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

Ze Optical Boom

  1. Oct 22, 2005 #1
    Ze Optical Boom
    By Albert Einstein ze Sird

    In nineteen forty-somesing, ze venerable Chuck Yeager became ze first human on ze planet to break ze sound barrier. He also did zis, I might add, wizout becoming his own daddy. Of course, humans travel faster zan ze speed of sound all ze time, zat is, wiz respect to ze axis of ze Ears. What made his flight special was zat he did zis while travelling srough ze same medium from which sound is normally measured in ze first place, ze air.

    In terms of its physical influence on ze [sound] waves zemselves, ze not-so-glamorous air may be regarded in an identical manner as any ozer consistent medium srough which waves travel. It is wors noting here, zat a particular lack of an identifiable medium, zereof, should not necessarily be considered as an entirely separate situation. In fact, ze mere existence of any phenomenon zat displays all of ze empirically known characteristics of a wave, can not only be said to manifest just zat, but can also be said to implicate ze presence of a medium, whezer one is detected or not. Zat much cannot be denied. My friends, if somesing looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, zen I am afraid zat it is a duck. It may not even matter what ze animal is, anyway.

    Neverzeless, at ze time, it was previously sought zat it may just be impossible to break ze sound barrier. It was suspected zat a projectile might be destroyed before it could reach ze zen seoretical limit. We now know ozerwise. Chuck did exceed zis seoretical limit, handsomely. In addition, he demonstrated a peculiar phenomenon known today as ze sonic boom. (Some say it was named sonic boom because zey sought zat he would become his own son.) As we understand ze mundane specifics of wave propagation today, we can easily sketch out ze simple explanation of a sonic boom on a blank sheet of paper. However, ze significant aspect of zis result remains the wonderful effect itself. Ze sonic boom is an incoherent, compounded blend of multiple sound waves. In ozer words, it might even be called pure sound.

    Now, for zose of us who actually believe zat Mister Yeager did break ze sound barrier and did, indeed, survive his own sonic boom, I propose a simple sought experiment. (As we know, some people have become soundly celebrated solely wiz ze use of said sought scenarios. I only ask for sanks.) Alzough, I stand powerfully behind ze idea zat energy is matter and matter is energy, I wish you to consider ze possibility zat we got some of ze relativity sing wrong. I humbly request zis only for ze sake of discussion.

    What if, let’s say, ze effect of ze sonic boom could be applied to light waves. We would expect to see ze same compounded effect in ze form of light, congruently, a brilliant flash of incoherent light. Zis is not inconsistent wiz ze results of a nuclear detonation. As we know in zis case, single atoms become liberated into an albeit temporary form zat we may recognize as pure light. For our purposes, zese atoms become practically indistinguishable from ze light itself. Again, zis would not be inconsistent wiz ze assumption zat matter becomes energy. Ze important sing is zat ze light, in ze form of subatomic particles, has effectively surpassed its own natural speed.

    So, if zis were true, what we would have zen is a completely new way of seeing sings. I invite you to imagine what it might be like for us, now, to exceed ze speed of light ourselves. I propose zat it would be somesing exhilarating, to ze point of being miraculous. In ze hyposetical sense, we would become pure energy. If we could reach ze speed of light, we may just become liberated into some, as of yet unknown, lightness of being. It’s just somesing to sink about. By ze way, it might help to add zat we have no way to prove zat we are not already travelling zat fast. Sank you for flying Einstein Airways.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2005 #2
    Zere may be zomesing to zis. Ahem, excuse me. There may be something to this. The speed of sound in air is not an absolute limit for the speed of sound. I believe the speed of light in vacuum is also the limit for the speed of sound in air. The speed of light in air is also less than the speed of light in vacuum. Therefor, someone or something should be able to travel faster than the speed of light in air even if they are in air when they do it. I know that particles have been sent traveling through water at a speed faster than the speed of light in water and the result is similar to the one you hypothesize, light is emitted. The name of the light emitted in this situation is called Chernenkov radiation. I don't know if it has been done in air, or if the light emitted is called the same thing.
     
  4. Oct 22, 2005 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    1. No (jimmy's caveat aside). "The Sound Barrier" and "The Light Barrier" have nothing in common. "The Light Barrier" is based on the laws of physics and has been exquisitely proven to exist. "The Sound Barrier" only ever existed in the minds of reporters. After all, bullets had been traveling faster than the speed of sound for some time.

    2. Grow up and start writing with correct grammar. It isn't funny or clever, just distracting and annoying. And it makes you look like....er, nevermind, I'm sure you already know.

    edit: 3. We have high standards here. You won't be tolerated for long if you continue like this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2005
  5. Oct 22, 2005 #4

    Janus

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The so called "optical boom" is already known to exist. It is called Cerenkov radiation and is produced when a charged particle exceeds the speed of light for a given medium. It causes a blue glow that comes from certain types of nuclear reactors. But there is nothing special about that; there is no rule that says one can not exceed the speed of light in a medium. What is impossible is to exceed the speed of light in a vacuum.
     
  6. Oct 25, 2005 #5
    Good feedback.
    But, I’m not sure that’s the same thing going on there, because I’d expect to see white light (all the colors). It seems to me the Chernenkov effect is some kind of Doppler thing, you know, like a blue shift caused by a fast moving emitter. Or, maybe it’s a ‘red’ shift of gamma rays, down just barely into the visible range.
    That wouldn’t quite be the same thing as examining the possibility of a Mass-Energy continuum.
    No, I’m talking about objects going so fast that they literally DISAPPEAR, man. Then it becomes clear what black holes might really be!
    And, please, no drug jokes.
     
  7. Oct 25, 2005 #6

    pervect

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Here's some info on Cerenkov radiation from the wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherenkov_effect

    I'm afraid I can't take the rest of your post very seriously.
     
  8. Oct 25, 2005 #7
    Okay, Mr. Pervect, this may help. If it doesn't, then I must conclude that you are simply incapable of taking anything seriously.
    To be more specific, what I'm suggesting is that when something is brought up to light speed, it will begin to disintegrate. I suppose the mechanism for this would be a fundamental harmonic resonance at the sub-atomic level. If you bring electrons, which are otherwise bound to a matrix in any solid, up to the velocity at which they normally traverse, you will break down (or cancel) the bonds with which they are tied to the solid.
    In other words, molecular bonding may take place with electrons not by their presence alone, but by their motion. Bonding may not be caused by electric force, as much as it is caused by the magnetism due to unitary electric current. In a similar manner, this may be true at the sub-nuclear level, as well.
    So, what we think of as solid form is simply the collection and 3-dimensional arrangement of pure energy, expressed as magnetism.
    It's just a theory. Call it the Unitary Field Theory.
     
  9. Oct 25, 2005 #8

    JesseM

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Theories of physics are expressed in terms of mathematical equations, and they make quantitative predictions about the results of experiments. All you've got here are some vague word-pictures and no predictions, not to mention the fact that your description seems to contradict quite a lot of existing theories which have already tested in great detail.

    In any case, you should read the sticky threads "IMPORTANT! Read before posting" and "wrong claims" at the top of this forum, they explain that this isn't the appropriate forum to suggest new "theories" (your ideas are too vague to really deserve that name) of your own, although if you are curious about why your statements would not make sense in terms of existing theories we could discuss that.
     
  10. Oct 25, 2005 #9

    JesseM

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Also, based on his idea that things will "begin to disintegrate" as they approach light speed, I think it's safe to say that, despite the name, "Albert Einstein III" either doesn't believe in or doesn't understand the basic principles of relativity, in particular the idea that there is no such thing as absolute velocity and that the laws of physics work the same way in each inertial observer's rest frame.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  11. Oct 25, 2005 #10

    pervect

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Why?
    Is this supposed to be an explanation?

    I have a very strong suspicion that you are simply trying to bull**** us with pure nonsense. (This is based on a large part to my negative reaction to your cute first post, with all the zzzz's which I didn't even bother to read).

    If I'm correct, I would expect you to deny this, however, and if I'm not correct I'd still expect you to deny this.

    So perhaps a more polite response is called for. So let me try and take you seriously for a minute.

    So, being serious for a bit, what you write does not make any sense. Furthermore, there isn't any experimental justification for such an effect in standard physics.

    I'd like to try and keep things as friendly as possible here for posters with legitimate questions who may be shy about how to go about asking them.

    But at the same time, I don' see how I can not respond negatively to pure nonsense postings that are basically a waste of everyones time.
     
  12. Oct 26, 2005 #11
    JesseM, please assume that I do understand the basic principles of relativity, and that I do conditionally accept the fact that they rule out the idea of a metrically universal origin.
     
  13. Oct 26, 2005 #12
    Show me an equation, or even a single number, in the theory of evolution. Shall I quote the definition of ‘theory’ from any dictionary? The point is, nowhere does it say a theory must involve mathematical equations.

    But, because I’d like to discuss this in the context of relativity, let’s not quibble over semantics. And, to invite constructive criticism, with respect to principles that have already been established, please allow me to list a few relevant details which support my idea:

    1. When objects approach black holes, they seem to disappear.

    2. Electic currents, however small, constitute magnetic fields, which must be scientifically accounted for.

    3. To a stationary observer, a nuclear blast seems to commence with a single pulse of brilliant white light that appears to originate everywhere, followed by the visually typical effects of an ordinary explosion.

    4. Cerenkov radiation cannot be attributed to a ‘shock wave’, because lightspeed applies to the entire EM sprectrum.

    5. According to the logic used to justify the basis for time dilation, travelling faster than ANY wave in its own medium should produce the same effect. This includes supersonic travel. Heck, acording to that reasoning, even surfers should live longer than everyone else.

    Now, since it’s commonly acknowledged that objects do not become infinitely massive, in their own inertial frame, when they approach the speed of light in a vacuum (an idea that was once widely accepted), I’d like to consider what does happen at very very high velocity. Yes, let’s say light can only go so fast. So, if we can assume that electronic bonding must be due in part to magnetism (i.e. not the presence of charge, but the motion of charge), then we are obligated to consider what takes places when that motion becomes r-r-re, rrrrelative to the observer. In this case, the observer IS the electron. My ‘hypothesis’ (pronounced with a British accent), for lack a more agreeable term, is that the magnetic bonding force begins to breakdown at the sub-atomic level, at very high speeds. It doesn’t necessarily need to occur at lightspeed, either. But, when it does happen, atoms start dropping off like flies. The object in motion begins to disintegrate.

    Please cite some examples of theories that contradict this idea.
     
  14. Oct 26, 2005 #13
    Well, the special theory of relativity for example.

    Why? Because, as you said, all motion is relative. This means that even if the electron moves very close to the speed of light relative to some other observer, the electron is at rest in it's own frame of reference. So atoms won't just "drop off". And the permeability of vacuum and permittivity of vacuum don't change either, so the electromagnetic properties of the vacuum don't depend on the speed of the object. So the "magnetic bonding force" doesn't break up at high speeds.
     
  15. Oct 26, 2005 #14

    JesseM

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There are plenty of equations in the modern theory of evolution dealing with how gene frequencies change over time. But in any case, what I said was that "Theories of physics are expressed in terms of mathematical equations"--physics is an inherently quantitative and mathematical subject, more so than biology.
    Again, please see the sticky threads at the top of this forum, they say that this is not the place to propose new theories. For example, the IMPORTANT! Read before posting thread says:
    Black holes have not been observed closely enough to actually see this, the idea that objects disappear when falling into black holes is simply a theoretical prediction of the theory of general relativity...and since your idea seems to totally contradict general relativity, I don't really see how an untested theoretical prediction of general relativity could be said to "support" your idea. In any case, why does your idea say objects approaching a black hole should disappear, I thought it was about objects disappearing when they hit the speed of light?
    The fact that moving electric currents produce magnetic fields can already be explained in terms of the theory of relativity, see here for some details. And again, I don't see what the "optic boom" idea has to do with this issue.
    I don't know much about nuclear physics, but I assume there are already well-understood reasons that nuclear reactions cause lots of photons to be emitted. I think the later "visually typical effects of the explosion" are not due to the nuclear reaction itself, but due to things like surrounding material experiencing a strong pressure wave and intense heat (I assume a nuclear explosion in empty space would look like nothing but a bright light without the fireball effect).
    The speed of all EM radiation is the same in a vacuum, but Cerenkov radiation has to do with the fact that the speed of light through a medium can be slower than its speed through a vacuum (I think at a microscopic level this would be explained in terms of photons being repeatedly absorbed and reemitted by the particles of the medium, so that even though the individual photons still travel at c between absorption and emission, the overall light wave appears to travel slower).
    Nonsense, what logic do you think is used to justify time dilation? Do you understand what it means to say the laws of physics are "Lorentz-invariant", ie that the equations of physics are unchanged when you switch between two coordinate systems related by the Lorentz transformation? Here's the Lorentz transformation for transforming between two observer's coordinate systems (x,t) and (x',t'):

    [tex]x' = \gamma (x - vt)[/tex]
    [tex]t' = \gamma (t - vx/c^2)[/tex]
    where [tex]\gamma = 1/\sqrt{1 -v^2/c^2}[/tex]

    You can see that this involves the constant c, and if you play around with the numbers you'll see that this transformation implies that each observer will see the other oberver's time-coordinates running slower than his own. Since the laws of physics are Lorentz-invariant, the ticking rate of ab actual physical clock should match that of the time-coordinates in the clock's rest frame, thus each observer will observe moving clocks to slow down. Now, you could invent a new coordinate system where c was replaced by the speed of sound s, but in this case it would not be true that the laws of physics would be invariant with respect to this coordinate transformation, so there'd be no reason to believe that actual physical clocks would slow down by the same factor that the coordinate time slows down in this funny coordinate system. [quote="Albert Einstein III]Now, since it’s commonly acknowledged that objects do not become infinitely massive, in their own inertial frame, when they approach the speed of light in a vacuum (an idea that was once widely accepted)[/quote] Again, nonsense. It was always understood that the relativistic mass of an object in its own frame never changes, that the increase of relativistic mass was a purely relative effect, so that if I am moving at some velocity v relative to you, I will see your relativistic mass increase by [tex]1/\sqrt{1 - v^2/c^2}[/tex], but you will see my relativistic mass increase by the same amount. And of course, there is also the concept of "rest mass" which is different from relativistic mass, and which never changes in anybody's frame.
    High velocity in whose reference frame? Again, relativity says there is no absolute notion of velocity, if you have two objects A and B moving apart at a high velocity v, you can either consider A at rest and B moving at velocity v or you can consider B at rest and A moving at velocity v, and the laws of physics should work the same way in either frame.
    High speed relative to what? Again, you seem to be suggesting some absolute notion of speed, but that conflicts with the most basic idea of relativity.
    Every theory that obeys the principle of relativity, ie all of modern physics.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2005
  16. Oct 26, 2005 #15

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    Please cite: (i) theoretical formulation that suggests this will happen and/or (ii) experimental evidence of this.

    Note that particle accelerators, especially electron accelerators, routinely accelerates particles extremely close to c, without any sign of the onset of disintegration. Electron accelerators routinely achieve gamma factors around 20 (you would know what gamma factor is since you already claim to know basic special relativity).

    Now combine that with the physics that we know that says nothing about particles suddenly breaking apart when they reach c, and you have a major obstacle to overcome in your speculation (no, it is not a theory as used in physics). Both theoretical ideas and experimental evidence contradict your speculation.

    And before you go any further, please review PF guideline on posting at

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=5374

    because this thread is deteorating very rapidly.

    Zz.
     
  17. Oct 26, 2005 #16

    Janus

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since many of the statements you have made bely that assumption, I'm afraid that we cannot do such.

    Such statements as:

    Show a complete lack of understanding of the basic principles of Relativity.

    If you wish to learn what these principles really are and how the conclusions of Relativity are reach, then there a many here that can walk you through it.
    If, however, you simply want to promote your own speculations based on your misinformed understanding of Relativity, this is not the place for it. Any further posts of that type on your part will be simply deleted and the thread locked.
     
  18. Oct 28, 2005 #17

    Yes, zis is true. However, I prefer ze term disintegrate.

    But, please allow me to prepare a response to the last few posts.

    My aim is not to disprove the theory of relativity. Yet, one thing I already know is that, when something continues to require corrections and additional assumptions to prolong its acceptability, it starts to become doctrine more than anything else.

    If you'll notice, I haven't corrected my idea once. Though, I do intend to address any and all objections. Please be as patient as I have been.

    AEIII
     
  19. Oct 28, 2005 #18

    Janus

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    ???? What corrections and additional assumptions? There haven't been any corrections or additional assumption required for SR or GR.
    That's just stubbornness, and being stubborn when you are wrong leaves you being just as wrong.
     
  20. Oct 28, 2005 #19

    JesseM

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    As Janus said, neither SR or GR have required any corrections since they were created.
    From How to become a bad theoretical physicist by Nobel prize-winner Gerard 't Hooft (the sequel to his How to become a good theoretical physicist):
     
  21. Oct 29, 2005 #20

    ZapperZ

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    You're forgetting that it is MOST of us who had to be "patient" with a number of your postings. Your next attempt at being "cute" with your z-postings will go down in flames. I believe I have been "patient" enough up to this point.

    Again, as has been mentioned, you have produced ZERO evidence of such "corrections and additional assumptions". Instead, I can point easily where a significant aspect of SR has been proven - YOU!

    You continue to use your electronics. If you have studied the band structure of the material that you are using in your electronics, you would have noticed at many of them had to incorporate relativistic corrections to accurately describe their band structure. Without SR, a number of materials properties cannot be accurately described! So why is this HUGE body of evidence from condensed matter/solid state physics (with the HIGHEST degree of certainty) being ignored by so many people claiming at SR isn't correct? It boggles the mind!!

    Zz.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Ze Optical Boom
  1. Tick tick tick tick boom (Replies: 10)

  2. Relativistic Optics (Replies: 19)

  3. Relativistic optics (Replies: 1)

Loading...