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Exsistance before the speed of light hits- question for you.

  1. Nov 13, 2005 #1

    crap, i think i posted this in the wrong place...i think. Im reposting it in general physics.

    Still new here...cant seem to find the line between physics and philosophy in my question. Pardon me.

    (just incase i had it right the first time, here is my post)

    (just a tad of back ground so i dont seem completely clueless) as a child, i showed more interest in the arts rather than science and math, so my father, though dissapointed, full nutured my artistic side. This resulted in me attending arts/dance magnet schools, so i was never able to explore or learn indepth about the sciences. I got older and my long desire to be involved in physics/cosmology got the best of me and i began to self study. Though i do mostly understand what is being said and taught, due to the lack of exposure im still baffled at questions/theories that i read or think about. So please, excuse me if i may seem a tad naive with the question i ask.

    While reading and studying about the speed of light, time travel and Einsteins theorys, a question i have seemed to keep me baffled. Everytime i try to figure it out, the artsy philosophy side kicks in and i usually just end up confusing myself.

    after much pondering and not coming to a conclusion, ive decided to break down , embarrass myself and ask for help.

    This is one of the question that plauges my mind.

    Light travels at a set speed, nothing can go faster than light. This i fully understand, but what of the validity of exsistance?

    Ok, light is how we know things exsist, light rays bouncing off an object is how we recognize its exsistance. But what about that object before the light rays hit it and bounce off? Does the object still exsist?

    Is this situation anything remotely similar (philosophically or not) to going faster than the speed of light?

    This question seems like something i should be able to figure out, like the answer is there but im just not reaching far enough.

    Can someone please help me out?

    (i may have not explained my question well enough. Its alot easier to think about when its in your head, but getting it out and trying to make it make sence is a different story. Just let me know if i need to explain more, i will try my best)

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2005 #2


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    it really has nothing to do with the philosophy of light becuase there is a simple explanation. Go into a dark room with a friend and a baseball, throw the baseball at your friend, does it hurt? Of course. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. I mean something must have hit your friend :).

    We observe things in many different ways, light is only one of them.
  4. Nov 13, 2005 #3
    there can be existence without light... example... what if a black hole is alone in the universe? there is no light being emitted, just extreme gravitical forces. I'm not a physics expert, but philosophy is my thing. I think this is an "easy" answer to your question... since i don't have any real answers, i'll just do my best to try and explain wha i understand... although the true question would still be, could that black hole have ever formed in the first place without some form of light bearing body/material/etc? If you truly wish to find out these answers i'd suggest you get a bit more involved in physics.. it can get fun. It's how i got started, had many philosophical questions, and realized everytime i asked one, i never really received the answers i was looking for. Sometimes you have to search it yourself.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  5. Nov 13, 2005 #4
    i think he's referring to existence on a quantum universal level... he's almost implying the question of... can anything exist before light gets there? Which can be answered as a yes.... since the universe has been seen expanding at faster than the speed of light. I know you're searching for a deeper and more intricate answer, i'll ponder it for a couple nights.
  6. Nov 13, 2005 #5
    This makes sence.
    The only physics/astronomy/cosmology ive been involved in is self study. Serious self study. I have and read many published papers, journals, books and even text books. Though i guess there is no substitute for hands on learning and help from professors.

    Im not in college at the moment, for im putting that off until im finnished with my ballet career. (yes, i am a girl :tongue: ) You only have from when your 16 to about 25 to be a professional dancer...had to take that chance when i could.

    What are things i can do to get more involved with above mentioned studies without having to entroll in university? Dont get me wrong, university is 100% in my plans for the near future, but i just dont have the time for full or part time enrollment. What are other things i can do to help with my quest?

    Thanks so much.

  7. Nov 13, 2005 #6


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    Textbooks... and none of this paperback barnes and noble/borders crap either. People who do that, in my opinion of course, have terrible understandings of physics. They all seem to have this ability to apply things where they shouldn't be applied and use terms that make no sense in context... etc etc. I mean you get one of these people that think its "so obvious" that you can surpass the speed of light using simple constant acceleration and no matter how much modern physics and equations you toss at them, they will still go back towards the philisophical/incredibly basic view of physics where accelerations just add on forever.

    Sorry, just a rant :)

    Go to a university and talk to one of the professors and ask them what text books to start out with and go basic-> advanced. They will most likely even have the books on hand so you will know exactly what to buy. They do tend to cost a lot of money however... my introductory 3-semester series cost $120.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  8. Nov 13, 2005 #7


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    Please note that cross posting is NOT allowed on here. If you wish this to be a physics question, I will have to delete your thread in the Philosophy forum.


    Edit: I've merged the two threads and deleted duplicate posts. Still, there may be some strange continuity. Note that if this turns out to be more of a philosophical discussion than a physics issue, it will be moved to the Philosphy forum.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2005
  9. Nov 13, 2005 #8


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    Where did you get the idea that " light is how we know things exsist, light rays bouncing off an object is how we recognize its exsistance"?

    You can hear things, you can touch them. Vision is ONE sense. It certainly is not the only way we can "know things exist". Even worse, you seem to jump from "know things exist" to "light is what makes things exist"!
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