Hidden in Einstein's Math: Faster-than-Light Travel? | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

# Hidden in Einstein's Math: Faster-than-Light Travel?

Discussion in 'Tech, Gadgets & Science Forum' started by Makanyaga, Oct 10, 2012.

1. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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Although Einstein's theories suggest nothing can move faster than the speed of light, two scientists have extended his equations to show what would happen if faster-than-light travel were possible.
Despite an apparent prohibition on such travel by Einsteins theory of special relativity, the scientists said the theory actually lends itself easily to a description of velocities that exceed the speed of light.
"We started thinking about it, and we think this is a very natural extension of Einstein's equations," said applied mathematician James Hill, who co-authored the new paper with his University of Adelaide, Australia, colleague Barry Cox. The paper was published Oct. 3 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.
Special relativity, proposed by Albert Einstein in 1905, showed how concepts like speed are all relative: A moving observer will measure the speed of an object to be different than a stationary observer will. Furthermore, relativity revealed the concept of time dilation, which says that the faster you go, the more time seems to slow down. Thus, the crew of a speeding spaceship might perceive their trip to another planet to take two weeks, while people left behind on Earth would observe their passage taking 20 years.
Yet special relativity breaks down if two people's relative velocity, the difference between their respective speeds, approaches the speed of light. Now, Hill and Cox have extended the theory to accommodate an infinite relative velocity. [Top 10 Implications of Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos]
Interestingly, neither the original Einstein equations, nor the new, extended theory can describe massive objects moving at the speed of light itself. Here, both sets of equations break down into mathematical singularities, where physical properties can't be defined.
"The actual business of going through the speed of light is not defined," Hill told LiveScience. "The theory we've come up with is simply for velocities greater than the speed of light."
In effect, the singularity divides the universe into two: a world where everything moves slower than the speed of light, and a world where everything moves faster. The laws of physics in these two realms could turn out to be quite different.
In some ways, the hidden world beyond the speed of light looks to be a strange one indeed. Hill and Cox's equations suggest, for example, that as a spaceship traveling at super-light speeds accelerated faster and faster, it would lose more and more mass, until at infinite velocity, its mass became zero.
"It's very suggestive that the whole game is different once you go faster than light," Hill said.
Despite the singularity, Hill is not ready to accept that the speed of light is an insurmountable wall. He compared it to crossing the sound barrier. Before Chuck Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound in 1947, many experts questioned whether it could be done. Scientists worried that the plane would disintegrate, or the human body wouldn't survive. Neither turned out to be true.
Fears of crossing the light barrier may be similarly unfounded, Hill said.
"I think it's only a matter of time," he said. "Human ingenuity being what it is, it's going to happen, but maybe it will involve a transportation mechanism entirely different from anything presently envisaged."

Source: Hidden in Einstein's Math: Faster-than-Light Travel? - Yahoo! News

2. ### DonnJF-Expert Member

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Einstein was a real thinker, but from what i read two years ago, Einstein said time travel was possible (you have just verified it!!!) but he said we can only go foward in time but for us to go back in time we must travel beyond speed of light

3. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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4. ### DonnJF-Expert Member

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dah.... It's an unbelievable fact..... The world is full of wonders... Makanyaga

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5. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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Makanyaga. What category of speed do you put electrons moving between two computers connected by some kind of magnetic force on two different continents? And has that speed passed the speed of light?

6. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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Highlander;

I have no clue so far as regards to the issue of categories of speed as you claim, and possibly have never head of any. However, the thing I know, and possibly every physicist knows is that Eistein's 1905 theory put into light that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

As of recent, there were rumors due to an experimental oversight done by some phsicists in Laboratories (in Sweden and Italy if I'm not mistaken) that there emerged partcles which seemed to lead the speed of light to an order of nanoseconds. Latter on however, thorough experimentation on energy measurements indicated that the energy spectrum of the particles assumed to travel faster than light, appeared to be just the same as that of light itself, and so it was ruled out that there was an oversight which caused errors in measurement of the speeds of the said particles.

7. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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This is very informative Makanyaga. I like it.... Were the particles observed in an underground particles accelerator?
Did they give those particles a name? And by the way, what is a nanosecond in figures? How would it look like?

8. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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Highlander;
1nanosecond is equal to 1/10,000,000,000 of a second, which is the same 1 tenbillionth of a second. For the rest of your questions, you may read the extracted passage below.

Study rejects "faster than light" particle finding

The Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) tunnel, located at the CERN particle research centre near Geneva, is seen in this undated handout photograph.
Credit: Reuters/CERN-INFS/Handout

By Robert Evans
GENEVA | Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:35pm EST

GENEVA (Reuters) - An international team of scientists in Italy studying the same neutrino particles colleagues say appear to have travelled faster than light rejected the startling finding this weekend, saying their tests had shown it must be wrong.
The September announcement of the finding, backed up last week after new studies, caused a furor in the scientific world as it seemed to suggest Albert Einstein's ideas on relativity, and much of modern physics, were based on a mistaken premise.
The first team, members of the OPERA experiment at the Gran Sasso laboratory south of Rome, said they recorded neutrinos beamed to them from the CERN research center in Switzerland as arriving 60 nanoseconds before light would have done.
But ICARUS, another experiment at Gran Sasso -- which is deep under mountains and run by Italy's National Institute of National Physics -- now argues that their measurements of the neutrinos energy on arrival contradict that reading.
In a paper posted Saturday on the same website as the OPERA results, arxiv.org/abs/1110.3763v2, the ICARUS team says their findings "refute a superluminal (faster than light) interpretation of the OPERA result."

They argue, on the basis of recently published studies by two top U.S. physicists, that the neutrinos pumped down from CERN, near Geneva, should have lost most of their energy if they had travelled at even a tiny fraction faster than light.

But in fact, the ICARUS scientists say, the neutrino beam as tested in their equipment registered an energy spectrum fully corresponding with what it should be for particles traveling at the speed of light and no more.

Physicist Tomasso Dorigo, who works at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, and the U.S. Fermilab near Chicago, said in a post on the website Scientific Blogging that the ICARUS paper was "very simple and definitive."
It says, he wrote, "that the difference between the speed of neutrinos and the speed of light cannot be as large as that seen by OPERA, and is certainly smaller than that by three orders of magnitude, and compatible with zero."
Under Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, nothing can travel faster than light. That idea lies at the heart of all current science of the cosmos and of how the vast variety of particles that make it up behave.
There was widespread skepticism when the OPERA findings were first revealed, and even the leaders of the experiment insisted that they were not announcing a discovery but simply recording measurements they had made and carefully checked.
However, last Friday they said a new experiment with shorter neutrino beams from CERN and much larger gaps between them had produced the same result. Independent scientists said however this was not conclusive.
Other experiments are being prepared -- at Fermilab and at the KEK laboratory in Japan -- to try to replicate OPERA's findings. Only confirmation from one of these would open the way for a full scientific discovery to be declared.
(Reported by Robert Evans; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

Source:Study rejects faster than light particle finding | Reuters

9. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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I have no idea of even how a common particle like an electron looks like let alone the neutrino because I have not phsically ever happened to see one. I guess some scientists, like those at CERN might know its appearance!

10. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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Beautiful story...
thanks!

11. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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You are probably wondering why there is so much interest and excitement on this subject from my side. This is an area which tickles my imagination a great deal. An area which concerns human curiosity of the highest order. In 1982 I was lucky to visit a particles accelerator near San Jose California and I have always marveled at that extent of human ingenuity in search of facts. they had photographs of streaks of the passage of little particles called quarks I think, but they were not themselves visible as you suggest--if I remember correctly. Have a great day!

12. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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Highlander;
That is a very wonderful story part of yours! As for me, I would be, one day, happy to get a chance to visit one of such laboratories, but suspect I would therefafter likely fall sick for some months,..., just because of the envy that "why am I not one of the experts working at an organisation like CERN or NASA, so that the most I can do here in this globe is just to visit,..., just visit and hear just a litttle of those wonders and miracles these people do?"!
This actually frustrates me more than anything else.

Higlander, it might happen that I may get the chance to visit any of these two organisations but then just end up declining for the fear of getting worst post vist frustrations,...very possible,..., take it from me!

13. ### Mama MdogoJF-Expert Member

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PREAMBLE:
Einstein's special relativity theory, first pronounced in 1905, states that speed is relative. A moving observer will register an object's velocity with a different value than that registered by a stationary observer. Also, special relativity postulates that as your travel with a higher velocity, time dilation occurs. Remember the famous twin paradox? One twin stays on Earth, while the other orbits the planet in spacecraft. After many years, the twin from Earth would have aged more. Special relativity, however, limits the relative velocity of two objects (A and B) when their speeds approaches that of light. Apart from Newtonian limit, velocities are not additive quantities, so the difference velocity between A and B is not equal to their relative velocity and particularly has a smaller absolute value.

THEORETICAL ARGUMENT:
Let me share with you extracts from a publications by Prof Hill and Dr Cox.
Both Cox and Hill have confidence in human ingenuity to surpass the light barrier, as many other breakthrough managed to overcome other popular beliefs. If this will ever happen, indeed only time will tell. The findings were reported in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.Professor Jim Hill and Dr Barry Cox in the University's School of Mathematical Sciences have developed new formulas that allow for travel beyond this limit. Of course, these formulas aren't practical in the world, but provide an interesting view to a world where faster than light speeds are possible.
"Since the introduction of special relativity there has been much speculation as to whether or not it might be possible to travel faster than the speed of light, noting that there is no substantial evidence to suggest that this is presently feasible with any existing transportation mechanisms," said Professor Hill.

"Our approach is a natural and logical extension of the Einstein Theory of Special Relativity, and produces anticipated formulae without the need for imaginary numbers or complicated physics," says Professor Hill.

Their formulas extend special relativity to a situation where the relative velocity can be infinite, and can be used to describe motion at speeds faster than light. In this new, imaginary world, the laws of physics are sensibly different, like one might expect. For instance, if a spaceship were to travel at ever increasing, faster than light velocity, it would lose more and more mass, until at infinite velocity, its mass becomes zero.
"We are mathematicians, not physicists, so we've approached this problem from a theoretical mathematical perspective. Should it, however, be proven that motion faster than light is possible, then that would be game changing. Our paper doesn't try and explain how this could be achieved, just how equations of motion might operate in such regimes." said Dr Cox
A three-dimensional (right) graph shows the relationship between three different velocities: v, u and U, where v is the velocity of a second observer measured by a first observer, u is the velocity of a moving particle measured by the second observer, and U is the relative velocity of the particle to the first observer. (c) Hill, Cox

Declaration of interest: Mama Mdogo is has great devotions to six natural scientists: Archimedes (philosopher/physicist), Isaac Newton (Mathematician/Phyisict), Albert Einstein (theoretical physicist), Linus Pauling (molecular chemist), Carl Sagan (astro physicist) and Stephen Hawking (theoretical physicist).

14. ### GaijinJF-Expert Member

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Cheesy or cute?

I chose cute

15. ### MakanyagaJF-Expert Member

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It is my guess that Einstein theory didn't emerge from the imaginary world but rather the real. It is my guess also that Profs Hill and Cox will eventually work out their mathematical formulae in a real world simulator and apply them into solving real life scenerios rather than leaving pie as pie with an excuse that they are not physicists. Otherwise things to be left hanging in the air as these will have the adverse effect of leaving behind a hell of confused people (who have understood nothing)

16. ### Mama MdogoJF-Expert Member

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I wish Prof John W. Moffat could read your comment since he is the best authority I currently know who can provide a positive answer to your comments. I admire him when it comes to issues on the speed of light, he is a Professor Emeritus in physics at the University of Toronto; and an adjunct Professor in physics at the University of Waterloo and a resident affiliate member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

17. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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it's very fascinating down there underground in the accelerator. Back in 1982 computers were not as advanced as they are today, so it is possible a lot more has been discovered. I don't see why you should feel all that bad about NOT being one of the experts working in the particles accelerator. Of course they probably don't share everything, but what is wrong with enjoying what they tell us1?! There is of course a challenge to us all here in Africa to do something about it, but I honestly don't see anything with learning from what they do and enjoying whatever little they tell us. These particles accelerators might in fact be scientific tourist attractions I believe. Make a point to see one. They are really neat human feats to see.... I was in my early 20s when I saw one in California. It was amazing.... Steal a moment to visit one of these if you should happen to go out there. By the way, where are you located currently?

18. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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I liked Carl Sagan, too, Mama mdogo--not for his astro physics prowess (a cosmological genius if you like), but his ability to simplify complex matters of physics on TV for all the little minds watching to understand. I found him to have been just as much a genius as the others on you list.

19. ### gfsonwinJF-Expert Member

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you have ambitions like mine. once upon i used to think is it possible for me to visit any of the scientific labs where scientist discover things which we use them. it happened one day i visited Dr Terry's lab where she discovered a nano carrier for durobixin (anti cancer drug)

i felt like why not me working in this lab, where people make things happen?? but am struggling with the help of nano far programme i may be among them.

20. ### HighlanderJF-Expert Member

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