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Author Topic: Faster than the speed of light?  (Read 5031 times)

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Offline mitchfry

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Faster than the speed of light?
« on: 21:21:02, 27 July, 2010 »
Following on from a recent post (infinite or one, faster than the speed of light), the question was raised about the singularity ("big bang") expanding at a rate clearly exceeding the speed of light. There is actually no problem with this (see this months Sky at Night magazine). Although two objects cannot move faster than the speed of light relative to each other, there is no such restriction on the expansion of the actual space through which they move. Although the universe is expanding, it is not filling up "empty space", but rather it is the "space" itself that is expanding. Beyond our cosmological horizon (our known universe), the universe still exists but we cannot see it because it is expanding faster than the speed of light. Therefore the entire universe may be many, many times larger than what we can observe, or will ever be able to observe!
Mitch
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Offline MrYannah

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #1 on: 22:54:09, 02 February, 2011 »
i agree, but have no proof :)

Offline starf

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #2 on: 09:06:25, 17 February, 2011 »
In his experiment of 1964 Bertozzi, accelerated electrons and independently measured their kinetic energies. As the force acting on very fast electrons increased, their kinetic energies increased to very large values, but their speed did not increase appreciably.

All massless particles according to Einstein's postulates can travel at natures ultimate speed, but entities that carry energy or information cannot exceed this limit. Moreover, no particle that has mass can actually reach the speed of light, no matter how long it is accelerated.

Its not clear to me how space can travel faster than the speed of light, although certain hypothetical subatomic particles like the tachyon are not constrained.

It sounds an interesting article. Do you have a quick resume of what the gist of it?
im too much of a cheapskate to buy a copy.

Offline Scotty H

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #3 on: 02:02:33, 26 February, 2011 »
The way i read it was the universe as a whole was expanding faster than the speed of light not what was in it, Most interesting :tease:
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Offline Scotty H

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #4 on: 02:14:58, 26 February, 2011 »
Just remebered reading a book about atomic expansion explaining that you would'nt truly see the universe expanding because you are expanding at the same rate. Apparently you only see the side effects... will have to dig this one out again
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Offline mitchfry

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #5 on: 20:47:44, 19 May, 2011 »
The way i read it was the universe as a whole was expanding faster than the speed of light not what was in it, Most interesting :tease:

Exactly, there is no restriction on the speed of expansion of the space between particles (it is massless). The expansion of the singularity in the "big bang" cannot be explained unless it is assumed that the expansion of space was far greater than the speed of light. In this way the expanding universe actually has something to expand into, otherwise we would have to assume that the universe is being continuously created, and we are back to the "steady state theory"!
If the speed of light were limiting, for both mass and mass-less, would there not be a "ring" of matter & energy at the "edge" of the universe that have all travelled together? So where is it?
Mitch
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Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #6 on: 00:54:20, 22 May, 2011 »
Well Mitch, you are thinking along the same lines as I have.
If I understand you correctly maybe we should change "ring" to "sphere" of mass and energy?
I wonder if from the big bang most of the mass and energy was carried on the leading edge of the expansion.
Everything we see today of the universe is the wake and resulting vortices left trailing from that expansion.
It has been said that the universe is too complex in structure for a such a simple event.
The majority of the universe will have been carried outside our visible range by the faster than light expansion.
Hey! I think we may have explained the missing dark matter/energy that is causing the acceleration of the expansion of the visible universe!

Regards

Barry
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Offline mitchfry

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #7 on: 19:37:35, 26 May, 2011 »
Re: dark matter/energy, maybe we have Barry!! I`m certainly not anti-Einstein, but it does worry me that observations are being made on our known physical universe to provide support and to be "fitted" to a theory. Observations in science should be used to generate a theory, and preferably on more than 20% of known material! The distribution of material in our known universe is explained by "irregularities" in the big bang explosion; how can a singularity have irregularities? Surely this must have been the most homogeneous explosion possible! Consequently the distribution of whatever it was that gave rise to matter must also have been homogeneous, or as we mentioned before, be concentrated at the boundary of a sphere. As you say Barry, what we see now may be just the remnants, with the bulk of the universe way beyond our observational powers. Indeed, the cosmic microwave background, that is taken as evidence of the big bang, may well be evidence of the further reaches of our universe!
Mitch
WO FLT132mm, CGE mount, SBIG ST-2000XCM. Captured and processed in MaximDL. Under the "sunny" skies of South Yorkshire :).

Offline Bazzaar

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #8 on: 11:20:37, 03 June, 2011 »
Heh!
we are accidental geniuses  ;)

Barry
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Offline Trow

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #9 on: 14:05:38, 15 May, 2013 »
Sorry, but, until someone observes them directly, I don't believe in faster than light expansion, dark matter, or dark energy.

As far as I'm concerned, it's just as likely (or unlikely) that matter is shrinking - which wouldn't require the "invention" any of the above.

And yes, I have been called mad on many occasions.  :crazy:
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Offline Nomis Elfactem

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #10 on: 15:58:29, 15 May, 2013 »
Huuum... interesting one...

I personally think it's only a matter of time before they get conclusive proof of the existence of dark energy/matter etc.. in fact didn't I hear on the news a couple of weeks ago that they had found the precursors ?

Also, doesn't the shrinking of matter break the law on the conservation of energy (i.e. stuff can neither be made nor destroyed) which is why the hunt for the missing energy/matter is taking place in the first place ???

Like most things.... the sound theoretical work has already been done... which should answer the "invention" argument... it just needs physicist to fill in the gaps and prove it and that always takes time.  It's not that long ago that Hawkins theorised the existence of black holes... it took thirty odd years for the technology to catch up and find one  ;)

S.
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Offline tomhow

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #11 on: 17:17:44, 15 May, 2013 »
I strongly recommend a read of "A Universe  from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1471112683

Although I've always preferred a modified theory of gravity to dark this that or the other, this book helped quite a few different aspects of modern cosmology click into place for me.

Certainly more convincing than the silly string people.


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Offline tomhow

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #12 on: 17:21:37, 15 May, 2013 »
The distribution of material in our known universe is explained by "irregularities" in the big bang explosion; how can a singularity have irregularities? Surely this must have been the most homogeneous explosion possible!

No current theory explains what goes on in a singularity. The quantum irregularities arose when the universe was very small, not when it was a singularity.
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Offline Trow

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #13 on: 16:24:45, 29 May, 2013 »
I strongly recommend a read of "A Universe  from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss


I certainly will - thanks for the tip!

Huuum... interesting one...

I personally think it's only a matter of time before they get conclusive proof of the existence of dark energy/matter etc.. in fact didn't I hear on the news a couple of weeks ago that they had found the precursors ?

Also, doesn't the shrinking of matter break the law on the conservation of energy (i.e. stuff can neither be made nor destroyed) which is why the hunt for the missing energy/matter is taking place in the first place ???
find one  ;)

S.

I would welcome the proof - it would help me sleep better  ;)

Don't see why it's any more of a law breaker than expansion? Matter is mostly space. If the orbit of electron in an atom were to slow down, the orbit would get smaller. Providing gravity binds all the atoms together in the same way the thing made up of the atoms would be smaller. Trouble i we would be unaware of this because our rulers will have shrunk too! Trouble is I guess the shrinking would have to be proportional across all things in a gravitational field? If so, then our only perception would be that other galaxies not gravitationally bound to ours would appear to be moving away - hang on a minute!?


  It's not that long ago that Hawkins theorised the existence of black holes... it took thirty odd years for the technology to catch up

I think Hawkins' area of expertise was Black Spots not Black Holes  - sorry couldn't resist  :embarrass:
Bresser 8" f4.3 Newt, CGEM, unbranded Chinese digital eyepiece.

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Offline markthais

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Re: Faster than the speed of light?
« Reply #14 on: 08:25:49, 05 August, 2013 »
This theoretical question about the speed of light really come down to, light never really travels at C.
Space is not a vacuum. There is no such thing as a pure vacuum. The speed of light depends on the medium it is traveling through. The speed of the light beam will change depending on the different gas or dust it passed through. Even the idea of dark matter may effect its speed.
As a math problem, you can say it is going at C but in real life it will never will.
Mark W.     

 

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