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

Speed of light a saddlept on a function

  1. Jul 30, 2004 #1
    Ok i know this maybe stupid to some of you but maybe some might take interest mathmatically.

    Ok i am not to Cal III but just looking ahead on convergence and divergence i have a question about the speed of light as a function of enery per se.

    Ok just as the boiling point acts in chemistry could the speed of light not act like that also.

    You throw in a energy, nothing happens, throw in more, nothing happens, and then boom eventually you go above 100 Celsius

    Why could C not be like that like its function rises steadily with the amount of energy you put in then you come to a saddle point for a very very long time (i think we have reached (.999999999c) experimentally so very long saddle point but then boom you go over it.

    to me when i think of the energy the universe had at the beginning it would be infinitely large, so it's a matter of luck we can get to the speed of light let alone pass it.

    I ask this because if we discover break even fusion i would imagine we cold just keep putting in energy and get ever much closer to C and if it is a mathmatical saddlepoint eventually pass it.

    I say this humbly i know nothing like most of you so go ahead and bash me for the absurdity and validity of all of this but maybe one of you out there has thought of this before.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The speed of light is not a saddle point. It is an asymptote.
  4. Jul 30, 2004 #3

    Everybody is taught that yes I know I'm not stupid but that's not 100% TRUE there's no way to prove that. Have we ever put infinite amount of energy in to see if we can get above C no we haven't. The speed of light as being the ultimate speed is not 100% given it is falsifiable and in that case its near 99.9999% sure but we must still try to disprove theories i just wanted to see if anyone had imagined that just like the whole thing with boiling point if someone long ago tried to put energy into something that was 99.9 celsius and then went to 100 and stayed there for a long time they would also reply just like Halls of Ivy and say yep its a assymtote you have reached the limit of temperature but that was not the case nor in this case maybe.
  5. Jul 30, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The constancy of the speed of light is not a theory, it's a postulate (on which a theory is based).

    Out of curiosity, what suggestions do you have in mind to falsify this postulate?
  6. Jul 31, 2004 #5
    I am not saying that I or anyone soon maybe falsify it I'm just saying that all theories, laws, etc.. are 100% given says Popper lol they all can be falsified. The reason I suggested this was just the idea about boiling pts. in the previous thread you probably read that. That is silly i know but we are tiny in this grand universe, too me that shows that this is infinite things above and beyond, especially energy, when i say that I mean that we have a grasp of large amounts of energy, but not like we will in the future. What says that in the future when we keep adding energy to the pile that we don't surpass C, just as eventually you pass 100 cel.. It's a bit naive, but it's just a thought so sorry if it bugged everyone.

    Just don't see why everyone always has to say wow i learned it in class it has to be true. If that was the case then Einstein, nor many others would never have given us what we have today. They challenged the mould and gave us a depth that had never been reached.
  7. Jul 31, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Yes, it is true that ANY scientific theory must be susceptible, in some way, to being falsified. You can never prove any theory, you can only disprove. However, asserting that we could accelerate something to c by giving it an infinite amount of energy doesn't disprove anything: you can't have an infinite amount of energy- that's pretty much the definition of "infinite".
  8. Jul 31, 2004 #7
    I know we can never give it infinite amount of energy, i was meaning that one day we can give it much more than we have now, sorry. Like fusion, or even scientists in labs are trying i think to create tiny amounts of antiparticles that would be totally effienct energy at least what martin gardner says in EINSTEIN EXPLAINED. I know Halls of Ivy you are way more verses and learned than I will ever be I am not trying to argue or even say that I am right I just wondered why everyone accepts C to be the ultimate speed and not question it for just a lil bit, like i thought you or some other person could give me something like hmm ok how maxwell took the perm. and pert. constand and played with it and got c and somehow that shows something about how it is the ultimate speed or how rigid bodies can't go through space to send things faster than light, just other reasons for c to be the fastest was what i was looking for, but once again sorry if I have not been humble enough talking to you, i have the utmost respect for knowledge and especially people that have it lol.

  9. Aug 1, 2004 #8


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Don't blame us for the your assumption that we have just accpeted the value c because it is written in the books that way. I can't speak for everyone, but I personally have been witness to several (indirect) demonstrations of the principle.
  10. Aug 1, 2004 #9
    sorry turin, not meanin to make anyone mad, i said it wrong k sorry

    can you explain or tell me about the demonstrations.

  11. Aug 1, 2004 #10
    You're trying to move at the speed of light? Well it is impossible to move regular everyday matter at the speed of light, the matter would disinigrate as the frequency of electromagnetic waves increase as you move into it.
    Much like sound, the pitch of the noise increases as you move toward the source, because the sound waves experienced are recieved at a crunched level.
    So forget about moving matter at the speed of light, because once it's exposed to ultrahigh electomagnetic frequencies, the matter would just disinigrate right?
    You know, if you crunch light waves it turns to x-rays, then y-rays, then who knows, even rays that can break apart nucleus'.

    But anyways, you CAN travel at the speed of light, if the matter you're trying to transport is essentially transformed into information. Information now days can already be sent at the speed of light. Just turn the matter into electromagnetic information, ride the waves for a bit, and send that information into an energy-matter converter.
    Those electromagnetic waves that were sent at the speed of light to it's destination will provide the energy-matter converter with the right info to reconstuct an exact duplicate of the original matter that was sent in the beginning of the process. Get it? From matter to information, then information back to matter. At the speed of light.
  12. Aug 2, 2004 #11
    wow thats interesting
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook