# Does faster than light = time travel?

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Ok, conventional thinking can be checked at the door, because i am not discussing it here. I believe the speed of light© has nothing to do with time, just the perception of events. We see light, we measure time by it, simple as that. Ok so scenario #1, you are traveling less than the speed of light, things sem to go on around you in 'real time' as such it makes sense to you, and time appears normal.

scenario #2 you are traveling at the speed of light say for 10 years. time appears to stop, matter of fact, the universe probably looks completly black to you, regardless it doesnt matter. The rest of the world you know is happening in a timeframe relative to them, they notice nothing, you ariave at a destination, for the people on eart, nothing has happened, for you, you look back at earth, and time appears to start again where it left off when you started your trip. But thats just your observation of it. 10 lightyears away earth is still trucking alone all the normal. You and earth are on the same timeframe, but it only looks like they are behind the times, (perception) because while you were traveling at the speed of light their world was taking place as normal. Scenario 2.5 you speed back to earth for 10 years at the speed of light, time will appear to travel twice as fast as normal, when you ariave at earth, the light you percieve has caught up, but you didnt time travel . Scenario 3. You travel 2 times the speed of light. For 10 years you do 2c, you look back at earth as you travel, and it seems to go twice as slow as normal, meening it appears to be going backwards. , but its not, its taking place in a normal manner. you stop and look at earth. It will appear that you are 10 years did you travel back in time 10 years? no you just traveled faster than light to a place where the light form your decade hasnt reached yet, but the previous has. You travel back to earth, at any speed, and it will seem to fast foreward. Its all in your perception. For you to assume traveling at the speed of light will make you time travel, you have to assume einstines THEORY to be an absolute fact, not a theory. You can measure this exact effect with sound waves on a slower scale, its called the doppler effect. Our brain can only realisticly percieve the highest energy form our senses pick up, that is light. Just because we cant sense it, doesnt meen it isnt there. Thanks for reading.. even if i sound full of it.

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A few things;

1. it will seem like you traveled into the furture because the farther away you get from earth and teh faster you move the slower you age, so you will get back to earth and it will be older and you wouldn't be.

2. you wouldn't be able to see where you were going because the way human sight works is, the light hits some thing and bounces back into our eyes, but if were moving at the speed of light, it would get back to our eyes until it bounce off of something and by then it would be too late.

3. You can look into the past, by moving faster than light and catching up to old light beams that bounced off the earth, then just turning around and looking at earth from where you are, mind you you'd need a pretty powerful telescope.

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Jayson,

in this analogy you are assuming that that the theory of relativity is fundamentally flawed based on your assumption that the speed of light is attainable. I had the same idea about this many years ago. However, how do you explain tests on the theory of relativity where cesium atomic clocks are sent on journeys east and west around the world and measured against a stationary clock on the Earth's surface.

These clocks have no perception of light and therefore the change in time is purely due to motion(and distance from the Earths gravitational effect).

The experiment above uses the speed of light to estimate the time dilation effects and it is nearly perfect. Of course varying airspeeds and stopovers ultimately produce degrees of error.

The passage of time IS the perception of events. But this perception is based on c.

Sorry for using conventional thinking. :( - but hey, I'd be happy if I was wrong! :)

James

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Intersting thoughts, Keven. Certainly gets the brain churning!

But now let's also recall what Relativity tells us happens to light waves as we, the observer, approaches and travels at the speed of light: Our field of view "collapses" along the direction of our travel. So as you approach the speed of light, what you would see out the front window of your spacecraft would be a "tunnel vision" effect. The color of the light you see also shifts towards the blue/violet end of the spectrum. When you actually reach the speed of light, all of the light from around the front perimeter of the spacecraft will be condensed in a small point of light centered right along your direction of travel.

Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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JamesAnthony wrote: (You'll have to teach me how you do your "quote boxes" you use, James!)

>>The passage of time IS the perception of events. But this perception is based on c.<<

Precisely! And not only is it based on "c", but it is really only based on the visible light spectrum subset of "c", because we can only perceive events with our eyes, and they are tuned to that narrow band of frequencies between red and violet.

I once taught an entry level university physics course and we got on this topic. One of my students made an interesting point that I have always retained: Since our eyes cannot directly perceive higher frequency signals that travel at the speed of light (infrared and microwaves are good examples), then we really don't know what life might "look like" at those frequencies! We are forced to envision what microwaves "look like" by transforming that wave energy into a picture we can view in the visible spectrum. As with all transformations (like a 3-D cube drawn on a 2-D page), there are distortions from "reality".

This lead into an interesting and spirited discussion by the class related to alternate life forms. We are so smug and self-centered that we assume any other life in the universe must be "like us" and exist as matter at the frequencies that our physical bodies vibrate. But in reality, the entire universe could be (and probably is!) TEEMING with life that WE CANNOT DIRECTLY PERCEIVE. Imagine an alien species that vibrates at microwave frequencies! They could be sitting right next to us and we would never know it!

Just my opinion, but I truly believe that this concept is directly related to the "dark matter" and "dark energy" that we have recently verified is "out there" but we cannot see it! And I also think this plays-into the theory of multiple universes, occupying the same space. The "alternate universe next door" might not even need to be in another dimension....it may just be vibrating at higher (and/or lower) frequencies!

This kind of wacky thinking can lead to thoughts like: Perhaps we don't have to physically move anywhere to visit alien worlds....perhaps all we need to do is sit in one place and alter the frequency of vibration of our body??? All of this is what gives rise to my belief expressed in the tag line that appears below my signature.

Knid Regards (and keep the mental juices flowing!),

RainmanTime

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You'll have to teach me how you do your "quote boxes" you use, James

No probs. Under the 'post' box there's a set of 'instant UBB Code' options - unless you have UBB turned off in your profile. Just select 'quote' and then insert your quote between the boxes. :)

Since our eyes cannot directly perceive higher frequency signals that travel at the speed of light (infrared and microwaves are good examples), then we really don't know what life might "look like" at those frequencies! We are forced to envision what microwaves "look like" by transforming that wave energy into a picture we can view in the visible spectrum. As with all transformations (like a 3-D cube drawn on a 2-D page), there are distortions from "reality".

Wouldn't life just look like strrange colours after all the 'colour' green is just light reflected back with a wavelength of about 550nm. A micro wave would appear as a perception which we could not imagine but we can understand the principle. It would be different, say, to explaining a rainbow to a person blind since birth.

I love transformations too. The MÃ¶bius strip is my personal favourite. A 2 dimensional object existing in 3d space. It raises the question of whether we can build a 3 dimensional object which can exist in 4d space.

James

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Just select 'quote' and then insert your quote between the boxes.

Like this, right? :D

A 2 dimensional object existing in 3d space. It raises the question of whether we can build a 3 dimensional object which can exist in 4d space.

This very topic came up a few months ago in a beer drinking session with a tech-oriented friend of mine. More people should drink beer...great things come from it! ;)

One thought we hit upon was that it may be possible there already exist objects in our 3-D universe that are actually 4-D in nature...and we simply don't recognize them. That lead me to wonder if stars, such as our sun (which are responsible for ALL the life on our rotating orb) might actually be 4-D objects that would look quite different if we could perceive them in their natural 4-D state? You certainly have to admit that stars are some of the most unique elements in our universe (along with quasars), because while planets, asteroids, etc. all simply reflect energy, stars actually produce and transmit energy in the form of light and other radiation.

Same could be conjectured for black holes. Perhaps they are really 4-D objects?

Good post, James. Keep up the insightful thoughts!

Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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OK here come the questions for you guys to answer;

microwaves, you arn't talking about the things that make popcron are you?

Whats anti-matter? if all things are matter then does that meant anti-matter is nothing?

whats 4-D, i know that means 4 dimensional, but what is it, i know 3-D and 2-D things but i can't under stnad how we could see a 4-D object?

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Hi!

Now that I know how to quote "properly" I am going to be doing it all the time! :D

microwaves, you arn't talking about the things that make popcron are you?

Yes, but a qualified yes. The waves are the same, but the application is different. Your microwave oven uses microwaves to excite the water molecules in your food, thus heating it up. But deep space communications transceivers usually employ microwave frequencies for encoding information streams. The reason is that the higher frequency you use, the lower the required power of the transmitter. That is why your stereo speakers consume lots of power, because they are "beaming" information at the low frequencies of audible sound.

Whats anti-matter? if all things are matter then does that meant anti-matter is nothing?

No, it's not nothing, it's just the opposite (spin and/or charge) of regular matter. A proton and an electron have opposite charge, but they also have different measures of mass. So we define anti-particles as a means to balance the effects. An anti-proton annihilates a proton...THAT is how you get to "nothing". ;)

whats 4-D, i know that means 4 dimensional, but what is it, i know 3-D and 2-D things but i can't under stnad how we could see a 4-D object?

Look up the story "Flatland" by Edwin Abbott on the net. It is a good story about your same question, except the story is told from the 2-d perspective and how a 2-d being would perceive a 3-d being. Also look up the word "hypercube" and "hypersphere". You will find pictures of what a hypercube (a 4-D cube) looks like in our 3-D world. But remember that it is distorted since you are trying to look at a 4-D object in 3-D.

Technically, the 4th dimension is defined as being at right angles to the other 3 dimensions. This explains the "cube within cube" look of a hypercube.

Have fun in learning & enjoy! Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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those pictures are weird, and hard to comphrehend, mainly because they are blurry, do you have a good picture of one?

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whats 4-D, i know that means 4 dimensional, but what is it, i know 3-D and 2-D things but i can't under stnad how we could see a 4-D object?

When I was in school my professor taught our class this about trying to envision a 4d object.

He stated for the human brain that lives in a 3d world will never be able to perceive a 4d object. He used the 2d to 3d comparision. It goes like this:

Draw yourself as a 2d object on a piece of paper. Have your head turned so your chin would be over your shoulder. Now lay the paper flat on the table. Now with scissors begin to cut the paper from the edge toword your body.

Now as you are there in your 2d world you would see a point starting to cut the paper in half. In our 2d minds we think that this point is cutting the paper but we will not be able to see that infact it is the scissors that is cutting the paper.

All in all we will never be able to see object as we only know of 3d, but we will be able to see the effects of a 4d object.

Well you can agree or disagree, but this is what I was taught.

Also, the comment about tunnel vision, I'll have to disagree. The way I view Einstein's theory of relativity is that light is constant relative to your own speed. So say if you were in a car capable of doing close to the speed of light. You would still be able to see things around you, because light will still travel at light speed relative to you.

Anyways these are my thoughts. You can agree or disagree. This is just a way I view something.

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yes an no. photons have a constant speed, but you do not. 2 cars driving towards another, on at 100mph the other at 50mph, their rate of closure is 150mph. substitue one car for photons, and the other for your eye.

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Hello Keven:

those pictures are weird, and hard to comphrehend, mainly because they are blurry, do you have a good picture of one?

Ummm....I'm not sure what pictures you are talking about. Did you find some pics of a hypercube on the net? If not, let me know...maybe I can draw one up and post it here. Or, let me know what pics you mean.

Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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Hello hello! :D

Also, the comment about tunnel vision, I'll have to disagree. The way I view Einstein's theory of relativity is that light is constant relative to your own speed.

That's fine, you are totally free to disagree. But what I have described about tunnel vision as you approach the speed of light is, indeed, the accepted understanding of what occurs according to the community of physicists. So you'd be disagreeing with more than just me. :D

Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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Yes faster than light does equal time travel.

In this experiment,

the beam of light left the chamber before it even finished entering it. It takes light .2 nanoseconds to traverse across 6 inches of vacuum. In this experiment, it traveled 62 nanoseconds faster. That would make the time traveled across the cesium matrix a negative number. As far as I know, a negative number in time equals backwards.

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I have read this experiment before, let me cut and paste some points

Researchers say it is the most convincing demonstration yet that the speed of light -- supposedly an ironclad rule of nature -- can be pushed beyond known boundaries, at least under certain laboratory circumstances.

"This effect cannot be used to send information back in time," said Lijun Wang, a researcher with the private NEC Institute. "However, our experiment does show that the generally held misconception that `nothing can travel faster than the speed of light' is wrong."

"This is a breakthrough in the sense that people have thought that was impossible," (people constrained in their way of thinking)

The light can leave the chamber before it has finished entering because the cesium atoms change the properties of the light, allowing it to exit more quickly than in a vacuum.

the light didnt leave the chamber before it was pulsed, it left the chamber before the pulse ended. very big difference.

all this does is help verify my point that the speed of light is NOT the fastest speed in the universe, and it can be broken.

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Yes, this is a very good experiment to prove that we should not tightly hold onto beliefs that contain "you can never..." in them!

Researchers say it is the most convincing demonstration yet that the speed of light -- supposedly an ironclad rule of nature -- can be pushed beyond known boundaries, at least under certain laboratory circumstances.

and

"This is a breakthrough in the sense that people have thought that was impossible," (people constrained in their way of thinking)

Exactly! And if you go back and read some of my posts under "Web Based Time Travel..." and my introductory post on "But What Is Time...Really?" you will see I am saying the same thing. History is replete with discoveries that blow-away beliefs that people (even scientists) have claimed are part of Natural Law, and as such cannot be broken.

The simple fact is that the universe is fractally-oriented. And the major concept behind fractals is that of "self-similarity" at various levels of resolution... Natural Laws at one level are highly similar to the Natural Laws at other levels. I maintain that the Speed Of Sound and the Speed Of Light are self-similar, fractal boundaries. As such, what we know about one (sound) can and should be considered with respect to the other (light).

Another example of "self-similarity" in physical laws is evident in the similarity of "F=ma" for solid mechanics and "V=IR" for electrical mechanics. They both describe Force (EMF), Motion (current), and Matter (Resistance).

Vive Le' Similar! Kind Regards,

RainmanTime

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You'll also see my Haiku describing time :)

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the light didnt leave the chamber before it was pulsed, it left the chamber before the pulse ended. very big difference.

If you read more closely, the full light pulse, changed by the medium as it was, left the chamber before it finished entering it.

The reason I believe this doesnt look like time travel, possibly to the scientists who achieved this experiment as stated in the paper, might be an effect of quantum physics. According to some theories of quantum physics, time travel is completely possible, and even under some conditions highly probable, just as a person walking through a solid brick wall, if tried almost an infinate number of times according to quantum physics, will eventually walk through the wall.

Anyway, back to my point. Before the pulse entered the chamber, it wasnt set in stone that it would. Many factors could have prevented it from doing so, therefore, before the light entered, it could not exit, but the total pulses speed was a negative number in time, as stated in the paper. After the light entered, then it was set in stone, and the trailing edge of the pulse did in fact time travel, and exit the chamber before it entered it.

At least thats the way I see it. And, from my impression, the scientists could be holding back on their explenation, at least it seemed so since the fact that the pulses total speed was considered a negative number in time seemed downplayed an awfull lot. And I can understand why. Who wants to all the sudden jump up and say "I have definative proof time travel exists, because, in some way, we have done it" when your not even sure if it was actually done because the full beam didnt travel in time, only part of it, and have the scientific comunity shoot that down because, after all, the full beam didnt travel in time now did it. ;)

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If the same person tried to walk though a brick wall an infinate number of times the wall would eventualy break and they would walk through it

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Not what I meant. According to quantum physics, any one action has almost infinate possibilities, but varying degrees of probabilities. The probability that walking into a brick wall and getting a flat nose is very high, while the probability of your whole body walking through the wall, as in all the atoms of your body passing literally between the atoms of the wall and you emerging on the other side, is a very small probability. Its still possible, and it would take you almost an infinate number of times for it to happen, but not very likely to happen on, say, your first billion tries. I personally, am not going to go walking into walls on the off chance that for some reason I am lucky enough to do it on the next try, but everytime I see a brick wall, I am tempted.lol

But I have heard and read reports of people doing just such a thing, and I dont automatically discount the stories either. Either

1. Most if not all of the stories are false.

2. The probability of acheaving this is actually higher than anyone imagines.

or...

3. In the theory of quantum physics, it states that nothing happens without it being observed. This might mean that in some way, as yet unknown and with current technology, unknowable, some of us can consously manipulate the probability factor, so that the most unlikely events actually do happen.

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I know what you meant, the law of averages. If you do somthing enough times it's bound to happen the way you want it eventally.

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• 3 weeks later...

"1. it will seem like you traveled into the furture because the farther away you get from earth and teh faster you move the slower you age, so you will get back to earth and it will be older and you wouldn't be." Keven

Where is the proof of this, that is an untested theory. You can not argue with it.

"2. you wouldn't be able to see where you were going because the way human sight works is, the light hits some thing and bounces back into our eyes, but if were moving at the speed of light, it would get back to our eyes until it bounce off of something and by then it would be too late." Keven

That point was made in the original post.

"3. You can look into the past, by moving faster than light and catching up to old light beams that bounced off the earth, then just turning around and looking at earth from where you are, mind you you'd need a pretty powerful telescope." Keven

This point was also made in the original post and was a main driving force of the original argument.

People you need to read before you comment.

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I know what you meant, the law of averages. If you do somthing enough times it's bound to happen the way you want it eventally.

Doing something over and over again expecting a differant result is the deffinition of insanity. Just in case you were wondering.

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Well, one way I would think would be to bounce light between a magnetic field (of 2 spinning magnets, that are polar opposites) and somehow get time to pass because you'd stay in the same place while time is passing by slowly you are lightspeed... so that would make time stand still I guess... huh, gee, I just thoguht of that... heh.

But faster than light doesn't neccesarily mean time travel, I mean, take every science fiction story with teleporting, break down your particles into lgiht, then send them across the universe in nanoseconds, thus by moving faster than light, you'd just be moving at a faster speed... right?

On this, I really don't know what I'm talking about and I hope someone will be able to correct me or fix anything I said... thanks.