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

Trying to wrap my pea sized brain around the universe.

  1. Jun 1, 2007 #1
    I have been reading an aged book about superluminal transmition of information. I am only a couple chapers into the book, the part where the author is introducing the uninitiated (that would be me) to the concepts of reletivity. On thing he keeps coming back to is that time, length and mass are all relitive to the observer. The statment I am wondering about is this.

    If a man is standing on the bridge of some space faring ship he is standing still relative to himself, therefor he can never reach the speed of light no matter how fast the ship appears to be moving to someone on the outside.

    I can give referance to the book at a latter time but I don't have it with me atm.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2007 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    You didn't ask a question...
  4. Jun 1, 2007 #3
    From my understanding, nothing can surpass the speed of light do to the symmetry of the universe and how its asymptocal?. Someone correct me if im wrong.
  5. Jun 2, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I think maybe you've misquoted the book. Everything is always stationary 'relative to itself', so it hardly seems worth mentioning.
    The point about relativity is that all motion is relative, so the idea of motion only makes sense if we specify who is measuring which velocity. It is also true that nothing can accelerate so that it reaches the speed of light, in anyone's frame of reference.
  6. Jun 2, 2007 #5

    Chris Hillman

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I have some off topic questions if Dale will indulge me...

    Dale, I often see posters do this and it always baffles me, so if you don't mind I'll share my bafflement: why oh why would anyone ask about a book which is puzzling them without saying which book is giving them trouble? I would think it would be obvious that this is highly relevant information which would greatly assist us in helping you!

    Warning: "superluminal transmission of information" is forbidden in relativistic physics, and this was recognized rather early, so if the book you are reading contradicts this assertion, I must suspect that it does not belong to the canon of mainstream physics. In that case, I hope you will see the wisdom of first studying str using a mainstream textbook such as Taylor and Wheeler. After you know what str says (as explained in a modern and reliable source), you will be in a better position to critique outdated or fringe books.

    Sigh... OK, well I guess you answered my question above, but now I have a new question. I often see readers who say they are reading some book but who say or imply that they have no idea who the author is, what the title is, or where and when it was published, or even in what language it was originally published. So what's going on with that?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook