# Is existence faster than the speed of light?

The sun is about 1,000,000 km across. Light travels at less than 300,000 km/sec. At 1c it would take you more than 3 seconds to traverse the width of the sun. I know, I know. YOU can't travel at 1c but light can. Sorry bout that. Anyway, let's say point A and point B are a little over 1,000,000 km apart and point A is behind the sun's trajectory and in contact with it and point B is on the other side a few miles in front. With the sun so large it can lose contact with point A on one side and then gain contact with point B on it's other side before you can get from A to B at light speed. That's all this ridiculous argument is about. So, if a single bodies' mass can represent the "existence" in the original question then yes, existence can be faster than light. Doesn't really amount to much but that's the best interpretation of the original concept yet. You guys definitely win the rope diagnostics award, though.

well i have an idea that is very simular to this topic, if you move your leg, the exact second that you move your leg, the smallest (atom, quark, and whatever is smaller than that) of your leg moves instantaniously, right? i mean you can't move your leg without an infinite number of instantanious movements all at once, am i making any sence?

Danger
Gold Member
am i making any sence?
You're making sense in that we can understand you, but your assumption is incorrect. A leg is like any other material. The movement progresses from the muscle attachment point at or near the speed of sound. Luckily, it's a very short distance and sound is pretty quick.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
... let's say point A and point B are a little over 1,000,000 km apart and point A is behind the sun's trajectory and in contact with it and point B is on the other side a few miles in front. With the sun so large it can lose contact with point A on one side and then gain contact with point B on it's other side before you can get from A to B at light speed.
You do realize though that the sun, if put in motion will not move as a solid body? If a force is applied to it, that force will only propogate - once again - at the speed of sound of the mass involved. The movement of the Sun will ripple though its volume and no part of the Sun will travel at greater than the speed of sound.

Again, this is not a detail, this is critical to the question.

In fact, the supplies the answer the OP is looking for:

One side of the sun and the other side of the sun are not causally connected to each other at the same point in time. There is absolutely nothing in the universe you can do to one side of the sun that the other side of the Sun can be affected by in any less than 3 seconds.

The answer to the OP's question is thus:

Inasmuch as existence has any meaning in the physical world, it does not travel faster than c. There is absolutely nothing you can do or measure - even in principle - to show that two parts of the universe are connected to each other, at any speed faster than c.

On a cosmic scale, parts of the universe that are more distant from us than light has reached since the Big Bang are causally disconnected from us - they are forever cut off from us, and are treated and beyond the scope of science. In every way thayt is meaningful, they do not exist.

You do realize though that the sun, if put in motion will not move as a solid body? If a force is applied to it, that force will only propogate - once again - at the speed of sound of the mass involved. The movement of the Sun will ripple though its volume and no part of the Sun will travel at greater than the speed of sound.
Let's see here. What force are we talking about? I left the "yanking human" behind a few posts ago and went to Gravity, so I guess I'll have to answer you with: No I did not realize that the force of Gravity reacting upon the Sun will have to propagate through the Sun at the speed of sound before the whole mass moves. So gravity is like a tow rope. Hmm... rope.

Nope. You still don't get it.

DaveC426913
Gold Member
That's right, it's us who aren't getting it...

While Idjot's thread has deviated dramatically from the OP, which is what we're answering here, I'll correct one element in it:

"...the force of Gravity acting upon the Sun will have to propagate through the Sun at c ..." (but note, you'd have to subject the Sun to a pretty big insult in order to create a gravity wave, the OP is really more about mere mechanical transmission of forces)

Last edited:
Danger
Gold Member
I am so close to giving up here.
Alright, Idjot... let's try it this way. Envision the atoms in a material as cars lined up at a stop sign. If someone rams into the back of the last one, is the first one going to move at the same time?

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I am so close to giving up here.
Well, remember, this is the OP's question, not Idjot's. If Idjot takes umbrage with this answer, and wants to go off in a new direction he can always open a fresh thread.

Danger
Gold Member
Well, remember, this is the OP's question, not Idjot's. If Idjot takes umbrage with this answer, and wants to go off in a new direction he can always open a fresh thread.
Agreed. Perhaps it would be suitable for a Mentor to split this thread off as of the 'resurrection' post into a new one.

And maybe lock it... :uhh:

C'mon guys, I'm only playing around here. My sarcasm runs deep. This thread is just fun to play with. Give me a break. Even if the rope was already taught and the B guy let go of it the propagation would still delay the motion of it. I'd love to demonstrate the delay in an Earthbound way because as well as we know it, I don't think anyone's actually proved it. Imagine being the astronaut that pulled the rope. How long would you be waiting for the rope to actually move? That's what's really come out of this. The awareness that a noticeable delay in movement would happen right in front of your eyes after you pull on the rope.

Many would not believe it without seeing it. I'm really on your side here, "in learned synchronicity with you". It's just that you don't seem to grasp this simple concept...

Existence continues... but at what velocity lol

What if the Sun was already moving? Let's say around 72,000 km/hr? Could it still come in contact with A and B before light? What about CMBR? Is that moving? Could we measure the acceleration of a body being "pulled" by gravity by CMBR? Can we measure light by the G's we experience? Now THAT's convoluted. I'm done w/ this one.

Danger
Gold Member
Idjot, your humour was neither recognized nor appreciated for the simple fact that it wasn't obvious. We have had far too many people here who say that sort of stuff in earnest.

Well I wasn't exactly cracking jokes. What I mean by playing around is that I made a conscious decision to debate from a seemingly opposing viewpoint. I wasn't actually passionate about this idea at all. In fact it was for this reason that I chose to champion it, so-to-speak. I proposed challenges to make things more interesting. The sarcasm was just to get the blood flowing a little, if you know what I mean. You gotta admit it was fun.

Danger
Gold Member
You gotta admit it was fun.
Yeah... in an irritating sort of way.