Georgia Tech Tech+knowledge+Y: Light Speed



What does it mean to make
the jump to light speed? First, let's think about
what it means to travel at the speed of light. So nothing moves
faster than light. Light travels at 186,000
miles per second. So let's take an example. If I want light to go between
the sun and the earth, it takes eight minutes
to make that jump. If we want to travel on a
jumbo jet between the earth and the sun, it's going
to take us 19 to 20 years to travel that average
93 million miles. So it's obviously very nice idea
to go at the speed of light, but there are some
problems with it. First problem is, more massive. So the more we try to get
close to the speed of light– so we're getting harder
and harder to accelerate, and it's taking more
and more energy and fuel to get us up to that speed. And the clocks measure
different times. So you're going to be
maybe late for your battle. Or you'll be too early, because
time is different on the ship than it is to
something stationary. But here's the real problem. We're actually going
to be in a galaxy far, far away, that maybe it's about
the same size as the Milky Way. And it takes light 100,000
years to move from one end of the galaxy to the other. So even if we're going
at the speed of light, there's no way Han Solo
is going to make it on time to an epic
battle by moving 100,000 years across the galaxy. So what we need to do is to take
those two points in space time and make them closer. So we want a curved space time. So when we put on our
hyperdrive, or our warp drive, or whatever we're going to use
the power our ship, what we're really doing is not moving
faster than the speed of light, we're curving space time,
or we're using a wormhole to tunnel through. Or maybe even going
into a higher dimension we don't know about yet. But we're shrinking that
distance so we can move faster and it appears we can. The problem is, is that
to curve spacetime, we need something we
don't actually have, which is called exotic matter. A fancy name for things we
don't know how to produce. So if we could
create matter that violated the laws of
physics that we have today, then we could potentially
build up this warp drive, fix the clock so that we
don't arrive either really old or really young
for our battle, have exotic matter get us
there, and then protect the ship and ourselves from
the forces that rip us apart. And then we've got ourselves
a jump into hyperspace.

1 thought on “Georgia Tech Tech+knowledge+Y: Light Speed”

  1. The fastest movable and moving "thing" we have been able to discover is light. We're seemingly assuming that therefore nothing is either able to go faster or simply never has done so. Except for that seemingly instant entanglement of two related particles communicating at a "spooky distance" that Einstein was unable to account for. But then perhaps communication is not a thing. Or perhaps for Einstein, particles could not be aware enough to communicate.

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