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Vision at speed?

  1. Feb 8, 2012 #1
    ok first, as this is my first post i have to say im a little intimidated by the scientific detail of
    most posts on this site as im a laymen, no academic background, just very interested in science :) also as ive only just discovered this site im very hard pressed to scroll all topics and answers so there is a possibility this has been asked/discussed before so please delete
    if the case.

    anyway my question is this:

    if i am traveling at or over the speed of light (i know, theorticaly impossible, can of worms anyone?) and i look backwards, will i be able to see anything?

    i figure no, because the light from all objects would not be able to catch up with me so i could not see anything.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2012 #2
    You can't travel faster than light so there isn't much to say about it.

    I mean, you would be like going backwards in time with some kind of negative of super infinite energy and the universe would just explode or something heh.

    A warning however, ideas that are speculative are not supposed to be discusses on these forums! (this keeps things on topic and relevant)
  4. Feb 8, 2012 #3
    ok my bad i guess it was a kind of speculative question and appreciate it has no place here (though in my defence i have seen worse in my recent browsing)
  5. Feb 8, 2012 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Firstly welcome to the forums!
    The problem with thought experiments like this is you are basically saying "if the laws of physics didn't apply what would the laws of physics say about that?"
    If you see a post that you think violates the PF Rules please report them :smile: also if you haven't already it would be best to familiarise yourself with them too.
  6. Feb 8, 2012 #5
    I think it is a good question, with a little modification. If, say, you have mass and you approach the speed of light (but never quite get there), it would be appropriate to ask what would your environment look like? The answer to that lies in the topic of special relativity, which you can look up on wikipedia and youtube. You might also ask how does a photon, which is massless and does travel at the speed of light, perceive its environment? I do not know if there is a meaningful answer to that, or where to find it if there is one.
  7. Feb 8, 2012 #6


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    If everything in your environment i.e. everything on your spaceship is at rest relative to you it looks normal. Looking outside your ship the universe seems contracted along your axis, looking ahead of you everything looks slightly blue and everything behind you looks slightly red.
    See: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=511170
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