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- Thread starter serp777
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Of course, nothing stops you from talking about some sort of apparent velocity, where you forget about the curvature of the universe and just calculate what you see. You just cant' expect the apparent velocity to satisfy the usual rules, like v<c.

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Of course, nothing stops you from talking about some sort of apparent velocity, where you forget about the curvature of the universe and just calculate what you see. You just cant' expect the apparent velocity to satisfy the usual rules, like v<c.

I was thinking of galaxies that are only moving away from each other in one dimension, like another galaxy at the other end of the universe moving oppositely away. The apparent velocity is simply a logical conclusion: because of acceleration, at a certain point, the distance at which the the galaxy moves over a period of times is greater than light would travel normally. Since the two galaxies accelerate at the same rate, you can calculate every instantaneous position from a central reference point, and thus you know the two galaxies relative speed, which looks v>c. Its the same way you would calculate regular speed: distance/time. However, i said apparent velocity, because if things were actually gaining kinetic energy, it would violate special relativity.

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The apparent velocity is simply a logical conclusion: because of acceleration, at a certain point, the distance at which the the galaxy moves over a period of times is greater than light would travel normally. Since the two galaxies accelerate at the same rate, you can calculate every instantaneous position from a central reference point, and thus you know the two galaxies relative speed, which looks v>c.

So let's take a concrete example. Suppose you're an observer on the north pole of the earth, and a car is driving at a constant velocity southwards. Now, if the surface of the earth were a manifold, the car would always move on a straight line in it's own reference frame. But viewed from north pole, it seems that it's motion is accelerating because it's moving on a curved surface. The apparent velocity of the car changes, while physical (local) velocity remains constant.

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So let's take a concrete example. Suppose you're an observer on the north pole of the earth, and a car is driving at a constant velocity southwards. Now, if the surface of the earth were a manifold, the car would always move on a straight line in it's own reference frame. But viewed from north pole, it seems that it's motion is accelerating because it's moving on a curved surface. The apparent velocity of the car changes, while physical (local) velocity remains constant.

This makes sense, but doesn't this assume that the universe is in fact curved, and not infinite etc?

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This makes sense, but doesn't this assume that the universe is in fact curved, and not infinite etc?

It's just an analogy, not a model of the universe :) If you want, you can imagine the car to be driving on whatever surface you can think of and visualize. I just wanted to keep it as simple as possible. Also, the Einstein equations imply that spacetime has to be curved if there is stuff in it, so that assumption is in the end not very constraining. If the spacetime is flat, then there's no distinction with apparent and real velocities, no gravity and everything works everywhere by the rules of special relativity.

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Google "Metric Expansion" for a full discussion.

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We have a FAQ about this: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=508610 [Broken]

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