Space Travel

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_Simon_

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<p>Does anyone know if its a proven fact that its possible to travel at the speed of light or even faster using the right amount of force? Given the great distances in space it would seem impossible to explore other worlds in the future if we are limited to the speed produced by modern day rockets.</p><p>The reason why I ask is because I dont like the idea of us being limited to our own solar system. Even if intergalactic spacetravel most likley wont be a realty during our lifetimes it would somehow make me more calm to know that the adventure does not stop with our eight planets. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Does anyone know if its a proven fact that its possible to travel at the speed of light or even faster using the right amount of force? Given the great distances in space it would seem impossible to explore other worlds in the future if we are limited to the speed produced by modern day rockets.The reason why I ask is because I dont like the idea of us being limited to our own solar system. Even if intergalactic spacetravel most likley wont be a realty during our lifetimes it would somehow make me more calm to know that the adventure does not stop with our eight planets. <br /> Posted by _Simon_</DIV></p><p>No.&nbsp; It is definitely not proven we can accelerate mass to (or beyond) the speed of light.&nbsp; It might be possible if we ignore Special Relativity, but that doesn't seem possible as Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity has been shown to be quite the rock solid theory that has been tested and confirmed time and time again.</p><p>It might take quite some time, but there are possibilities that we might be able to achieve speeds approach 10% the speed of light.&nbsp; Interstellar travel to some of our neighbors could be very achievable.</p><p>I believe we will not be stuck to the contstraints of our solar system, but we have some major internal struggles and hurdles that must be overcome before we could focus on a project like this.&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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_Simon_

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>No.&nbsp; It is definitely not proven we can accelerate mass to (or beyond) the speed of light.&nbsp; It might be possible if we ignore Special Relativity, but that doesn't seem possible as Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity has been shown to be quite the rock solid theory that has been tested and confirmed time and time again.It might take quite some time, but there are possibilities that we might be able to achieve speeds approach 10% the speed of light.&nbsp; Interstellar travel to some of our neighbors could be very achievable.I believe we will not be stuck to the contstraints of our solar system, but we have some major internal struggles and hurdles that must be overcome before we could focus on a project like this.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by derekmcd</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>What makes you say that we might achieve speeds approach 10% ? Any new science that suggests that?&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;What makes you say that we might achieve speeds approach 10% ? Any new science that suggests that?&nbsp; <br />Posted by _Simon_</DIV><br /><br />10% of the speed of light is a optimistic view of whet we could achieve if we had gobs of money and political will to throw at the problem. Neither of which is available now, BTW.</p><p>The speed of light seems to be an inviolable law of the universe. It would take all the energy available IN the universe to accelrate any ship to <em>just below</em> the speed of light. We could never supply enough energy to get it TO the speed of light.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Does anyone know if its a proven fact that its possible to travel at the speed of light or even faster using the right amount of force? Given the great distances in space it would seem impossible to explore other worlds in the future if we are limited to the speed produced by modern day rockets.The reason why I ask is because I dont like the idea of us being limited to our own solar system. Even if intergalactic spacetravel most likley wont be a realty during our lifetimes it would somehow make me more calm to know that the adventure does not stop with our eight planets. <br />Posted by _Simon_</DIV></p><p>To the best of our current knowledge of physics, it is impossible to get from point A to point B any faster than light.</p><p>The only method that has been proposed involves worm holes and the best available information is that the amount of energy required to keep a macroscopic worh hole open exceeds the energy equivalent of all the matter in the observable universe.&nbsp; Worse yet it needs to be in the form of negative energy, which is exotic if it exists at all.</p><p>That does not mean we are stuck with the solar system. but it means that we will have to be very clever to get beyond it.&nbsp; And a round trip is even more difficult.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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_Simon_

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>10% of the speed of light is a optimistic view of whet we could achieve if we had gobs of money and political will to throw at the problem. Neither of which is available now, BTW.The speed of light seems to be an inviable law of the universe. It would take all the energy available IN the universe to accelrate any ship to just below the speed of light. We could never supply enough energy to get it TO the speed of light.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by MeteorWayne</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;So you are saying that for one ship, no matter what size it would take all energy in the universe to make it go as fast as the light? Could you please explain how you came to that conclusion?&nbsp; </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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baulten

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;So you are saying that for one ship, no matter what size it would take all energy in the universe to make it go as fast as the light? Could you please explain how you came to that conclusion?&nbsp; <br /> Posted by _Simon_</DIV></p><p>Special relativity says that objects gain mass as they approach the speed of light.&nbsp; They also contract in length, and time passes slower in that frame of reference as compared to a stationary FoR.&nbsp; To reach the speed of light requires an infinite amount of energy, because at the speed of light any massive particle has infinite mass. </p>
 
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MeteorWayne

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;So you are saying that for one ship, no matter what size it would take all energy in the universe to make it go as fast as the light? Could you please explain how you came to that conclusion?&nbsp; <br />Posted by _Simon_</DIV><br /><br />I can't. Einstein did. I don't pretend to grok all of the Theory of Special and General Relativity. You'll have to read it on your own, and I or Dr Rocket will suggest some easier to handle texts. I understand enough to get that it's what he said, and I know that every test of his theories has passed with no doubt. So far, he's 100% right. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;So you are saying that for one ship, no matter what size it would take all energy in the universe to make it go as fast as the light? Could you please explain how you came to that conclusion?&nbsp; <br /> Posted by _Simon_</DIV></p><p>Like MW said... The technology is plausible.&nbsp; The means are not (not yet, anyway).&nbsp;</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(spacecraft)&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As for accelerating to the speed of light, it is impossible for even the smallest particle.&nbsp; The relativistic version of Newton's 2nd law (F=ma) will tell you that acceleration approaches zero the closer you get to the speed of light.</p><p>Then there is E=mc^2/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2).&nbsp; If v (velocity) equal c (speed of light), it becomes E=mc^2/0... can't have that happen.&nbsp; The closer your velocity gets to the speed of light, the larger E (total energy) becomes which means the total mass also increases as C^2 is the only constant in the equation. </p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;So you are saying that for one ship, no matter what size it would take all energy in the universe to make it go as fast as the light? Could you please explain how you came to that conclusion?&nbsp; <br />Posted by _Simon_</DIV></p><p>No, it would take more than all the energy in the universe.&nbsp; It would take an infinite amount of energy.&nbsp; It comes right out of special relativity.&nbsp; This Wikipedia article on special relativity is pretty good and explains the problem.&nbsp; Basically the quantity called "gamma" is infinite at the speed of light.</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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Anglocowboy

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<p>So if objects gain mass as they approach the speed of light, then does any acceleration cause a change in mass?&nbsp; Will my mass increase (however minutely) as I go from sitting to running?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "Make like Siamese twins and split... and then one of you die." </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>So if objects gain mass as they approach the speed of light, then does any acceleration cause a change in mass?&nbsp; Will my mass increase (however minutely) as I go from sitting to running?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by Anglocowboy</DIV></p><p>Mass is dependent on the reference frame used in the measurement.&nbsp; If you go from sitting to running then your mass measured in the reference of the sofa in which you were sitting will increase very slightly.&nbsp; Your mass in your own reference frame (in which you are stationary) will not change.&nbsp;</p><p>It is speed, not acceleration that is directly related to mass increase.&nbsp; The effect is quite small except at speeds that are a significant fraction of the speed of light.</p><p>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity<br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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derekmcd

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>So if objects gain mass as they approach the speed of light, then does any acceleration cause a change in mass?&nbsp; Will my mass increase (however minutely) as I go from sitting to running?&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> Posted by Anglocowboy</DIV></p><p>Yes, but it's not something you could measure in your own frame of reference.&nbsp; Not to mention that adding a few km per hour to your velocity would be so statistically insignificant that it's almost pointless to look at it that way.&nbsp; Measurements don't really&nbsp; become relavent until you start approaching relativistic velocities.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>[edit:&nbsp; I was in reply mode while cooking dinner... I see DrRocket beat me to it.]&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div> </div><br /><div><span style="color:#0000ff" class="Apple-style-span">"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing." - Homer Simpson</span></div> </div>
 
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aphh

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<p>This gets more interesting, if you throw in the possibility, however miniscule, that somebody somewhere in another star system already figured out how to do star travel.</p><p>Because star systems vary in age, an older more mature system might have produced life far earlier than our own system, and they eventually evolved just like we're doing now and became a star travelling civilization.</p><p>But because the age of a civilization is limited (the more advanced civilization, the shorter the life-span), we never met before the advanced civilization from another star system vanished and we vere only perhaps amoebas at that time.</p><p>All purely speculation, but if star travel could work from this solar system towards another, it might have worked in the opposite direction too at some point in time (not a UFO fanatic here, but took a astrobiology 101 in the Open University recently). </p>
 
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