Thursday, January 13, 2011

Light Travel

Most Sci-Fi flics treat the idea of traveling the speed of light (or faster) as something rather ordinary, spaceships traveling in and out of light speed as easily as our cars darting through traffic.
However,when the concept of light speed travel is discussed in any classroom or academic setting with real physicists, it's completely dismissed as impossible and downright outlandish.

Physicists generally state the following as their reason :

Because E=mc sq, as a ship approaches light speed, it's mass would increase which would require more energy or fuel to accelerate the ship. As the mass increases to infinity , there will never be enough fuel to power the vehicle over the threshold of light speed. Add to that the minor detail of time slowing down as one approaches the speed of light, so that even if there was an infinite fuel supply, there will never be enough time to get the ship up to speed.

Not only do i think these physicists are wrong, but i think man is capable of traveling many times the speed of light. My reasons for this are neither mathematical or scientific. I base my conclusions on an experience i had in grade school. I was presented with a math problem in the 3rd grade. Although all the details of the problem are unclear to me today, i remember that after a few minutes of calculations my answer was ....... ' Ted's train arrived at the station 5 hours before it left.'.... The answer was absurd so i reworked it.........Same answer. I reworked it again and again...Same answer. I finally concluded to myself that the the math problem was unsolvable, that if Sue and Ted left home at 5:00pm on a train traveling 50 miles per hour, they would never arrive at their destination......... After the teacher introduced me to a brand new field of mathematics, i easily solved the problem.

When it comes to our physical world , i believe that conventional mathematics works fine up till a certain point. Once we begin to speed things up beyond 50,000 miles per hour, math gets a little peculiar. The faster we go after that, standard mathematical models fall apart at the seams. Eventually physicists when wrestling with light speed travel, become like me in the 3rd grade. They come up with absurd answers, rework the problem again and again, and finally conclude that light travel is impossible, essentially their version of .. ' Ted's train arrived at the station 5 hours before it left.'...The only difference is that there has not yet appeared a teacher to introduce these scientists to a new field of mathematics, one that is compatible to the world of light speed, mass and energy. The day mankind discovers this 'New Math', the conundrum of traveling light speed or many times it, will unravel quite easily.

Before 1940, it was thought that traveling beyond the speed of sound would be either impossible or catastrophic to the traveler, hence the name 'sound BARRIER'. ...However, technology improved till finally a Bell XS-1 was able to scale the sound barrier with Chuck Yeager at the helm, and the only catastrophic event was a large 'POP' sound once Chuck got on the other side of 750 miles per hour....

From impossible to accomplish to can be done but with a brief popping sound .

I therefore conclude that traveling beyond the light BARRIER may be much easier than we think once we
1. improve our technology
2. discover a 'New math'
....and I wouldn't be surprised that once a spacecraft crosses that barrier there will be some equivalent of a popping sound ( although there's no sound in space).

Until then , I'm placing a Help Wanted ad--
........................................... Help Wanted--Teacher who's great at math...............................................

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