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Other Where do I go? (Need massive help!)

  1. Sep 10, 2016 #1
    Hello to anyone reading this! I have a big question that quite possibly may change my life, and I don't know where to go to have it answered, so I figured somewhere like an awesome scientific community like Physics Forums would get me some answers. Well, I'm getting to the point where I need to start looking into and applying for colleges. Now originally my plan was this: go to a community college for 2 years to do nothing but core & required classes, then transfer to Texas A&M for a bachelor's in mechanical engineering. Afterwards I'd move to Northern LA to attend California Technical Institute for several years for a doctorate's in observational astrophysics. Then I'd go back to Texas and work at SpaceX in their propulsion engineering division. Here's the thing though- while that may sound like a great plan, I'm not sure that's entirely what I want. I've had this dream for a few years now ever since I really got into the interest of the cosmos itself, and that being humanity achieving light-speed travel. I know I know.. 'it's impossible', 'it's been disproved', etc. etc. I know what I want to achieve in life is possibly design, if not help to design, the first engine capable of accelerating in space to light-speed, or faster-than-light-speed. I've designed all sorts of hypothetical little star-ships for fun just dreaming of what we could do when our hands can finally reach out to the stars... Now getting to the point here:
    What do I do to achieve that?
    Where do I go for college?
    What degrees to I get?
    Where can I work that would help me design that 'impossible engine'?

    I know it's a virtually insane thing to do, but all throughout history there's been things thought of as fact that have revolutionized science. The discovery of the New World, black holes, relativity, the gravitational wave discovered recently, and so on. Countless times in history people have been ridiculed for reaching out to what seemed to be impossible, then to society's amazement once again the impossible was deemed possible. I want to be one of those men that stare this huge restraint of light-speed travel in the eyes, and say "I can", and make it happen. I need some guidance here on where I should start, what I should learn, and where I can go to make this happen, even if I spend my entire life's work on this and die trying it. I will stop at nothing to do everything I can to make this engine for humanity. One quote that motivates me for this especially is "a million starts with one", and I want to be that first, even though I know the concept has been worked on for decades. I want to uplift our reaches to that of which 'no man has gone before'. I may be crazy, but I have determination. So in conclusion, thank you for your time if you've read this. And I'd greatly appreciate any suggestions or answers to any of my questions, comments, feedback, anything! I look forward to exploring more on Physics Forums, and possibly hearing back from some of you!
     
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  3. Sep 10, 2016 #2
    Start by learning enough physics to understand why light speed travel is not possible. There's a lot more to it than just "wow that would be really hard...". Learning more may change your dreams, but it might make them even deeper.
     
  4. Sep 10, 2016 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    I want to invent a single pill that cures all diseases, and maybe even provides immortality. I have determination.
     
  5. Sep 10, 2016 #4

    micromass

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    Why stop at light travel? There's a lot more you can invent. Try to invent a machine that measures both momentum and position of a particle. Try to invent a machine that will allow you to travel inside a black hole and back. What about a machine that produces a force on a certain object without experiencing a force back? Light travel is so mundane and boring with respect to what's possible!
     
  6. Sep 10, 2016 #5

    russ_watters

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    The path you laid out is a good one. It wold take you where you want to go, if it were possible, but will also teach you why it isn't. So stick with that plan.
     
  7. Sep 11, 2016 #6

    Fervent Freyja

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    You didn't say why you want to do all that. What is the end result of achieving light-speed, how will it benefit people?
     
  8. Sep 11, 2016 #7

    micromass

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    Travel into the future?
     
  9. Sep 11, 2016 #8

    Fervent Freyja

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    Yes, but how will that help others if he can't come back? How could people be sure he even made it to the future? I don't see the point of wasting resources in studying theoretical time travel when we haven't even explored much of deep space yet.
     
  10. Sep 14, 2016 #9
    That's the reason I want to do it. To enable humanity to reach out into the depths of space and explore. To colonize exoplanets so our single, doomed (but of course not for a few billion years) star dies our legacy will live on. That kind of thing just isn't really possible with the kinds of engines we have available today.
     
  11. Sep 14, 2016 #10

    Fervent Freyja

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    Fair enough.

    I've been after bigger fishies recently. I want to develop a program for women that helps them successfully train their husbands to have good table manners and etiquette (and to overall minimize other kinds of gross sound waves that can reach sensitive ears). I could get rich off of it and will help many people. Problem is, I cannot even get mine to listen to me about anything, much less this topic. It seems impossible to do. Theories always seem like such great ideas until you go to applying it and find it won't work out. "Many that build castles in air could not build a hut on earth."
     
  12. Sep 14, 2016 #11

    ShayanJ

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    Take a look at here!
    We still haven't achieved even 0.1% of the speed of light. Why don't you set your goal for that first and see if you can increase it gradually?
    I mean, how can you achieve the speed of light, if you still can't achieve 0.1% of it?!

    And about your total disrespect for physics, you can't do science without learning and applying science. To be clear, you are dreaming to fail. I call that a nightmare! For now, your only goal can be learning enough so that you can have realistic goals.
     
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