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Posted by Phil.o.Sofir. on March 11, 1999 11:45:11 UTC
: : : : ***If attainment of the speed of light were attainable, and we had a machine which could achieve it, would it then be possible to place a second machine onto this machine, get to the speed of light, and then boost off off the first machine and thereby double the speed of light? And a third time...............? : : : : This is disregarding any physical characteristics nessesary to accive light speed, could this be a way of achieving light speed to begin with? Say, have a series of booster machines which after say twenty or twohundred of these boosts could reach such light speed and once this is achived go on to outdistance even light speed?
: : : howdy stranger.. :)
: : : It is my understanding that because the energy required to attain lightspeed is a potential infinite; even approaching 'c' is impossible. (Due to mass dilation) But to approach your question once again would likewise be unanswerable. It would be like asking, "If an 'actual' infinite had a beginning point and ending point, could..."
: : : -nåte
: : ***Hi Nate, as far as the concept of propelling a mass, and then propelling a smaller one off of this to attain speeds not yet attainable, is there any basic law that would contradict this? Just in general, not light speed.
: : Yes, and it is: e=mc^2 : )
: but for this reason.
: velocity at Newtonian speeds will work with this fine. (propelling mass from another already traveling mass) But as one approaches the velocity of light we remain no : longer under the effect of only Newtonian physics/principles, but rather of general relativity and Lorenz relativity.
: As you approach the velocity of light, your apparent mass (from an outside "FOR") would exponentially increase with your acceleration; thus requiring the need for : exponentially more energy (as the formula reveals) to further accelerate your exponentially increasing mass... Thus we have a potential infinite. It is impossible to : accelerate an object with mass to the speed of light. We might get close, but never reaching.
: Therefore, your example of propelling an object from another object traveling at say .999998c, would not benefit in any manor from the original objects momentum. : IOW, the second object propelled would still encompass the effects of its actual velocity.
: For example... You might provide X amount of energy at initial 'launch' from the original objects speed (.999998c), but the instant the second object left the surface, : its apparent mass (from outside Frame Of Reference "FOR") would exponentially increase with its attempt to accelerate past its initial velocity.
: One has to remember that time travels (so to speak) at the speed of light, and light travels at the speed of time. Mentioning this notion only provides further view of : how and what involves light speed. Theoretically, if you could travel AT the speed of light, space-time would be thus infinitely curved; just as space is infinitely curved : beyond the Schwartzchild radius of a black hole. But I say theoretical because I believe that in our T/S continuum an 'actual' infinite (such as a BH, or mass traveling : at 'c') is not possible, only approaches infinity, thus the qualified term, "Potential infinite"...
*** Thanks Nate for the info on why it would not work, I have a laymans understanding, and now see that current (and most likely true) theories restrict the possibility of there being any benefit to the idea. So what is the most likely tool for increasing our horsepower (and speed) in space? The wormhole thing, or plasma drives? Gravitron drives which reverse polarity? What is currently physically in work?
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