Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A computer teacher on a physics roll here?

  1. May 1, 2004 #1
    A certain teacher at my school who teaches compters always says "Magnetism is the future". He says that by utilizing the magnetic fields of planets as "energy boosts or a trampoline" for travel at c+. I explained this is impossible, according to SR a while back, but I backed off (because he was very determined in his idea). But now, I need a really compelling arguement. So, anyone here want to help?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 1, 2004 #2
    Sure. Try this: Alright, suppose you somehow manage to extract energy from a magnetic field by allowing it to accelerate a charged particle. Even better, a stream of charged particles carrying a message in binary. Suppose it travels at 1.2c and arrives in the radios of some friendly aliens at Proxima Centauri, about 4 light years distant. They, then, observe an effect (the signal) preceeding a cause (the use of the magnetic field to send the signal), which is of course impossible.

    In a good SR text book, there are more elaborate examples of why superluminal travel is impossible.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: A computer teacher on a physics roll here?
  1. Computational physics (Replies: 14)

  2. Computational Physics (Replies: 0)

  3. Computational physics (Replies: 0)