to that degree that we will when resurrected and brought forth in the fullness of glory to inherit the kingdoms prepared for us. The power the faithful will possess then will far exceed that of the spirit world; but that enjoyed in the spirit world is so far beyond this life as to be inconceivable without the Spirit of revelation. Here, we are continually troubled with ills and ailments of various kinds, and our ears are saluted with the expressions, "My head aches," "My shoulders ache," "My back aches," "I am hungry, dry, or tired;" but in the spirit world we are free from all this and enjoy life, glory, and intelligence; and we have the Father to speak to us, Jesus to speak to us, and angels to speak to us, and we shall enjoy the society of the just and the pure who are in the spirit world until the resurrection."


              http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Journa...e_Spirit_World

              I bolded the part that hints of time travel which I think would require moving faster than the speed of light. Also, I should say that we see things from the perspective of three dimensions moving along linear time. (We are also limited to our own senses and physical instruments of measurement that enhance the abilities of our physical senses to collect data about the world around us.) There, in the spiritual realm, time is no longer linear. Some have described it to be like an oval or "One Eternal Round." Spiritual senses are also dramatically better and/or different than our physical senses.
              Last edited by WingedPaladin; 12-06-2007, 06:43 AM.

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              • #8
                Wow... awesome discussion... I have a question relative to the what Ron had asked originally... Is the speed of light as we know it, and I know we have measured it and nothing (known) apparently can travel faster... is this speed limit the fastest that we can perceptively record and register (tying back in to another discussion on the limits of perception based upon our five senses)... or is it truly a mathematical physical absolute based upon our measurements and observations of what we perceive as the known physical universe? From this recent reading, it seems theoretically possible to travel faster, but is such speed undetectable to us because of the inherent limitations of our five senses?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Johnson View Post
                  Wow... awesome discussion... I have a question relative to the what Ron had asked originally... Is the speed of light as we know it, and I know we have measured it and nothing (known) apparently can travel faster... is this speed limit the fastest that we can perceptively record and register (tying back in to another discussion on the limits of perception based upon our five senses)... or is it truly a mathematical physical absolute based upon our measurements and observations of what we perceive as the known physical universe? From this recent reading, it seems theoretically possible to travel faster, but is such speed undetectable to us because of the inherent limitations of our five senses?
                  For The Fruit of the Month Club, we go to Harry and David.

                  For anything pertaining the speed of light in relation to the (non-existent) aether... we go to...

                  Michelson and Morley...

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michels...ley_experiment
                  "Fail, to succeed."

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                  • #10
                    A New Theory of Everything

                    Cool, a new theory of everything! It is supposedly relatively simple. I still need to go over this myself, but thought I'd post it here for reference:

                    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/mai...-mostviewedbox

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