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

Faster than the Planck second

  1. Oct 27, 2012 #1
    Today I was driving down the road, on the side of the road, there was a fence made of many vertical slats.

    I noticed that that sun was blinking on and off like a strobe light, as each individual slat would shield the sun, and each space in between the slats would expose it. I thought, if my car remained moving at the same speed, but my parallel distance between the fence was increased, the sun would flicker at an even faster speed.

    In fact, if I were to increase my distance enough, and also increase my velocity, and decrease the distance between each slat, the time between each flicker would be less than a planck second.

    Am I missing something?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2012 #2

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What is a "Planck second"?
     
  4. Oct 27, 2012 #3
    The time is takes light to travel one Planck Length.
     
  5. Oct 27, 2012 #4
    I think that's actually called the "Planck time".
     
  6. Oct 27, 2012 #5
    I would think the distance would either have to drop below the Planck length or your vehicle would have to travel faster than c (a ridiculous violation of SR) for that to occur, and most modern theories don't even posit lengths 'shorter' than the Planck length to have any meaning. Certainly not in the ever-popular string/M-theory, in which the intrinsic string length L[itex]_{s}[/itex], which is on the order of the Planck length, is considered to be the fundamental length.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2012
  7. Oct 27, 2012 #6

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    What is a "Planck second", how does it differ from a regular second, and what makes you think it (or anything) is a minimum unit of time?
     
  8. Oct 28, 2012 #7
    Well, when I did the math, I realized it doesn't provide any practical way of getting a strobe frequency under the femtosecond.

    It did get me to think about a way to time attoseconds though.

    Imagine we had a thin cylindrical disc, centered about a laser. The sides of the disc is divided into 1 trillion parts, such that the laser can pass through each of the 1 trillion openings on the side of the disc.

    We spin this disc 1,000 times per second, giving us 1 quadrillion hertz. Now, we take each individual pulse that exits the disc and we must find a way to divide it 1,000 times.

    Perhaps you could let the laser pass through a very narrow fiber optic-like tunnel, with 1,000 appropriately spaced mini lasers that emit a laser perpendicular to the path of the laser, such that a capacitor would discharge for each of the 1,000 cells when the laser inference hit a critical value.
     
  9. Oct 29, 2012 #8

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2016 Award

    Is there a point to this thread other than a mindless rambling?

    Zz.
     
  10. Oct 29, 2012 #9
    it would give you some crazy diffraction patterns...like a disco ball.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Faster than the Planck second
  1. Faster than a photon (Replies: 34)

  2. Faster than C (Replies: 30)

  3. Faster than light? (Replies: 1)

  4. Faster than light (Replies: 11)

Loading...