[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: starship-design: This and that.

Steve VanDevender wrote:
> Genny (actually Kevin) Houston writes:
>  > To: Steve VanDevender
>  > Re: Traveling Faster Than Light.
>  >
>  > In message dated Sun Jun 15 1997 you write: (reformated)
>  >
>  > > More importantly, relativistic physics, as we now know it,
>  > > does not in any way prohibit a material object from traveling
>  > > at any speed less than C, but does prevent anything from traveling
>  > > faster than that.
>  >
>  > It is my understanding (limited though it may be) that Einstein's
>  > equations do not prohibit travel FASTER THAN the speed of light,
>  > but only prohibit travel AT the speed of light.  Is this not correct?
> The problem is that if you go faster than light Einstein's equations
> start producing complex numbers (that is, numbers with both real and
> imaginary components) as results.  Nobody knows how to interpret the
> imaginary components in a physical context, nor has any evidence of
> physical phenomena with these quantities been seen.

Maybe because we haven't done it yet? 

>  > To: Steve VanDevender
>  > Re: Talking Faster Than Light.
>  >
>  > In message dated Sun Jun 15 1997 you write: (reformated)
>  >
>  > > The few FTL effects that are thought to exist in particle
>  > > physics don't translate to macroscopic objects, and even
>  > > when postulated don't transmit information or mass faster
>  > > than light.
>  >
>  > Again, my limited understanding tells me that communication via
>  > particle/wave duality phenomenom is possible.
> Many people have thought so until they actually worked it out in detail.
> For example, if you try to treat tachyons as quantum particles you can
> either have particles that go faster than light that can't interact with
> anything, or if they can interact with anything they have to go slower
> than light.
> The sci.physics FAQ has quite a bit of material on relativity and
> quantum mechanics that is relevant to this discussion.  The primary
> mirror is at
> http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/relativity.html
> Also in hopes avoid the charge that I'm pooh-poohing FTL without having
> studied up on it, I will recommend the book _Faster than Light_ by Nick
> Herbert (who has also written a book on QM, _Quantum Reality_, that I
> haven't read) which covers the issues around FTL and modern physics in a
> fairly realistic (and even slightly optimistic) way, while still
> recognizing the fairly substantial difficulties of reconciling FTL
> against the way we currently see the universe to work.  His opinion is
> that general relativity and quantum mechanics are the most likely to
> have any possible FTL loopholes, but also explains why the various
> proposed loopholes presented to date are physically implausible.

The loopholes may have their problems, but it is too early to dismiss
FTL travel. FTL communication CANNOT be dismissed. It has been done
already. I know you won't believe it, but most people don't believe
things that are hard to accept against relativity.
BTW: Have you heard of autodynamics? According to it FTL is easily
possible. And who's to say that relativity is the almighty God of
physics? Maybe its not. 

Remember Arthur C. Clarke's states of developing a theory:

1: Its impossible, don't waste my time.
2: Its possible but impractical
3: I agreed with you all along

Kyle Mcallister