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Not-So-Bright Driver Gets Camper Stuck In Alley

Hits: 26536 | Rating: (2.9) | Category: Travel | Added by: madest
Page: 1 2 3 Next >   Jump to: Bottom    Last Post
Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Monday, April 12, 2010 7:01:10 PM
Now I'm not sure. Which is a good thing - it means I'll have to learn more.

MattPrince
Male, 40-49, Europe
 2223 Posts
Monday, April 12, 2010 10:39:09 AM
To be clearer - the photons are going at the speed of light. The light seen by an observer (not the original photon that entered the material) propogates more slowly.

The freaky thing is, from the photons frame of reference, it gets at where it has been instantly, regardless of the distance. Nanometer or 1000 light years, all just the same to the photon..

MattPrince
Male, 40-49, Europe
 2223 Posts
Monday, April 12, 2010 10:31:36 AM
I'll beg to differ on that one, you're talking about speed of propogation - not the actual speed of the light. You've taken into account the absorption, re-radiation and refraction effects. The actual light is still going at c between the atoms.... Semantics maybe, but light does not go at any other speed. We just perceive the effects as slower.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Monday, April 12, 2010 5:10:29 AM
Light is *the* thing that *always* travels at *that* speed regardless of the reference frame.

It can't go at any other speed...



Light can be slowed down a lot. Its speed depends on the material it is passing through. Physicists have been deliberately slowing it down more than naturally occurs for some time now and a few years ago one of them (Lene Vestergaard Hau) managed to slow it to zero.

Light only travels at c when there is nothing to slow it down, i.e. in a vacuum.

c is a constant, not dependent on anything.

MattPrince
Male, 40-49, Europe
 2223 Posts
Monday, April 12, 2010 4:48:13 AM
" Light happens to be one of the things that *can* travel at that speed. "

That's a bit misleading Angillion..

Light is *the* thing that *always* travels at *that* speed regardless of the reference frame.

It can't go at any other speed...

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 6:01:54 PM
The universal speed limit isn't really the speed of light. It's somewhat misleading to think of it that way, although we all do. It's looking at it the wrong way around.

That speed limit is a constant. It is not simply a measurement of the speed of light in a vacuum. It's an underlying property of the universe. Light happens to be one of the things that *can* travel at that speed.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:56:03 PM
If anyone wants to read a relatively (every pun intended!) accessible intro to relativity, I recommend this book:

"Why does E=mc^2? (and why should we care?)" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

It explains relativity from first principles and with all the underlying discoveries over centuries that led to it.

It's not an easy read, but it doesn't require prior knowledge of maths or physics and it does explain relativity. I'm reading through it now. I'll probably start at the beginning again when I get to the end. The maths and the logic involved are straightforward enough, but the results of them are strange. I'm not getting a solid grasp of the idea that time and space are not invariant. I understand that 1m doesn't have to be 1m and 1s doesn't have to be 1s and that it all depends on your frame of reference...but I don't really *get it*. All my experience tells me that time and space are invariant.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:44:19 PM
Angilion, I have something bugging me and you seem smart.

let's say object A travels at the speed of light away from earth, object B does exactly the same but in the opposite direction. The problem here is, B is now going twice the speed of light away from A, while the maximum is the speed of light. How does this work?



My understanding of relativistic physics is shakey, so I'm not the best person to explain it to you. It's counter-intuitive and just plain weird and I find it hard to get a grasp on it.

But I'll give it a go...speed is distance travelled over time and the rate at which time passes varies by enough to ensure that nothing is moving faster than the speed of light relative to anything else. So A is moving at the speed of light relative to Earth *and* at the speed of light relative to B.

Doesn't make sense, does it? Yet it appears to be true.

howlingwolf
Male, 18-29, Eastern US
 1359 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:17:12 PM
@Puddingbrood
I believe I can answer that. If you were to travel at the speed of light, you would normally observe a stationary person as though they weren't moving. The reason why light is the "universal speed limit"gets into perception and reality, a bunch of mumbo-jumbo which will bore you. A simple way to think about it is that our eyes perceive stuff b/c of the light reflecting off objects, so if the object goes away from you at the speed of light and you are also going the speed of light, the object will not be registered as existent to you, because its image after it goes past you never reach. Hope that made some sense.

Puddingbrood
Male, 13-17, Europe
 72 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 7:53:10 AM
Angilion, I have something bugging me and you seem smart.

let's say object A travels at the speed of light away from earth, object B does exactly the same but in the opposite direction. The problem here is, B is now going twice the speed of light away from A, while the maximum is the speed of light. How does this work?

Lblaxplaya20
Male, 18-29, Eastern US
 425 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 6:33:38 AM
@Angilion

THEORY SPAM!

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 2:42:33 AM
An example. The numbers are approximate but correct enough.

Say you had a spaceship that could maintain a 1g acceleration for decades.

You crank it up and accelerate off at 1g away from Earth for 10 years. You then rotate the ship and accelerate towards Earth at 1g for 10 years. You will, of course, simply be slowing down - it took 10 years at 1g to get to that speed, it will take 10 years at 1g in the opposite direction to stop. You continue for another 10 years, then rotate the ship again and accelerate for 10 years away from Earth.

You will then stop back at Earth. 20 years out (10 speeding up, 10 slowing down), 20 years back (ditto).

40 years have passed, right?

For you, yes.

For Earth, 59,000 years have passed.

Time dilation - it's real.

Space is similarly affected - it gets smaller as you go faster. So wherever you're going becomes closer relative to you.

Length contraction - also real.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Sunday, April 11, 2010 2:34:49 AM
You've really made yourself look silly now, Heureux.

If you had simply said I was wrong, you'd just not understand relativity. That would be fine - most people don't.

But you laughed at me because you thought I was wrong. In fact, you are wrong. So you look silly.

Would you like me to explain it to you? It will take half a dozen posts, but I could do it.

You are making the mistake of assuming that space and time are invariant. They are not. In day to day life we can pretend they are, but they aren't really. This has been confirmed by experiment over and over again. Every second of every day, actually - the effects are measureable in the GPS system.

Time and space are both affected by relative velocity. The faster you go, the bigger the effects. You're the only person talking about going faster than the speed of light, which is impossible therefore irrelavant.

Heureux
Male, 40-49, Western US
 1060 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 9:37:08 PM
"A star hundreds of light-years away would become far closer and you could fly there in days. Or even seconds if you're really close to the speed of light. "

LOL.

No. A light year is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in a year. If a star is six light years away, it will take six years at the speed of light to get there.

To get there in less than six years, one would have to travel at multiples of the speed of light - six times as fast as light to get there in a year, 52 times faster than light to get there in 6 weeks, 2190 times fast than light to get there in a day, and 189,216,000 faster than light (approx. 35,194,176,000,000 per second) to get there in one second.

Additionally, as wikipedia put it "it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with mass to the speed of light."

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:12:46 PM
Incidentally, this also means that we don't need a warp drive or wormhole for interstellar travel. All we need is enough speed. If you get in a ship with an unfeasibly powerful drive and some means of nullifying the forces of acceleration (so you can accelerate vey hard without being squashed by he g-forces), then you could rapidly get up to a high percentage of the speed of light. As a result, the distance between you and your destination would be significantly reduced for you. A star hundreds of light-years away would become far closer and you could fly there in days. Or even seconds if you're really close to the speed of light.

The real elephant in the room for a society with such wide-ranging travel is time dilation.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:04:08 PM
actually isnt it the other way around? as we approach the speed of light we get bigger or something?


I think you might be confusing size with mass/energy.

The faster an object travels, the more energy it has.

Energy and mass are different forms of the same thing.

Therefore the faster an object travels, the more mass it has.

That's a very simplified explanation, but it might be what you're thinking of.

If you want to look into relativity without needing years of higher education in physics, I recommend this book:

Why Does E=mc^2 (and why should we care)? by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw.

It does a good job of explaining relativity, starting from the earliest relevant discoveries and explaining them and their implications, gradually building up to the general theory of relativity and how to derive E=mc^2 from first principles. It's hard going because so much of it is counter-intuitive, but the book does

chunkymonkie
Male, 13-17, Canada
 675 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 11:56:05 AM
no bingo, it isnt the other way around

bingo5765
Male, 18-29, Southern US
 207 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 8:10:51 AM
actually isnt it the other way around? as we approach the speed of light we get bigger or something?

Lionhart2
Male, 40-49, Australia
 8285 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:35:46 AM
> wolfguy423
> there are just as many bad women drivers as men

Statistically, many MORE than men. But then you can argue that its because there are more women driving around doing their stuff while more men are busy at work, so of course more women will have accidents... but then that would only ruin our 'women drivers' rant so we'll ignore that bit.

GRadde
Male, 18-29, Europe
 2567 Posts
Saturday, April 10, 2010 4:41:01 AM
>Angilion
Damn you for nailing that comment before me...

Flibmeister
Female, 18-29, Europe
 840 Posts
Friday, April 09, 2010 11:55:26 PM
so how did they get the caravan in there in the first place? two entrances? therefore why take it out of the small one? oh, and i nearly pmsl over that.

krabkat
Female, 18-29, Western US
 918 Posts
Friday, April 09, 2010 5:58:46 PM
I can't stop laughing...poor dumb schmuck.

Angilion
Male, 40-49, Europe
 11630 Posts
Friday, April 09, 2010 5:22:53 PM
Nice touch with the description, madest. Not many people would make a relativity joke like that.

Although the caravan would get shorter, not narrower, due to the direction of velocity relative to the walls.

LazyMe484
Male, 18-29, Canada
 10503 Posts
Friday, April 09, 2010 4:44:09 PM
Bahahaha.

I find myself agreeing with stardagger.

SilverThread
Male, 30-39, Western US
 3368 Posts
Friday, April 09, 2010 2:45:30 PM
They get credit for not flipping out at least.

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