Does peace occur before real space travel ?

  • #76
we are using the terms differently. i am referring to intelligent life. i should have been more clear.

i think lots and lots and lots of planets will have microbial life.
 
  • #77
Ryan_m_b
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I'm sorry but this thread is still ripe with overspeculation. The only methods of FTL travel that physics has theorised are warp and wormhole, if we are going to discuss FTL we should at least stick to published research on the subject.

Where did you find that warp speed calculator? Sounds like a star trek thing rather than anything real.

As for alien life and habitable planets; we've got no idea the frequency of planets with Earth like conditions, on top of that we have no idea the likeliness of life and on top of that we can't even define intelligence let alone wonder how many intelligent aliens there are.
 
  • #78
DaveC426913
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I'm sorry but this thread is still ripe with overspeculation. The only methods of FTL travel that physics has theorised are warp and wormhole, if we are going to discuss FTL we should at least stick to published research on the subject.

Where did you find that warp speed calculator? Sounds like a star trek thing rather than anything real.

As for alien life and habitable planets; we've got no idea the frequency of planets with Earth like conditions, on top of that we have no idea the likeliness of life and on top of that we can't even define intelligence let alone wonder how many intelligent aliens there are.
All true, though we do not need to define intelligence in order to study and learn from any complex life we encounter.
 
  • #79
Ryan_m_b
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True Dave true, we could just look for behaviour that we would class as belonging to intelligence.

On the subject of warp drives for those who are interested this paper which is further discussed in this paper proposes ways of getting around the horrendous energy requirements outlined in this paper. The "trick" is to change the warp bubble so that it's exterior radius is microscopic yet the interior radius is large enough to accommodate your vehicle (essentially making a warp bubble that's bigger on the inside than on the out). Apparently this would greatly shrink the amount of energy needed to manageable levels. They don't outline how exactly a shell could be build around a ship in such a fashion nor how the ship could leave.

However neither of these approaches fixes the other problems of a warp bubble such as requiring the construction of an exotic matter shell, superluminal signalling to steer/control the bubble and the huge amount of radiation a warp drive subjects you to. There are some interesting (but technical) objections in this paper that apparently show that a warp drive would only be capable of very low velocities as well as highlighting other problems.
 
  • #80
DaveC426913
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True Dave true, we could just look for behaviour that we would class as belonging to intelligence.

On the subject of warp drives for those w
Well, long before we got to the stage of assessing its intelligence, we would find ourselves standing knee-deep in a rich ecology and face-to-face with a complex, macroscopic life form. Whether it's intelligent or not would be gravy.

I am at a loss to imagine a scenario where we would discover life in a figurative vacuum of complexity, such that its own complexity by comparison would not be apparent.
 
  • #81
Ryan_m_b
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Well, long before we got to the stage of assessing its intelligence, we would find ourselves standing knee-deep in a rich ecology and face-to-face with a complex, macroscopic life form. Whether it's intelligent or not would be gravy.

I am at a loss to imagine a scenario where we would discover life in a figurative vacuum of complexity, such that its own complexity by comparison would not be apparent.
What do you mean by complexity?

As for intelligence some sort of superorganism capable of performing intelligent actions even though the individual units are unintelligent might give us some confusion for a while (especially as to what we are classifying as intelligent)
 
  • #82
yes, warp speed calculator came from star trek. the idea of warp speed was pretty much popularized by star trek. however, i wasnt trying to get bogged down in warp speed mechanics - just theorizing that ftl may be somewhat necessary to really get anywhere.

yesterday i was contemplating something i learned in college when we studied relativity, which i hadnt thought about. i may be wrong, but it is my recall that someone traveling at c, would measure 0 distance traveled, and 0 time taken, irregardless of his final destination, IN THE MOTION OF TRAVEL.

AND that while he was traveling at c, he would age very slowly. which means he could go many, many times the number of light years than the actual years it would take. the problem is that he may age just a few years when he got back. but when he did arrive, it might be 1000 years into his future.

if this is correct, it is still a decent step, such that our future could get some very good information. and once we started the process, if we kept sending someone once a year, then they would continue coming back on a consistent basis, such that our future could become much better informed.
 
  • #83
to clarify, he would be traveling slower than c. but as we continued to find ways to increase our speed, we could continue to go further and get back. this scheme does not require ftl.

i realize that the crew would need to make the sacrifice of losing their present, and returning to a future. but i think there would be some people who would actually want to do this.
 
  • #84
Ryan_m_b
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yes, warp speed calculator came from star trek. the idea of warp speed was pretty much popularized by star trek. however, i wasnt trying to get bogged down in warp speed mechanics - just theorizing that ftl may be somewhat necessary to really get anywhere.

yesterday i was contemplating something i learned in college when we studied relativity, which i hadnt thought about. i may be wrong, but it is my recall that someone traveling at c, would measure 0 distance traveled, and 0 time taken, irregardless of his final destination, IN THE MOTION OF TRAVEL.

AND that while he was traveling at c, he would age very slowly. which means he could go many, many times the number of light years than the actual years it would take. the problem is that he may age just a few years when he got back. but when he did arrive, it might be 1000 years into his future.

if this is correct, it is still a decent step, such that our future could get some very good information. and once we started the process, if we kept sending someone once a year, then they would continue coming back on a consistent basis, such that our future could become much better informed.
I'd shy away from internet calculators based on Star Trek, the numbers you get back are pure fiction. For relativistic STL travel first you get up to speeds close to c. This requires a horrendous amount of fuel and a high specific impulse. A hypothetical antimatter rocket is the best that has ever been envisioned by scientists and it would only be able to burn at 1g for 10.5 days (if there was a 1:1 ratio of ship to fuel). To get up to .9c you would need 30 times this and to be able to decelerate at the end you would need 60 times, antimatter is awfully dangerous and a ship like that exploding near Earth would probably sterilise the portion facing it.

You still then have to fix the problem of how to build a ship with a sustainable ecology inside, enough industry to take care of itself etc etc. It begs the question why on Earth would you want to?

If you are interested in calculators here's one for time dilation, length contraction etc
 
  • #85
they are numbers for star trek. i was curious how fast they were going !!!

the real shrink is not that much. even at 1/2 c, the shrinkage is only 14 %. at 90%, the shrinkage is a bit over 50. that doesnt buy us that much. you gotta get dang near c, before the shrinkage gets phenomenal.

of course, if we ever get to travel at those speeds, i suspect we will begin re-writing relativity - LOL.

we have too many loopholes in those areas for me to really think we are at all close. qm and relativity contradict each other. duality throws a sandy koufax curve and fastball at us at the same time, regarding light as it really is. special relativity peters out at long distances, such that we need to invoke general relativity. we got so many bandaids on our theories at present, that big change over the next millenium seems like a sure bet.
 
  • #86
meeting aliens (if peaceful) is intriguing to me, because it may be a way for us to better ourselves and our understanding more quickly.
 
  • #87
Ryan_m_b
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they are numbers for star trek. i was curious how fast they were going !!!
They weren't going at all, it's fiction :wink: they also never stuck to their speed calculations and would vary how fast they could go based on the need of the plot.

the real shrink is not that much. even at 1/2 c, the shrinkage is only 14 %. at 90%, the shrinkage is a bit over 50. that doesnt buy us that much. you gotta get dang near c, before the shrinkage gets phenomenal.
At .9c for every year the traveller experiences 7 go by on Earth. If you had an economical propulsion system capable of getting to that and a vehicle capable of keeping the occupants alive for extended periods of time then that's a fair speed to explore the local neighbourhood. That's doubly true if you have the propulsion and just want to send probes.

of course, if we ever get to travel at those speeds, i suspect we will begin re-writing relativity - LOL.
Er...What? What does that speed have to do with re-writing relativity?

qm and relativity contradict each other
Are you talking about special or general relativity? How do they "contradict"? As far as I am aware SR and QM work fine together and the problem with GR is that it doesn't reconcile with QM (hence the requirement for a theory of quantum gravity)

duality throws a sandy koufax curve and fastball at us at the same time, regarding light as it really is.
I'm not seeing what you are getting at here regarding W/P duality (Hint: country specific sporting references don't translate well when talking to people from across the planet)

special relativity peters out at long distances, such that we need to invoke general relativity.
Er...What??

we got so many bandaids on our theories at present, that big change over the next millenium seems like a sure bet.
The fact that there are unexplained principles in physics does not mean that there is anything wrong with current theories. It's also illogical to state a time and suggest that we will overcome these problems within that time. It is extra illogical to suggest that because we don't know X in the future space travel may be possible.

meeting aliens (if peaceful) is intriguing to me, because it may be a way for us to better ourselves and our understanding more quickly.
I don't see the relevance. I presume you mean sentient aliens, the chances of meeting sentient aliens whose technology, society and psychology were anything close to us seems astronomical. Meeting sentient life of any sort is likely to have a massive destabilising effect on our society.
 
  • #88
It's also illogical to state a time and suggest that we will overcome these problems within that time. It is extra illogical to suggest that because we don't know X in the future space travel may be possible.



I don't see the relevance. I presume you mean sentient aliens, the chances of meeting sentient aliens whose technology, society and psychology were anything close to us seems astronomical. Meeting sentient life of any sort is likely to have a massive destabilising effect on our society.
making big inroads is not the same as "overcome". when i see something that looks like it still has a lot of holes in it, and the rate at which we learn, i dont see that being a big leap.

we dont know x in the future, space travel may be possible - to what are you referring ?

i dont think it would have all that much destabilizing effect (again, if they are peaceful). i think the masses already suspect there is intelligent life out there. if i recall, our sun is not old, when compared to all the stars, which means there are many planets in the universe older than earth. so we could have older, wiser, more advanced life than us.

even most religious groups, except for the extreme - i dont think would have much effect.

the biggest problem would be for the bigwigs, trying to figure out how to continue their control over us.
 
  • #89
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i dont think it would have all that much destabilizing effect (again, if they are peaceful). i think the masses already suspect there is intelligent life out there. if i recall, our sun is not old, when compared to all the stars, which means there are many planets in the universe older than earth. so we could have older, wiser, more advanced life than us.
That has to be the worst example of attempted logic I have ever seen.
the biggest problem would be for the bigwigs, trying to figure out how to continue their control over us.
Yes, because the moment aliens arrive the governments will lose control and the people of Earth will stop with their everyday lives. :rolleyes:
 
  • #90
Ryan_m_b
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making big inroads is not the same as "overcome". when i see something that looks like it still has a lot of holes in it, and the rate at which we learn, i dont see that being a big leap.
This is a logical fallacy. The fact that something is unknown in a particular field and the fact that we have made discoveries in the past is no indication as to whether or not we will ever uncover those unknowns.

we dont know x in the future, space travel may be possible - to what are you referring ?
You are implying that because there are gaps in our knowledge Captain Kirk style space travel might be possible. Its a fallacy to say either way what unknown knowledge could or could not give. It is only logical to talk about what we know.

i dont think it would have all that much destabilizing effect (again, if they are peaceful).
I'll take peaceful to mean that they don't actively wipe us out. The destabilizing effect will be the knowledge that there are things unseen beyond our sight, that's been a terrifying concept for all of man's history.

The destabilization doesn't necessarily mean an apocalypse but society (IMO) would change drastically. A lot of what we do would change to fit in with the fact that we are not alone, this could result in more interest in space, more fear of the unknown and depending on how we observe these aliens any number of changes. Human societies in history do not have a good track record of staying the same once they meet a more technologically advanced society.

i think the masses already suspect there is intelligent life out there.
Irrelevant on two counts; firstly the number of people believing something doesn't make it true. Secondly billions of people believe in a God but it would still be pretty destabilizing if that God appeared in the sky for all to see.

if i recall, our sun is not old, when compared to all the stars, which means there are many planets in the universe older than earth. so we could have older, wiser, more advanced life than us.
Evolution isn't teleological. If a sentient species did evolve elsewhere there is no guarantee (in fact I think it's extremely unlikely) that they will progress socially, psychologically and technologically at the same rate and in the same directions than us. One day we could find a sentient species that has spent 100 million years living in a stone age, far older but any more advanced? "Wiser" is a very anthropic term and I highly doubt that it would apply to aliens.

even most religious groups, except for the extreme - i dont think would have much effect.
See above. Also for religious groups like the Raelian movement it could go a step towards confirming their faith.

the biggest problem would be for the bigwigs, trying to figure out how to continue their control over us.
Without politicians there would be no society, in some countries there are dictators and in others there are honest leaders.
 
  • #91
i think the masses already suspect there is intelligent life out there.

Irrelevant on two counts; firstly the number of people believing something doesn't make it true. Secondly billions of people believe in a God but it would still be pretty destabilizing if that God appeared in the sky for all to see.

*****
hi ryan,

thank you for the thoughtful reply. i only have time to comment on this one, for now. i dont see my comment as being irrelevant on either count. i did not say that something is true because a large amount of people think something is true. i simply said it would not surprise them. if i think A is true, and i am shown proof that A is true, i would typically say "that's what i thought".

surely you must realize your mistake on your second count. of course the appearance of god could be destabilizing to even believers. that is because he would be the creator of everything and no doubt put us in complete awe. we would not have that same awe for an alien, in that sort of emotional sense. if, as i said, the alien was not trying to harm us, i dont think the population as a whole would be scared.

nor do i think we would become destabilized. hopefully we could become better informed about a lot of things, and if we are lucky, come away with some sort of "invention or process" by which our human condition could be bettered.
 
  • #92
Ryan_m_b
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i simply said it would not surprise them. if i think A is true, and i am shown proof that A is true, i would typically say "that's what i thought".
This really depends on what A is. If I quickly did a calculation in my head and came to 540 then someone with a calculator confirms it I get a far different reaction to if I think that there's a possibility space-faring aliens exist and then I witness a UFO outside my window.

surely you must realize your mistake on your second count. of course the appearance of god could be destabilizing to even believers. that is because he would be the creator of everything and no doubt put us in complete awe. we would not have that same awe for an alien, in that sort of emotional sense. if, as i said, the alien was not trying to harm us, i dont think the population as a whole would be scared.
Destabilising doesn't necessarily mean riots everywhere, destabilising as in it would force a radical change in how people see our position in the world. And of course people would be afraid! A few weeks ago there were people worldwide trying to commit suicide because they thought the world was going to end, people are not rational creatures. IMO people would have the same reaction to a huge ship suddenly spotted flying around the solar system as they would to finding a monster walking through their house, even if it isn't hurting them it is alien, unknowns with intelligence are a widespread fear amongst humans.

nor do i think we would become destabilized. hopefully we could become better informed about a lot of things, and if we are lucky, come away with some sort of "invention or process" by which our human condition could be bettered.
I don't know what to make of this. Why would you think we would learn anything about the human condition or invent something new purely because we observe other intelligent life?

No offence but thanks to the pervasion of star trek in your ideas throughout this thread I have a sinking feeling that you are envisioning first contact as an event where anthropic aliens with slightly pointed ears land on Earth and teach us how to live our lives better.
 
  • #93
Originally Posted by Physics-Learner View Post

i simply said it would not surprise them. if i think A is true, and i am shown proof that A is true, i would typically say "that's what i thought".

This really depends on what A is. If I quickly did a calculation in my head and came to 540 then someone with a calculator confirms it I get a far different reaction to if I think that there's a possibility space-faring aliens exist and then I witness a UFO outside my window.

*****

the witnessing of an event is "exciting", for sure. but after it is over, and we are contemplating the same knowledge (in this case, that an alien is here), the wonderment of the actual sighting will go away. and then we are left with the knowledge that the alien is here.
 
  • #94
surely you must realize your mistake on your second count. of course the appearance of god could be destabilizing to even believers. that is because he would be the creator of everything and no doubt put us in complete awe. we would not have that same awe for an alien, in that sort of emotional sense. if, as i said, the alien was not trying to harm us, i dont think the population as a whole would be scared.

Destabilising doesn't necessarily mean riots everywhere, destabilising as in it would force a radical change in how people see our position in the world. And of course people would be afraid! A few weeks ago there were people worldwide trying to commit suicide because they thought the world was going to end, people are not rational creatures. IMO people would have the same reaction to a huge ship suddenly spotted flying around the solar system as they would to finding a monster walking through their house, even if it isn't hurting them it is alien, unknowns with intelligence are a widespread fear amongst humans.

**
well, this was the main point of my original post. how apt would an alien race, capable of visiting us, be violent towards us ? and i am not convinced of their benevolent nature. so i would just as soon not have anyone visit, and not take the chance.

but once someone was here, my reaction would be different. i figure that i no longer have much say so, in that they probably could destroy us if they wanted to.

i certainly agree with you that we earthians would no longer be able to view ourselves as the "only ones". certainly, some people would be afraid. in fact, i think most of us would be, at first.
 
  • #95
nor do i think we would become destabilized. hopefully we could become better informed about a lot of things, and if we are lucky, come away with some sort of "invention or process" by which our human condition could be bettered.

I don't know what to make of this. Why would you think we would learn anything about the human condition or invent something new purely because we observe other intelligent life?

No offence but thanks to the pervasion of star trek in your ideas throughout this thread I have a sinking feeling that you are envisioning first contact as an event where anthropic aliens with slightly pointed ears land on Earth and teach us how to live our lives better.

**

if it is us doing the observing, perhaps not. i was thinking of them visiting us, where they would more than likely have knowledge that we do not.

no offense taken. i dont know that i have an idea of what motives might be typical of a visiting alien ? again, the whole point of my original post.

fyi, i am charmed by star trek, but not because of the sci-fi aspect. that is just a basis for the show. the main aspect of the show is character development, and deep issues that we people have. how these characters handle such issues, and the relevance of these situations to our own human condition. at least with star trek, and tng - which were both gene roddenberry creations. i dont recall off-hand how much voyager, deep space nine, and enterprise followed along with that.

thanks for the discussions.
 

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