Old Earth
#52
(01-25-2011, 04:24 PM)James02 Wrote: I have always intended to look into relativity.  What strikes me up front is that Einstein got it wrong when he said the speed of light is a constant.  I believe it is more correct to call it a "maximum".  It is very similar to sound, which even "red shifts".  So why would we treat light any different then sound?  We don't come up with strange "time slowing down" theories to explain the properties of sound, so why light, which behaves just like sound?  Doesn't pass the smell test.

The quick answer is that the speed of light is always measured to be the same no matter from what position it is being measured.  For example, if a photon of light is traveling at 186000 miles per second and you are sitting on something that is traveling right behind it at 100000 miles per second, then your measurement of the speed of that photon should be 86000 miles per second, right?  Well, when they run the experiments it always turns out to be 186000 miles per second, no matter how fast the measurer is going.  That just plain plum doesn't make sense, unless time changes based on speed and that change is relative to the speed of light, which would therefore make the speed of light constant no matter from which relative position it is being measured.

The speed of light is not only constant but also, as you point out, a maximum for other reasons that have to do with the relationship of mass to speed.  Basically, in order to accelerate past the speed of light you'd need to have an infinite amount of energy, which is of course impossible.

We don't treat light like sound because light is quite different from sound.  Sound is only a vibration (a wave) traveling through a medium.  Light, however, requires no medium and has those funky wave/particle properties -- both a wave and a particle at the same time (but we don't need to get into quantum mechanics here).  So comparing light to sound is like comparing apples to oranges.  Since they both have wave properties they both have a doppler effect (the red or blue shift of light), but that has to do with the frequency of the wave being affected by the speed of the source (or the observer), not the actual speed of light (or sound) itself.  So light red-shifts when its source is moving away from the observer, but that's because the frequency of the wave is being stretched out, so to speak, as the source moves.  The speed of red (or blue) shifting light still remains a constant 186000 miles per second, no matter how much its frequency shifts.

An excellent book for the lay reader on contemporary physics is "The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality" by Brian Greene, published in 2005 I think.  It covers relativistic physics, quantum physics, and the attempts to combine the two (like string theory).  It's a good read.

Pax,
Jesse


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Messages In This Thread
Old Earth - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 12:22 AM
Re: Old Earth - by dymphna17 - 12-30-2010, 12:43 AM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 01:06 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Texican - 12-30-2010, 01:12 AM
Re: Old Earth - by miss_fluffy - 12-30-2010, 01:15 AM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 02:00 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Vetus Ordo - 12-30-2010, 02:33 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Hawaii Five-0 - 12-30-2010, 04:36 AM
Re: Old Earth - by icecream - 12-30-2010, 06:49 AM
Re: Old Earth - by icecream - 12-30-2010, 06:50 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 12-30-2010, 07:32 AM
Re: Old Earth - by miss_fluffy - 12-30-2010, 09:09 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Anastasia - 12-30-2010, 11:48 AM
Re: Old Earth - by timoose - 12-30-2010, 12:32 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Grasshopper - 12-30-2010, 04:13 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 04:15 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 04:20 PM
Re: Old Earth - by miss_fluffy - 12-30-2010, 04:52 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 12-31-2010, 07:58 AM
Re: Old Earth - by salus - 01-01-2011, 02:04 PM
Re: Old Earth - by justlurking - 01-01-2011, 05:33 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Vetus Ordo - 01-01-2011, 06:05 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 01-01-2011, 06:15 PM
Re: Old Earth - by LaramieHirsch - 01-01-2011, 06:30 PM
Re: Old Earth - by miss_fluffy - 01-01-2011, 06:36 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Christus Imperat - 01-01-2011, 07:50 PM
Re: Old Earth - by timoose - 01-01-2011, 08:01 PM
Re: Old Earth - by InNomineDomini - 01-01-2011, 08:37 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 01-02-2011, 07:52 AM
Re: Old Earth - by timoose - 01-02-2011, 08:54 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 01-02-2011, 10:00 AM
Re: Old Earth - by devotedknuckles - 01-02-2011, 10:28 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Nic - 01-02-2011, 10:38 AM
Re: Old Earth - by devotedknuckles - 01-02-2011, 11:25 AM
Re: Old Earth - by SouthpawLink - 01-06-2011, 02:51 PM
Re: Old Earth - by CrusaderKing - 01-06-2011, 03:16 PM
Re: Old Earth - by timoose - 01-06-2011, 03:58 PM
Re: Old Earth - by someguy - 01-23-2011, 10:57 PM
Re: Old Earth - by quotidianum - 01-24-2011, 12:55 AM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-24-2011, 01:16 AM
Re: Old Earth - by miss_fluffy - 01-24-2011, 01:39 AM
Re: Old Earth - by quotidianum - 01-24-2011, 01:44 AM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-24-2011, 01:51 AM
Re: Old Earth - by quotidianum - 01-24-2011, 01:59 AM
Re: Old Earth - by faith3faith - 01-24-2011, 04:27 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Atomagenesis - 01-24-2011, 04:52 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Jesse - 01-24-2011, 05:24 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-24-2011, 05:51 PM
Re: Old Earth - by faith3faith - 01-25-2011, 12:25 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Jesse - 01-25-2011, 11:33 AM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-25-2011, 04:24 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Jesse - 01-25-2011, 04:42 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-25-2011, 05:06 PM
Re: Old Earth - by Jesse - 01-25-2011, 05:34 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 01-25-2011, 09:27 PM
Re: Old Earth - by cgraye - 01-26-2011, 12:17 PM
Re: Old Earth - by someguy - 02-01-2011, 11:13 PM
Re: Old Earth - by faith3faith - 02-02-2011, 02:05 AM
Re: Old Earth - by geogeer - 02-02-2011, 07:11 PM
Re: Old Earth - by James02 - 02-02-2011, 11:39 PM
Re: Old Earth - by cgraye - 02-03-2011, 12:14 AM
Re: Old Earth - by faith3faith - 02-04-2011, 12:25 AM
Re: Old Earth - by Jesse - 02-05-2011, 12:50 PM
Re: Old Earth - by faith3faith - 02-05-2011, 10:51 PM



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