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Speed of Light

  1. Jan 9, 2009 #1
    If you could move at the speed of light what would happen? Could you survive?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2009 #2

    Redbelly98

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    Welcome to PF. :smile:

    Since you and I have non-zero rest mass, it is impossible for us to move at the speed of light. So, this is akin to asking questions like "what if we could create energy from nothing?" or "what would happen if like charges attracted and opposite charges repelled?"
     
  4. Jan 9, 2009 #3

    Redbelly98

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    Perhaps a better question to ask is, what would happen to you as you approach closer and closer to the speed of light? All the stuff about length contraction and time dilation as v approaches c is certainly worthy of discussion.

    There was a sci fi book or series -- might have been Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, but I'm not sure -- where space travel between different stars at close to the speed of light was possible. In our usual reference frame, space travellers would take decades to travel between stars, but because time slowed down for them, they would only age a few weeks or months during the journey.

    In the space travellers' reference frame, time did not slow down. But, because of length contraction, the distance became much smaller between the stars at the beginning and end of their journey. To travel this shorter distance took only a few weeks or months, so that is how much time passed for them.
     
  5. Jan 9, 2009 #4

    DaveC426913

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    Haldeman's Forever War
     
  6. Jan 12, 2009 #5

    Nabeshin

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    Ender's Game series is probably what he means. Same thing in Forever War, but no mention of "collapsars" in Red's post :biggrin:
     
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