# relitivity and the speed of light - HELP ME!!!!!

• Expert
• Posts: 734

3+ Months Ago

ok, i have this friend who has convinced himslef that we CAN go the spped of light... the two concepts behind his theory are: 1) if we get a "fastly renewable fuel source" we can go the speed of light because we will then be able to overcome the FRICTION that prevents us from achiving the speed of light (im going to call it 'c' from now on) and 2) infinty doesnt exist, there is no such thing...

this is my argument:

according to Einstein: m = M / sqrt ( 1 - (v^2 / c^2) ) where c = the speed of light, v = the speed you want to go, M = your initial mass, and m = your final mass...

now if you want to go the speed of light, then v = c, therefore the equation becomes: m = M / sqrt ( 1 - (c^2 / c^2) )

now anything divided by itself equals 1, so the equation becomes: m = M / sqrt ( 1 - 1 )

simplify it, and it becomes m = M / 0

now having a zero in the denomenator can mean one of two things, either the answer is undifined, or the answer is infinity... take your pick...

therefore, as you approach the speed of light your mass approaches infinity, and you would therefore need an infinite amount, or non-existent amount of energy to achive the speed of light, or else you would need to be massless... both of which are impossible, hance why we cannot go the speed of light...

i have tried explaining this to him many ways, but he still thinks i am wrong... can anyone help me explain this in another way???

i guess i just want someone to confirm what i am saying because he seems to think i am making stuff up... and needless to say, this is really pissing me off...

heres the transcript of our little chat, i changed the names, but thats it: http://eliteguardians.ssxh.net/speedOfLightArguement.txt
• Genius
• Posts: 5735
• Loc: Sub-level 28

3+ Months Ago

• Expert
• Posts: 734

3+ Months Ago

MSN actually, yes i know this person in RL, which is the scary part...
• Expert
• Posts: 725

3+ Months Ago

Maybe Einstein's equation is wrong.
• Mastermind
• Posts: 1855
• Loc: Uk

3+ Months Ago

You are right, the theory of relativity states that you cannot break the light speed barrier because you would get infinate mass -> infinate energy needed to accelerate past this barrier.

Also the fact that objects become more massive at higher speeds has been demonstrated in particle physics at places like CERN. If you give a particle enough energy to get past 0.1 of the speed of light (3E7 meters/second), then you have to start using loads of different and weird equations to calculate energy.

The main problem here is that you have an argument where, on one side you have someone who has thought it through to the logical conclusion, done your research, and got evidence; on the other side you have someone who doesn't really know what they are talking about, thinks that there is friction in space, and has switched off their brain.

You will never win this argument with your friend, because he will not accept how foolish he is being. I have tried to argue against such people before and it is possibly the most frustrating thing in the world.
You are right. Who cares what he thinks.
• Banned
• Posts: 589
• Loc: Cyprus

3+ Months Ago

rtm223 wrote:
You will never win this argument with your friend, because he will not accept how foolish he is being. I have tried to argue against such people before and it is possibly the most frustrating thing in the world.
You are right. Who cares what he thinks.

Your absolutely right, he will never accept ur arguments. .
So you shouldn't care of what he thinks.
• Fart Bubbles
• Posts: 13506
• Loc: Florida

3+ Months Ago

The G-Force of going the speed of light would more than liquify anything. Therefore unless we can code real objects into light pulses and realize theese on the other end, "we" will never go the speed of light. end of story
• Student
• Posts: 66

3+ Months Ago

I would have given up about 23:15 or thereabouts, but if you really want to bring him around....

I might use a simpler example. Say F=ma. Then ask what force is required to bring an object of mass m to velocity v in exactly 0 time. a=(vf-vi)/t, so if you sub in 0 for the denominator there, you get an undefined number. Hence you simply can't do it. You can accelerate the mass in a very small amount of time (approaching 0) but you can't get quite to 0.

Much like you'd never get to the speed of light, you might get close, and if you add 10 times more power, 100 times, 10^100 whatever, you still won't get there. But you know this...

Also, a qualifier to add, there is the possibility that space can be folded. Funny enough, this was first thought up by Einstein as well. So travelling faster than light might be possible, though not in the way your friend is arguing it.
• Guru
• Posts: 1214
• Loc: Somewhere on Google Earth

3+ Months Ago

therefore humans are made of energy

energy moves at the speed of light

therefore:

humans are already traveling at the speed of light,
we just need to change the direction of it and BOOM,
we get places fast
• Web Master
• Posts: 4580
• Loc: Maryland

3+ Months Ago

Matter isn't made of energy, it HAS energy.

Two different things.
• Expert
• Posts: 734

3+ Months Ago

*bangs head against keyboard* he started talking again after i posted that... he kept saying that i cant say hes wrong because its a THEORY...

well, i have a theory that the moon is made of cheese... its a THEORY nobody can say im wrong either, regardless if we have proof or not...

he just refuses to accept the fact that infinity is *NOT* finite... hrm... *sigh*
• Student
• Posts: 66

3+ Months Ago

lol
Don't let the facts get in the way of a good theory, it might prevent us from enjoying all that wonderful moon cheese. mmmm. moon cheese.
• Web Master
• Posts: 4580
• Loc: Maryland

3+ Months Ago

Actually, Calandae, that would be a belief. We DO have proof that the moon is not made of cheese, thus proving the theory and making it fact. However if you continue to think that it IS made of cheese, then that becomes your belief.

As for your friend, he could be correct, no one knows for sure, so the Theory of Relativity and such are JUST theories, therefore if he wants to hypothesize his own theory, let him. It just so happens you both believe in opposing theories, there is nothing you can do to change what he thinks.
• Posts: 137
• Loc: Melbourne, Australia

3+ Months Ago

Dear Grasshopper,

In the words of the great philospher who's name of course escapes me...

Arguing with a fool, is foolish.
• Mastermind
• Posts: 1855
• Loc: Uk

3+ Months Ago

Seriously man, just tell him he is right and that he should start spending all of his available time researching and developing his theories and then he will become the richest man in the world etc etc etc....

Allow him to continue in his ignorance and laugh at him behind his back. thats what I would do.

or just do something really annoying anytime he brings up tyhe subject. If it is in person i find that sacrastic face with excessive nodding is a good method

• Mastermind
• Posts: 2136
• Loc: Louisville, Ky

3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Matter isn't made of energy, it HAS energy.

string theory would have us beleive that matter is energy
• Mastermind
• Posts: 1855
• Loc: Uk

3+ Months Ago

matter and energy is interchangeable.

Matter can be converted to energy, and vice versa. The most common (if common is the correct word) examples of this is matter anti-matter anihilation and nuclear reactions (both fission and fusion). This is not merely theory.

e=mc^2

when you convert matter into energy, the amount of energy produced is equal to the mass of the energy multiplied by the speed of light (in a vacuum) squared. That is what the famous equation means.
• SausagePorkPie
• Posts: 2297
• Loc: UK - England

3+ Months Ago

whats the deal?...
when did ozzu turn into a place full of scientisits...you lost me
• Mastermind
• Posts: 1855
• Loc: Uk

3+ Months Ago

Ozzu is a community populated by the wise and learnĂ©d people of the world
Or maybe just a place full of geeks
• SausagePorkPie
• Posts: 2297
• Loc: UK - England

3+ Months Ago

second that lol

best theory i have heard yet lol
• Proficient
• Posts: 321
• Loc: somewere over there

3+ Months Ago

OK tell your friends this. Electrons which have a near negligable mass so light that they are pushed near the speed of light by a Photon of light are still to heavy to reach the speed of light only come close to it. When ever an electron comes closer to the speed of light he travels more like a wave and less like mass. the slower he become the straighter his path becomes.

Now this is were it gets a little freaky and i don't understand this my self and even after discussing with with my phsysics teacher i still don't understand. according to him we do not contain materials that can take the stress of traveling that speed even in when in space. So it is impossible to travel the speed of light unless you want strip yourself of all mass.

Then again you can belive in the string theory. The string theory states that all mass is made of small doughnut like strings of energy that vibrate and create smallest form of mass. Then the small particles make electrons atoms molecules etc. more info on string theory here
• Web Master
• Posts: 4580
• Loc: Maryland

3+ Months Ago

rtm223 wrote:
matter and energy is interchangeable.

Matter can be converted to energy, and vice versa. The most common (if common is the correct word) examples of this is matter anti-matter anihilation and nuclear reactions (both fission and fusion). This is not merely theory.

e=mc^2

when you convert matter into energy, the amount of energy produced is equal to the mass of the energy multiplied by the speed of light (in a vacuum) squared. That is what the famous equation means.

Mass is NOT energy though, if it was, the equation would look like this e=m.

And it doesn't. As you kindly stated and disproved your own statement. If you have an equation, say F=MA, you can't replace M with E and get the same results, you would have to have an equation with MC^2 or E/C^2 in order to substitute mass for energy.

Furthermore, if you WERE to say mass equals energy (mass is the same as energy) then you could say:
Code: [ Select ]
m=e=mc^2
m=mc^2 //cancel mass
1=c^2
1=(3.00x10^8m/s)(3.00x10^8m/s)
1 != 9x10^16 m^2/s^2
1. m=e=mc^2
2. m=mc^2 //cancel mass
3. 1=c^2
4. 1=(3.00x10^8m/s)(3.00x10^8m/s)
5. 1 != 9x10^16 m^2/s^2

While the speed of light squared is not one, that is what you would get IF mass EQUALED energy, which it does not. This IS NOT a theory, this is all based on mathematical processes and current physics facts. Check it yourself.
• Mastermind
• Posts: 2136
• Loc: Louisville, Ky

3+ Months Ago

Yes some people have some doubts about string theory, it is after all a theory. But so is relativity.

I don't think any of this matters right now because we aren't even close to approaching those speeds. But we can slow the speed of light down. Perhaps that is where we can find the answer. Slowing the speed of light may bend time/space making the distance actually shorter.

I don't think light has a speed. I think we can only perceive the speed, and the speed is actually infinite. But I am no physics proffesor. just throwing it out there.
• Web Master
• Posts: 4580
• Loc: Maryland

3+ Months Ago

Infity bothers me with relation to velocity. I can understand it with mass, things getting infinitly smaller (black holes), and acceleration, things moving infinitly faster (till they break up and burn ). But I can't see how something can have an infinite velocity. Even with light waves, the reason we can slow them down is because they have some sort of given velocity in a vacuum, and as soon as it enters our atmosphere it slows down because of the difference in matter (addition rather) from the vacuum of space to our atmosphere.

While theoretically light could be moving infinitely fast, it would completely destroy current well known facts, persay distances of stars, and other things which are measured by the speed of light.

It could throw off our whole system as we know it
• Mastermind
• Posts: 1855
• Loc: Uk

3+ Months Ago

By interchangeable I meant you could convert between one and the other, like (bad analogy) mm and inches. Didn't make myself too clear there.
• Web Master
• Posts: 4580
• Loc: Maryland

3+ Months Ago

Ok that makes more sense.

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