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

Moving at the speed of light

  1. Apr 6, 2004 #1
    i was watching this prog on tv about possible space flight and it said even if you was going at the speed of light, to go 1000 light years would take you 1000 years. so it would not be you that gets there, but your great great great great grand kids.

    surely this is wrong? if you are going at the speed of light you can go 100,000 light years in an instant, right? (relative to your self)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 6, 2004 #2

    mathman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The program is partly right and you are also right. If you go very close to the speed of light, to go 1000 light years would take over 1000 years as measure on earth. For the paasengers in the rocket ship, it would be much shorter. You have to use the Lorentz contraction formula to get the actual time in their reference frame.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?