What would happen if we traveled at 2x the speed of light?

Recently, a 13-year-old in Mumbai asked the philosopher of mathematics: Sam Baron what would happen if someone moved – hypothetically – to twice the speed of light. Baron replied:

As far as we know, it is not possible for a person to move at twice the speed of light. In fact, no object of the kind of mass you or I need can move faster than the speed of light.

Sam BaronCurious Kids: What would happen if someone moved at twice the speed of light?” Bee The conversation (24 May 2022)

He explains why not as follows,

To accelerate an object with mass, we need to add energy. The faster we want the object to go, the more energy we need.

The equations of relativity tell us that anything with mass — no matter how much mass it has — would require an infinite amount of energy to be accelerated to the speed of light.

But all the energy resources we know are finite: they are limited in some way.

Sam BaronCurious Kids: What would happen if someone moved at twice the speed of light?” Bee The conversation (24 May 2022)

So. other than an amazing energy breakthrough, we’re just not going that fast. But here’s where it gets interesting:

For certain strange particles, however, travel at twice the speed of light is possible – and it could send those particles back in time…

There are…hypothetical particles called tachyons with a special kind of mass called “imaginary mass”.

There is no evidence that tachyons exist. But according to the theory of relativity, their possible existence cannot be ruled out.

If they exist, tachyons must always travel faster than the speed of light. Just as something of ordinary mass cannot be accelerated past the speed of light, tachyons cannot be slowed down below the speed of light.

Some physicists believe that if tachyons existed, they would constantly travel back in time. This is why tachyons are associated with time travel in many science fiction books and movies.

Sam BaronCurious Kids: What would happen if someone moved at twice the speed of light?” Bee The conversation (24 May 2022)

At Space.com we hear from a another wrinkle:

Although the speed of light is often referred to as the speed limit of the universe, the universe is expanding even faster. The universe is expanding at just over 42 miles (68 kilometers) per second for every megaparsec away from the observer, astrophysicist Paul Sutter wrote in an earlier article for Space.com. (A megaparsec is 3.26 million light-years — a very long way.)

Vicki SteinoWhat is the speed of light?” Bee space.com (January 21, 2022)

So the expansion of the universe technically exceeds the speed of light because it is expanding in all directions. If you add up the speeds in opposite directions (opening speed), you get a higher total figure.

Baron also offers an imaginative scenario on Gizmodo in front of What would happen if we found a wormhole:

A wormhole is a shortcut between any two points in space. While a star may be 4.5 light-years away in normal terms, it may be only a few hours away via a wormhole.

If there were real wormholes, they would allow us to travel great distances in a very short time — allowing us to reach the farthest reaches of the universe in a single lifetime.

Unfortunately, like tachyons, wormholes remain completely hypothetical.

Sam BaronIf we were moving at twice the speed of light, would we end up in the multiverse?” Bee Gizmodo Australia (May 28, 2022)

While wormholes, like tachyons, are hypothetical, accepted physics theory permits them in a way that does not allow more conventional methods to exceed the speed of light.

Bee space.com, Vicki Steino suggests, “One proposed idea involves a spaceship that could fold a space-time bubble around itself. Sounds great, both in theory and in fiction.” Because

“If Captain Kirk were forced to move at the speed of our fastest rockets, it would take him 100,000 years to get to the next galaxy,” said Seth Shostak, an astronomer at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute. in Mountain View, California, in a 2010 interview with Space.com’s sister site LiveScience. “So science fiction has long postulated a way to beat the speed of the light barrier so that the story can go a little faster.”

Vicki SteinoWhat is the speed of light?” Bee space.com (January 21, 2022)

Warp drives, like Kirk and Spock had, are theoretically possible, according to theoretical physicists:

In short, the speed of light is an insurmountable barrier if the proposal is to use energy to propel objects that have mass to exceed it. But that’s not a law of nature. There will probably be methods that do not consume energy in this way. We will see.


You may also want to read: Can we teleport? Find a wormhole? Survive the death of the universe? Many ideas that were once science fiction have now become scientific fact. How will these do? Teleporting works for quantum particles, for example, but it can require the energy of a galaxy to transport a human. Not quite like Star Trek.


#happen #traveled #speed #light

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