Is it possible to increase the speed of light? (transmissions)

  • Thread starter sabbry
  • Start date
  • #1
sabbry

Main Question or Discussion Point

I'm new here, and I am working on a script for the screen. What I have now is a man who the audience believes to be in space, but he is really isolated on earth. Now anyway, suppose an infant was put to sleep for 20 years, thus alienating dependence on parents or other role models.

The point is to make the audience think the guy is in space, so after twenty years the guy would be 2.7 billion miles from earth, and as a result it would take 4.25 hours for a transmission to be received.

Now anyone can see that this would present a problem in the film medium. Is it possible to have a short transmission time?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
russ_watters
Mentor
19,599
5,872
It is a work of fiction, right? You seen any Star Trek?
 
  • #3
sabbry
Well yes it is fiction, but its not a space story. What the story is about is experimenting on a human in preperation for a 'global mind control system.' I figured that the initial tests would be on an isolated human who thinks he is in space.
 
  • #4
653
0
Originally posted by sabbry

The point is to make the audience think the guy is in space, so after twenty years the guy would be 2.7 billion miles from earth, and as a result it would take 4.25 hours for a transmission to be received.
why can t he just be in space a few light seconds away? in orbit behind mars or something? it ll be plenty isolated, and its only a few light seconds away
 
  • #5
neutroncount


Originally posted by lethe
why can t he just be in space a few light seconds away? in orbit behind mars or something? it ll be plenty isolated, and its only a few light seconds away
I thought it took about 8 minutes for light to reach Mars from Earth, in the same fact that it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach the Earth.
 
  • #6
sabbry
You make an interesting point, so no matter what his point in orbit it would take 8 minutes to receive a signal?
 
  • #7
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,514
1,261


Originally posted by neutroncount
I thought it took about 8 minutes for light to reach Mars from Earth, in the same fact that it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach the Earth.
The light lag between Earth and Mars varies between 3 min and 22 min. The minimum when opposition occurs in late Aug., and the Maxumum when conjuntion occurs in late Aug.

It only hits these extremes about every 15 years, the average variation over the synodic period of Mars is a bit less.
 
  • #8
sabbry
Well, for the sake of accuracy I need to know how long it would take to receive a transmission from Earth.
 
  • #9
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,514
1,261
Originally posted by sabbry
You make an interesting point, so no matter what his point in orbit it would take 8 minutes to receive a signal?
No, it depends on how far away he is and the type of orbit. Is there any particuliar reason that he has to be such a great distance away? Would being in the same orbit as the moon work? In that case, you would only be looking at a little over a second in signal delay.
 
  • #10
Originally posted by sabbry
Now anyone can see that this would present a problem in the film medium. Is it possible to have a short transmission time?
(Do we, or PF, get film credit for this?)

You can, as it is fiction, tell the person, who is supposed to be "way out there", that you have perfected a "tachyonic transmission system" of communications, therefore you could easily play with the rates/times of information transference/transmission.

As tachyions travel faster then light (considered to be backwards in time) they can arrive there in a very nice, timely, timeframe.

Does that help?
 
  • #11
sabbry
I think the moon's orbit could work actually.
 
  • #12
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,514
1,261
Originally posted by sabbry
I think the moon's orbit could work actually.
In that case, just have him supposedly placed at one of the Lagrange points, either 60 degrees ahead of or behind the Moon in its orbit. These points are gravitationally stable and anything placed there tends to stay there.
 
  • #13
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,198
55


Originally posted by Janus
The light lag between Earth and Mars varies between 3 min and 22 min. The minimum when opposition occurs in late Aug., and the Maxumum when conjuntion occurs in late Aug.

It only hits these extremes about every 15 years, the average variation over the synodic period of Mars is a bit less.
Janus,
Reread this post, I think you may have a typo? There is a LOT happening in late Aug!
 
  • #14
149
0
why don't you have him orbit at a point over the dark side of the moon, the dark side of the moon is almost completely undetectable from earth you would probably have to set up another communications relay around the dark side of the moon so that transmission could occur. The problem with putting something orbiting mars is, I would assume, that every so often, the planets would get in the way of transmission, and you would have radio silence, just like Apollo 13 did when it swung around the moon.
 
  • #15
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,514
1,261


Originally posted by Integral
Janus,
Reread this post, I think you may have a typo? There is a LOT happening in late Aug!
Late Aug is is when the Earth's orbit aligns with Mars' perihelion. So when Mars is at perihelion then, we have a close oppostion, and Mars and Earth are at their closest.

Conversely, Mars and Earth are at their greatest separation when Mars is at Aphelion when Earth and Mar's are 180° apart in their orbits( in conjuntion). Mars aphelion is 180° from its perihelion, and Earth must be 180° from Mars at conjunction. This brings us right back to late Aug for maximum separation.
 
  • #16
149
0


you mean that it is next late august that they are at their farthest point accross correct? because they can't be the closest and the farthest from each other in 2 weeks, without taking the time to calculate it, i doubt a planet even moves about 10 light minutes in 2 weeks.
 
  • #17
Janus
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
3,514
1,261


Originally posted by Lyuokdea
you mean that it is next late august that they are at their farthest point accross correct? because they can't be the closest and the farthest from each other in 2 weeks, without taking the time to calculate it, i doubt a planet even moves about 10 light minutes in 2 weeks.
No, It would be several years later, not the next Aug.
 
  • #18
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,198
55


Originally posted by Janus
Late Aug is is when the Earth's orbit aligns with Mars' perihelion. So when Mars is at perihelion then, we have a close oppostion, and Mars and Earth are at their closest.

Conversely, Mars and Earth are at their greatest separation when Mars is at Aphelion when Earth and Mar's are 180° apart in their orbits( in conjuntion). Mars aphelion is 180° from its perihelion, and Earth must be 180° from Mars at conjunction. This brings us right back to late Aug for maximum separation.
I am sorry Janus, I must be pretty dense. Do we need to specify the year with this? How else can Mars be both closest and furthest in the same week?

Edit:
Opps I missed the previous post. My question has already been answered.
 
  • #19
Integral
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,198
55
Now for a on topic post.

I am not sure what your problem is, you need a long delay in communications. That is EASY to do. If you had your fellow in space and were trying to trick him into thinking he were on earth and needed to reduce the communications time, that would be hard.

I do not see why writting in a communications delay would be hard, make it as long, or as short, as you want and write it into the story.
 
  • #20
sabbry
I had originally thought of the story set in space, a man destined to live his life inside a cold and lonely ship, for the sake of observation. As you can see there is a magic hole in that logic. Why would they spend billions upon billions to fund this project in space, when they could just make the subject think he was in space for a fraction of the cost?
 
  • #21
149
0
well it would be pretty easy to make a man think he is in space, you just need to have the time vary as the orbits very, and also have the transmission block out from time to time, with visuals in the pod the man is in to go along with it. The transmission block could easily be simulated by cutting the connection back at the headquarters. There is computers that simulate the delay that you are talking about NASA uses them to show how to work with robots on Mars and the Moon if I remember correctly. You might want to read up on those.
 

Related Threads on Is it possible to increase the speed of light? (transmissions)

  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
611
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
478
Replies
2
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
3K
Replies
9
Views
36K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
18K
Top