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Would something like this be possible?

  1. Yes! Absolutly!

    0 vote(s)
  2. Idunno

    0 vote(s)
  3. Aww hell naw!

    9 vote(s)
  1. Sep 26, 2006 #1
    OK Bear with me . . Is it possible to cuircumvent the limitations of Light speed communications by using an incredibly long nano tube attached to an electromagnetic actuator held in orbit between earth and say mars with some sort of satelite system?

    You could send a message to the receiver , the signal is translated, and the tube's actuator moves the tube back and forth in some type of binary or morse code. The other end would then relay the decoded signal and send it off to the rover / team / whatever. Instead of taking hours would the communication be reduced to a few minutes?

    (see primitive MS Paint picture for a rough idea of what I am thinking)

    Go ahead, shoot holes in the idea I can handle it :smile: , but be fair.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2006 #2

    Doc Al

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    Not exactly sure what you are describing, but perhaps you think that a push at one end of the nanotube somehow moves the other end instantly? Not so. The mechanical signal would travel across the nanotube much slower than the speed of light.
  4. Sep 26, 2006 #3
    Really??? I'm new, so . . deos the mechanical motion act as a wave when the rod is pushed when we are talking about these distances? Also, does that imply that there would be an area in which the material is compressed? why would it not be instantainous? Of course i dont have anything that I can test it with except my No. 2 pencil lol

    I'm not trying to be a wiseguy, I sincerely want to know. Thanks
  5. Sep 26, 2006 #4


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    What do you think holds the atoms and molecules of an object together?

  6. Sep 26, 2006 #5
    I would imagine some sort of magnetic field?
  7. Sep 26, 2006 #6


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    If you push the end of your pencil, the other end won't move instantly.

    Pressure waves will travel through your nanotube at the speed of sound, like they do in any other medium. The speed of light is much quicker.
  8. Sep 26, 2006 #7
    Now I'm thinking that the different phase states are an illusion, and simply different strengths of molecular bonds. It makes sense to me in a strange way.
  9. Sep 26, 2006 #8
    it would create a shock wave, not unlike that in air. That wave would then move much slower than the speed of light. Possibly even taking years to get there.
  10. Sep 26, 2006 #9
    The wave would move at the speed of sound.
  11. Sep 26, 2006 #10


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    Finish your thought.

    The wave would move at the speed of sound in the material the tube is constructed of.
  12. Sep 28, 2006 #11
    I had thought about this a while ago. Then i read in a book called "the relativity explosion" some analogy of a huge pair of scissors, where the tips were so far away. that when you opened the scissors, the tip would be moving faster that the speed of light. But the mechanical limitations were addressed so this obviously would not work.
  13. Sep 28, 2006 #12
    Yes of course Integral.

    algaidaman: the speed of sound in steel is given as 5960 meters per second, which equates to 13,332 mph. OK you might not use steel, but that's about how fast your message is going to travel. So I could beat it in my clumsy old chemical rocket.
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