If you could travel the speed of light...

Discussion in 'Polls' started by AlphaAlex, Aug 21, 2008.

?

If you could travel the speed of light, what would you see?

  1. You would be able to see normally.

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. You would only be able to see a big white blur.

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. You wouldn't be able to see anything, it would be black.

    2 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. AlphaAlex

    AlphaAlex Official Forum Nuisance

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    If you could travel the speed of light, would you still be able to see?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  2. I. R. Shogun

    I. R. Shogun Midnight Demon

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    presumably you'd be able to see since some light was travelling that speed before you started moving that fast
     
  3. ShadowDragon

    ShadowDragon Slave of Duty/Son of Hell

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    Interesting question. I say....no, you wouldn't be able to see.
     
  4. Mem

    Mem Mosh Warrior

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    Superman can see!
     
  5. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    You wouldn't see anything and nothing would see you.

    But tbh I have a bit of doubt about that, but I'm pretty sure you don't see anything because from the point of view of the object traveling (at the speed of light), the journey would be instantaneous since there is no time at the speed of light.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    That's impossible, because in that case the speed of light would be infinite. Time is a prerequisite for movement, far as I know...

    I suppose it all depends on where you are looking. In front of you, the apparent frequency of the light would be so compressed that there would actually be no oscilation, assuming a wave. Behind you, it's the same story. But light from the side should be preceivable, because it doesn't suffer from compression by movement. Objects exactly 90 degrees on your direction of movement should actually have their original colour. Objects in the hemisphere in front of the direction of your movement would get a violetshift correction, whereas objects behind you would do the same with a redshift correction, proportional to the direction you are looking at.

    In all, I'd say the world would be very psychedylic, with all the fancy colours and -changes :D :D :D
     
  7. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    As you tend towards the speed of light, time slows down, and at the point you actually get to the speed of light you are looking at the past, the present at the future all at the same time.

    The question of what you would see at light speed isn't really meaningful, because on object travelling at light speed doesn't have a reference frame of its own, and a clock which approaches light speed will get arbitrarily close to being completely frozen in our frame, with the distance between any two points on its journey getting arbitrarily close to zero in its frame (so from its point of view, the time to cross between any two landmarks at a given distance apart in our frame, like our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy, will approach zero).

    I did a lot of looking up on the question and most of it came out to "you don't see". Mind you the most definite I got was a physics forums of which I have faith they know what they are talking about. The rest was just 99% the speed of light movement, which doesn't really help.

    As I said though I had my doubts. Mostly because there's no real text I've found on actually moving at the speed of light (other than a really awesome tim travel vid) and only at speed close to the speed of light. Yet either way I don't believe you would see anything, and I believe the contraction/Terell rotation you're talking about Turamabar is at speeds that are fractions of the speed of light and not c itself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2008
  8. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    well, it all depends on which rules you want to bend.

    Theoretically, it would take infinite energy to move at the speed of light, to overcome the gravitation that occurs due to moving at a very high speed. This gravitation would be infinite at the speed of light, which causes the space-time continuum to bend, causing there to be no time.

    If you want to skip this fact, just like some others, like the fact that this gravitation would also cause you to both heat up and compress beyond recognition, then it would be possible to see at the speed of light, which would show a spectrum in redshift as I described earlier.

    Errr.... am I right? I'm terrible at physics :(
     
  9. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain 如朱

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    I'd be able to see...
     
  10. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    it's the old thing about relativity.
    you would be able to see anything else moving at the speed of light, but not much of anything else
     
  11. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Well it's not about the physical capability of going at the speed of light. We all know that's impossible without having a rest mass of 0. This is all just fun speculation.

    I don't know about gravity actually increasing but I assume it does because your mass increases as you tend towards the speed of light hence resulting in needing an infinite amount of energy to reach the speed of light.

    It's easier to see it like this: Relativity posits that everything from planets to people moves at a total of the speed of light when one adds up all movement in the four dimensions of space-time. So basically the faster you travel through space, more of the total is used up and there is less in time hence "time slows down". There at the speed of light you are using the total of c to travel through space and not through time, hence time is 0.
     
  12. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Sooo... you suggest that time travels at the speed of light?

    Bah... this makes my head ache. Indeed, traveling at the speed of light, time would seem to stand still to a stationary observer. But this would not be the case for the person traveling at the speed of light, of whom time for the stationary observer would be infinitely fast. But the actual reason for this is obscured to me.

    However, you can't pass an object faster then the speed of light. I have no idea whether this concept of time dilation has any influence on the observation of speed. To be honest, this is beyound my imagination; logics don't seem to apply.
     
  13. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    You have to understand that it's not a very intuitive topic lol. Well that manner of how the four dimensions work is stated it is not actually mine, but a man called Prof. Mark Morris.

    To expand on his words the four-vector for velocity is an invariant. So if you are at rest, that vector has the entire length along the time axis, and that length is always c.

    This may help you understand:

    http://www.dailybruin.ucla.edu/news/2005/apr/22/changing-the-physics-of-philos/
     
  14. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    There is one problem I could find about that....

    The notion of speed doesn't slow down or speed up the observation of time as postulated by time dilation. A second, as we know it, will always last a second, however fast you're traveling. It;s just that it will offset against a clock not moving at that speed.

    But what about processess that happen at a speed faster then light? Will they come out the other end, and have time roll back?
     
  15. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Time does slow down though, as you tend towards the speed of light. But AT the speed of light there is no time. The time dilation you're refferring to are sub-light speed speeds.

    Or so I believe.

    Btw I added you on msn lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  16. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain 如朱

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    basicly if you did travel at the speed of light (exclude everything about gravity) then it'd be like you moving through a picture...evverything stays still as you move so all you'd have to do to move around easily is know where everything was at the moment of starting
     
  17. Meteorain

    Meteorain Magical & Mystical

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    Actually it's more like the opposite way round if you read the article. A photon that travels at the speed of light, isn't actually moving (not through space), but it is us who are moving and so through perceptions it seems like it is moving.
     
  18. RayCaptain

    RayCaptain 如朱

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    ...huh?...to confusing...but it still stands that'd I'd be able to see...
     
  19. Delarmgo

    Delarmgo Dark Heart Of The Verse

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    don't remember where i read that (and thus don't remember if the source was trustworthy), but if you could travel at the speed of light, you would be seeing a rainbow.practically all the colors that the human eye can conceive.
     
  20. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    Wow.... this is the most intellectual conversation TFFers have had in a really long time.... kudos!

    As I understand it, if you're traveling at the speed of light, you can see light around you. Or so they think. But I'm confused about what Met said about time. Physics is definitely not my area of expertise though, so I'm probably just being really slow about this. I thought that if one was traveling a said distance at the speed of light, the time that passed wouldn't necessarily be zero. If it took 10 seconds at light speed to reach your destination, wouldn't you be able to count those 10 seconds on your watch?