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# time travel

the speed of time?
 (+1, -4) [vote for, against]

Ok, i'm not clued up on any thoery names, and i'm not verry good with words (speling grammar etc) so please bear with me on this one.

as you mite already know if you calibrate two atomic clocks (verry accurate) to the same time, then place one of them on a high speed jet, the jet goes reely reely fast and whrn it lands the clock on board is verry slightly behind the time on the stationary one (its slowed down). So if u could go super megga hyper fast time mite slow down so much that it starts going bakwards! (i know it sounds odd but it mite) The other option is going reely reely slowly, this would make time speed up. but as time is going at a particular rate at the moment (even wen we dont apear to be moving) this leads to the question "what are we moving relitive to?" Ok the clock on the plane is moving fast relitive to the clock on the ground, but are both those clocks moving relative to somthing else (that time is measured against) i wil call this "X". so if a vehicle of some sort were to leave earth, leave it's orbit and completely stop moving relitive to earth, it may still be moving relative to "X". so if we could then isolate the vehicle from ANY movment in som kind of temporal bubble, earth and our solar system (even galaxy) would shoot off in some direction (relative to the vehicle) depending on how fast they are moving and in wat direction (relative to "X"), remembering that the vehicle is now stationary (relative to "X"). so now this vehicle is not moving at all, and therefore has slowed down SO MUCH that time is actualy going faster ( eg a few seconds of vehicle time(stationary) mite be hours or days in earth time(moving)). of course to benifit from this time method of travel the vehicle would then hav to speed up back to earth time where it would be in the future!

ok, this took a HELL of a long time to type out, so dont go dissing it i'm only 16 and i hav alot to learn if i want to succeed in my plans for world domination, any feedbak wil be apreciated. thanks 4 reading!

 — ugly_kid, Feb 04 2001

This explains one of the many misconceptions of relativity you exhibit. [egnor, Feb 04 2001]

"if we could then isolate the vehicle from ANY movment in som kind of temporal bubble". I can't really see any way of doing this. As far as I know, the universe is constantly expanding in all directions (as evidenced by the red shift of celestial bodies), so I'm not sure just how readily you could isolate your vehicle from all motion.
 — Wes, Feb 04 2001

 Relativity, like quantum mechanics, is strikingly counterintuitive. Until you understand at least something of the math behind it, you're not going to be able to reason about it very effectively.

 The sort of "if you go faster, time slows down, so if you go really really fast maybe it will reverse, and if you go really slow perhaps it will speed up" reasoning you follow, while natural for an engineer used to physical systems, is deeply flawed.

 (For starters, it's very, very hard to reason well about "time speeding up" or "time slowing down" without tying your head in knots.)

But hey. Don't wait for your school to teach you special relativity; go read about it now. The Web is full of excellent references on the topic.
 — egnor, Feb 04 2001

 I do apologize, but I can't figure out where to put this thing, so I'll just put it here and ask that people not mind for a day or two. Thanks.

You're in a car and you're going the speed of light. You decide its a little dark and turn you're headlights on. What happens? I'm not goofy to physics, and am actually in tune with it, but for some reason I draw a complete blank. I have no idea what happens. Light only goes one speed, so it can't exactly go forward in front of itself at double the speed. As far as I know. And yes, if you're asking, I *will* kick myself in the ass if its something simple that I forgot to ammend to the logic. Help. hlmp...hmp...ugh...
 — etre, Feb 15 2001

I'd love to see Bart Simpson writing that on the blackboard. That or "I will not try to violate the laws of physics."
 — centauri, Feb 15 2001

 Homer and Lisa beat him to it.

 Homer: "And this perpetual motion machine she built is a joke! It just keeps spinning faster and faster! Lisa, get in here!"

 (Lisa enters)

Homer: "Young lady, in this house we *obey* the laws of physics!"
 — Uncle Nutsy, Feb 15 2001

I do have a comment on that if you're car is traveling at the speed of light thing. Theoretically if you are in your car and traveling at the speed of light and turn on your lights you should see your lights turn on. It doensn't matter how fast you are travelling, your light beam is going to travel at the speed of light. Another thing to think about in comparison to this theory. Say you are on a flatbed trailor (given that it's really really really really long) you are going an indicated 60 mph and the flatbed you are on is travelling at 60 mph you are going an actual 120 mph. If you are traveling at the speed of light and turn on your lights theoretically the light is travelling 2 times the speed of sound.
 — Cereal, Aug 09 2001

That's pretty slow light! I'm guessing that you meant '2 times the speed of light', but it's one of the quirks of relativity that the speed of light is constant *relative to the observer*. Einstein's original 'thought experiment' (where he put himself on a tram) covered this.
 — angel, Aug 09 2001

 //If you are traveling at the speed of light and turn on your lights theoretically the light is travelling 2 times the speed of [light].//

 Nope. Theoretically the light is travelling exactly at the speed of light *as viewed in your frame of reference*. Rev up your starship and go for a ride--first, you can't quite get to the speed of light, as PeterSealy notes. But due to high-octane dilithium crystals, you get going 99% lightspeed. You pull out an atomic-vibration clock and turn on the headlights. Damn, with every tick of your clock a photon from the headlights goes 300,000 km--it's travelling the speed of light even though your (magically atemporal) speedometer shows you're already travelling 297,000 km/sec yourself! What gives?



 To me, sitting on a nearby asteroid and looking into your ship's cabin with a telescope, your atomic clock is barely ticking. With every tick of *my* atomic clock your ship travels 297,000 km and the photons from your headlights travel 300,000 km, but your clock ticks so slowly that from *my* frame of reference you cover 29,700,000 km in each of *your* seconds and your headlight photons cover 30,000,000 km in that same time.

 (Does your head hurt yet?) OK, here's the crux move. Your time is dilated such that (as viewed by me) in one second *by your clock* light travels a distance relative to your ship equal to (lightDistanceTravelled - shipDistanceTravelled) = (30,000,000 km - 29,700,000 km) = 300,000 km. So I know, without asking, that you are observing light travelling 300,000 km/sec too.

 <---/simplified math>

 The real math has to account for contraction of space in your direction of travel as well as dilation of time, but that's the general idea. No matter what your velocity relative to any other point in the universe, you will always measure the speed of light to be exactly the same.

 So...what about the extra energy imparted by the motion of your ship to the photons streaming from your headlights? Do I, sitting on my asteroid, see anything out of the ordinary about them? Yeah! I look at them with my special All-Frequency Goggles and wonder where in the world you got headlights that emit high-energy gamma ray photons! ;-)

Post these questions on the Bad Astronomy forum and you'll get plenty of info. And if egnor, PeterSealy, and everyone else who is smarter than me can offer some corrections, please do so!
 — Dog Ed, Aug 09 2001

(I suspect the original idea was a troll. He can't spell 'what' or 'might' ('wat' and 'mite', respectively), but can spell 'temporal' and 'stationary'.)
 — protean, Aug 09 2001

 In response to all these light being released at faster that light or near light speeds, and obviosly light will come out. when you drive down your local interstate at 65 MPH, you are traveling 65 MPH RELATIVE TO THE EARTH. if you turn on your headlights, they will be travening at SPEED OF LIGHT PLUS 65 MPH, so the light travels FASTER THAN ITSELF, but relatively, it only travels at the speed of light.

there is some kind of distortion going on (because our brains can't process that small of an instant in time)to "even out" the temporal discrepancy so that the observer "sees" (by "sees" i mean the light reaches his eyes) the light at it's relative-to-the-observer speed (the standard speed of light) while the person traveling with the light does too.
 — omega_scientist, Jan 16 2002

Love to see the speed limit signs 'round your way. N.E. way, this is totally baked once we suss Teleportation. No need for f**k off sized engines either...
 — Starmanz, Jan 16 2002

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