Fire up the DeLorean and grab the almanac, time travel is here... or maybe not. Atom-smashers at CERN's subterranean Alpine lab seized the headlines recently when they found a set of subatomic particles once obscure outside the world of boffinry had turned scientific convention on its head by travelling faster than light. …
tosh - wikipedia science
The problem with all of this is that it is complete tosh. The theory of special relativity (and clasical mechanics) has 3 possible outcomes
1) something travels slower than light and would require infinite amounts of energy to get it to light speed (ordinary mass)
2) something is stuck travelling at the speed of light (photons)
3) something travels faster that light to start with and can never drop below light speed without destruction.
It happens because in classic mechanics you can have a negative velocity that is the squared (basic kinetic energy) therefore making it a positive so at lower than light speeds the energy of the particle would be negative, e.g. non-existent which happens quite a lot in theories like dropping to absolute zero where a particle has no energy so can have no mass. It's perfectly possible to travel faster than light but only if one starts faster so in "the real world" one would require negative energies and mass. Possibly CERN generated neutrinos of this type but probably not. How is light altered by gravity in the parallel plane if gravitons aren't particles faster than light ? (and so giving use the red shift used to correct astronomical observations to give us an idea of the make up of stars). Just because no theoretical model has predicted that a neutrino could be created starting off faster than light doesn't mean it couldn't have happened. Stating that something is "impossible" based on a theory is a dodgy starting point for any discussion, otherwise we'd still be stuck with Newtonian mechanics. Best to see if the experiment can be replicated by a different lab.
I blame the media and the second paragraph of wikipedia on lightspeed myself.
When I read the headline, I imagined Courteney Cox going all Stephen Fry on the basics of the modern physics. My mistake, sorry.
Interesting, anyway. Contemporary scientists generally are not very eager to publicize such shocking revelations, unless they have it thoroughly backed up. CERN is quite solid institution, as far as I know. It´s not like an interference from running electric can opener would screw their readings. I look forwards further news.
You comentards have as much knowledge of subatomic physics as you have on global warming. None! Bert
Relativity and speed of light
I am getting sick of all this stuff that relativity says nothing can go faster than light. IT SAYS NO SUCH THING. What it does say is that nothing with a none zero rest mass can be accelerated through the speed of light, which is something entirely different. So photons which have zero rest mass always zip around at the speed of light, things with real mass can never get to the speed of light, and if we can ever find anything with imaginary mass they can never slow down below the speed of light.
Finally anything that can warp space time could take a short cut and appear to be moving faster than light to an observer while never actually doing so.
Relativity blah blah blah
"nothing with a non zero rest mass can be accelerated through the speed of light"
Close but no cigar, it should be "to" not "through" or more pedantically:
"nothing with a non zero rest mass can attain the speed of light"
because saying “through” implies that it can be reached, which it cannot.
Here, do the maths yourself:
M (motion) = M (rest) / SqRoot( 1 - (v^2 / c^2) )
Where M = Mass, c = Speed of Light, v = velocity, ^2 = squared
This shows an object approaching the SoL gains apparent mass until at the SoL it has infinite mass, beyond the SoL the mass becomes imaginary which may cause some problems in the real universe (or possibly not).
So yes nothing can (or at least should be able to) move from moving at the SoL or above or below it to any other one of the 3 states.
As for “short cuts” like warping or hyperspace or infinite improbability drives or Harry Harrison’s splendid Bloater Drive, bring ‘em on, with any luck one of them will actually work.
Assuming the equation is correct and there is a vast body of empirical evidence to support it, we can say for certain that nothing with mass has been accelerated to the SoL because the gravitational effect of an object with infinite mass would be noticed, the destruction of the universe would be a subtle clue.
What is all this imaginary mass business?
Imaginary numbers were invented by mathematicians and turned out to have some interesting properties and practical applications.
They don't tell us anything about the physical world.
Just because an equation has a square root in it doesn't mean there is some special undiscovered physics with imaginary properties. Would an object have negative kinetic energy if it was travelling at an imaginary velocity?
Article which mentions Cox saying "of course we've thought of this, it's also a lot more complicated" towards armchair physicists results in armchair physicists commenting with their own half-assed theories...
bert or berk
maybe, bert ... but most science (especially pseudo science, lol) is viewed through the prism of human nature ... and on that topic non-scientists are often better
The Barman says, "sorry, we don't serve neutrinos here."
A neutrino walks into a bar.
shame most people I tell it to just dont get it!
Took me a minute or two :)
"Took me a minute or two :)"
before or after it was posted?
Oh sh*t that took me a minute or two as well!
Very true. I find most people don't even get it before I've told them
AC doesn't understand General Relativity...
... which claims that moving clocks tick slower. This has been proven with the GPS system as their clocks have to adjust for the high speed they are travelling at when orbiting around the earth.
However, the two assumptions that particles with mass cannot travel faster than light and that the speed of light is constant are very difficult to prove.
While a satellite may move quickly compared to, say, a car, it is FAR FAR FAR slower than relativistic speed.
The relativistic time compensation required for GPS relates to the fact that here, deep in Earth’s gravity well, time runs more slowly. Has nothing at all to do with the motion of the satellites.
Obviously they are going to question any observations that challenge current theories, but it seems to me that the scientific community is going out of it's way to explain away these inconvenient findings. Surely what they should be trying to do is simply explain the findings and if this causes them to modify Einstein's theories then so be it.
The surprise to me at least is that they are not embracing these findings as something that opens up a whole new field of research. After all this would mean more funding and job security. Plus of course a chance for somebody to make a big name for themself. After all there would surely be lasting fame for the person who proved Einstein wrong.
It seems we have a similar problem here to the one we have with global warming. Too many people are treating Einsteins theories as articles of faith.
"trying to do is simply explain the findings"
Oh, good grief !!
What they will be doing first is to try and duplicate the finding, preferably somewhere else with different equipment
Only on the basis of good hard experimental results that disagree with SR ( which has HUGE existing experimental support ) will there be a need for theorists to get involved.
Anything else is pure speculation for speculation's sake
Do you have a PHd in anything? No.
You are totally unqualified to second guess what is going on here.
You are correct in one thing though: We do have a problem here that is similar to the problem with Global Warming. Lots of people who don't know enough about a subject to understand that they don't know enough about it to comment on it seem to think that they can question senior academics about it on a par with them. This is while at the same time shouting that it's all a giant conspiracy and that the academics are on some sort of gravy train. (Do you know how much they get paid? It's sod all.)
Standard scientific approach - extraordinary findings require extraordinary (levels of) evidence. The next step will be to see is someone can get a similar result using completely different equipment.
Utter failure to even understand the word 'science'
I'd recommend you take a look at 'scientific method' in Wiki.
Measurable and repeatable are two key words here.
When someone claims to invent cold fusion, the scientific world does not immediately run around going 'yay' and fist-bumping. Nor should you do the same with any other finding which defies both current theories and other experiments which were designed to test the same thing. The speed of Neutrinos has already been measured and found not to break the speed of light; which is why people are first looking at experimental error.
If I were to claim to have turned wine into water, would you 'embrace it', or would you say 'ok... show me?'.
You ensure that there is no experimental error, and you repeat the experiment. At present, people are repeating the experiment, and attempting to find any experimental errors.
The world of Physics is doing it's damnedest to open up new fields of research. Thousands of people in the field will be over the moon if the findings are true. But running around saying they are without repeating the experiment is just the kind of bad science that you are labelling the converse as.
It might be a few decades...
It took a few decades between the Michelson-Morley findings (which were repeated and cross-checked with other experiments first), and Einstein's relativity. Don't hold your breath for overnight upheaval....
"If I were to claim to have turned wine into water, would you 'embrace it', or would you say 'ok... show me?'."
I can turn wine into water. Kind of. Would you really want to watch?
@Psyx - "Question everything." Why?
That way you will realize that "Question everything." should have a ? at the end not a.
A question mark at the end of a directive statement?
nothing can speed upto speed of light?
Just had a thought - If nothing can speed up to the speed of light without requiring infinite energy, how the hell do torches and light bulbs and lasers etc work?
I didn't realise the 2 AAs in my torch created infinity energy, there was me thinking they created 3 volts!
I think you're confused.
Obviously light does not have infinite energy! Photons (light) have negligable (infinitely small) mass which effectively allows light to be so fast. It is arguable whether photons have any mass at all.
Nothing **with mass** can accelerate to c.... photons don't they just pop into existance at light speed.
Why not go and read a wiki article on it, if curious; instead of raising the point somewhere where your enquiries will be met with a flamethrower from the wise, and misinformation from the uninformed?
What happens if you have two masses travelling in opposite directions at 3/4 c?
From each other's point of view they've just accelerated past c.
To find the answer to your question look up more-or-less any article on relativity written in the past 100 years.
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.....
Or were you serious??!
It wasn't explained to me at A Level physics. Or I wasn't paying attention. I shall read Wikipedia, I'm sure it'll have a reliable peer-reviewed explanation. Oh no, it's full of articles of people writing as if the reader already was an expert or just wrong.
I do wish there were more boring Open University programmes presented by people in kipper ties explaining things in mind-numbing detail and less of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30ruBtLIvJM . While the visuals might look pretty and he might be getting his enthusiasm across he's exactly not telling me much.
basically, the central tenet of special relativity is that the speed of light (ie maximum speed, also called C) is fixed for all observers, everywhere, no matter what they are doing, or how they are moving.
so your question about what happens when two masses / observers are moving toward / away from each other at close-to the speed of light has some interesting consequences. If both observes always agree on what the maximum speed limit is, and neither of them observe the other going faster than it, ... then they must disagree on how the other is experiencing time.
(and when you start looking at other equations, you see that mass, and even length are effected by travelling fast,... but not the speed C).
look up "time dilation" in youtube. there are over a thousand videos.
this has nice visualization, though no words.
yes, A-level physics unfortunately does little more than teach children how to fill in multiple choice papers or memorize answers, i did it too. but most of the concepts are actually pretty simple (though not intuitive), and only need basic math (algebra rearranging) to start make clear points.
Thank you, sir.
Will use that as a starting point when I get some free time (at this rate, when I retire, if they'll still let you retire then).
RockStar Physicists Have No Clue
So physicists have no idea why the speed of light is the speed limit. Was it a guess all along? It sure seems that way, doesn't it? Otherwise, they would know that the neutrino FTL result was in error and the whole nonsense would have never made the news.
Truth is, if physicists really had a clue about the nature of motion, they would know that the speed of light is not just the fastest speed in the universe but the *only* speed in the universe. Nothing can move faster or slower. A body that seems to be moving at a much slower speed than c is really making a series of quantum jumps at c, with lots of wait periods in between. This is true no matter how smooth motion appears at the macroscopic level.
And if physicists really understood the causality of motion, they would also know that we are moving in an immense lattice of energetic particles without which there could be no motion. Google "Physics: The Problem with Motion" if you really want to understand motion. Believe me, you don't understand motion even if you think you do. And while you're at it, Google "Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion" for more surprises.
Crackpot bloggers have no clue (about physics, computers, experimental evidence...)
"Truth is, if physicists really had a clue about the nature of motion, they would know that the speed of light is not just the fastest speed in the universe but the *only* speed in the universe. Nothing can move faster or slower."
Physicists do indeed know that everything in the universe travels through space-time at exactly the speed of C. This was beautifully explained in the popular-science book "Why Does E=MC2 (and Why Should We Care)?" written by.......oh, that'd be rockstar physicist Brian Cox. No need for a series of quantum jumps, either.
So much fail in so short a post.
It's Friday afternoon. If you fancy wasting a few hours before hitting the pub, google "Louis Savain". YOUR HEAD ASPLODE.
Those clueless people have done a mighty fine job of carving out the theories that put man on the moon, regularly fires stuff into orbit, and created the technology on which fewls who know nothing about physics claim that those people who hold physics degrees have 'no idea'.
Your armchair physics am totally fayle.
My word. You really are a crackpot, aren't you?
Having just checked out your website, your 'theory' on motion lacks ANY experimental or mathematical proof. You've had a crazy idea; and wrote it down. I've just had an idea about anti-matter tasting like fudge! I think I'll blog it, then rally on anyone who in any way attempts to deconstruct it.
Before attempting to tear down the physics on which our world is built, you need to understand it. You clearly don't. Your theories show a real lack of basic understanding.
"When I am ready to demonstrate the power of the lattice, I will do so. And I will not do it for your benefit nor your approval. You people in the physics community are in no position to dictate anything to me. You are a bunch of crackpots who believe in magic and teach generations of young people to do likewise." - You
Says the self-professed Christian. You believe in magic, and teach generations of young people to do likewise, too... albeit without any actual evidence, unlike science teachers.
"Part of my thesis is that there are only four dimensions, no more and no less, but this is something that I am not prepared to write about at this time. I just want to approach the subject from a less philosophical angle. The lattice must be at least 3-D since we can observe three dimensions. Why is there a need for a fourth dimension? The reason is simple: if the lattice was 3-D, it would quickly run out of energy because the lattice particles interact with normal matter and are jettisoned from their positions of origin and sent flying in all directions. Empty areas would be created everywhere and this would drastically diminish movement. This is not observed. Therefore, in order to keep the observable 3-D universe moving and doing its thing, it must be refreshed with a new lattice at every instant!" - You
I don't think I can read any more. My IQ is draining away by reverse osmosis over the Internet by attempting to do so.
"I don't believe in the peer review process. Physics is in a sorry state precisely because of the peer review process. Peer review is synonymous with a$$ review in my opinion. So why would I want to publish my ideas in your so-called "respected" journals? I despise them and I refuse to take part in their political (i.e., ass-kissing) shenanigans.
Yes, I know that I am a nut job in the eyes of the scientific community but that suits me just fine. In fact, as a rebel, I like it that way. My eventual vindication and triumph will be all the more sweeter."
You forgot to add the maniacal laughter.
I think I'll stick with rockstar physicists.....
...over muppets who advertise their own self-contradictory mumbo-jumbo. I've just read your articles. Yeesh
You do realise that many of the denizens of this place are scientists, engineers and other sorts of folk you can't abide?
Some standard steps in science according to the world at large:
1) Make a new observation. Check it.
2) Get other people to see if they can see it too
3) Postulate an explanation for what you've seen. Check it.
4) Get other people to see if your postulated explanation works with their related, or independent observations
5a) Try and make a prediction using your explanation that differs from prevailing explanations - see if it happens
or if 5a not possible
5b) Use your explanation and existing data to attempt to accurately post-dict real events
6) Repeat 5 until dead, retired or bored of the topic
If you fail at any point, go back to 1)
Scientific method according to Louis Savain:
1) Have a particularly vivid dream
2) Convince yourself that it is both right and obvious
3) Have a quick google to see if you can find any off-the-cuff remarks from long-dead philosophers, natural philosophers or scientists that don't entirely contradict your dream
4) Publish (NB self-editing for blatant contradictions is not only optional, but to be discouraged)
5) Slag off anyone who contradicts you
If you fail at step 2, you're not trying hard enough, if you fail at 3, just skip it.
"CERN's subterranean Alpine lab"
It's actually under the foothills of the Jura, not the Alps.
Neutrinos are an explanation of the violation of conservation of energy in Beta Decay, made up by Fermi, in the 1930's as a joke. Their existence was not demonstrated until the 1950's, in observations at Nuclear Reactors. Almost every experiment involving neutrinos, like the Solar Neutrino observations, has produced puzzling results.This joke has gone on long enough, we do not understand neutrinos.
If there's no systematic cockup, that is.
But but but...
Isn't all speed relative? There's no absolute zero-point of speed to measure anything relative TO is there?
In the LHC, for example you bung some particles in opposite directions round Ye Ringe at 0.8c, say but doesn't one particle 'see' the other (or not, thinking about it) approaching at 1.6c? Relative to itself, of course, but all the same...
So is it then impossible for any object in the universe to 'see' another approaching it at >2.0c ? (obviously photons travelling head on to each other should be at 2c relative).
So many words, so little understanding!
Look up "Time Dilation" - Here's a quick précis, as velocity tend towards the SoL time slows. An object such as a photon moving at the SoL is not subject to time at all so from the perspective* of a photon the whole universe is stationary.
Nothing is "obvious" in the quantum world!
*Apologies for the anthromorphication of the photon but at twenty to five on a Friday I’m never going to bother to explain it properly.
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