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09-07-2006 06:28 PM  14 years ago
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TroyC

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North Germany

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Lightspeed
I heard this years ago but can´t remember the answer:

"You´re travelling at the speed of light in your car (unlikely I know) and you turn the headlights on. What happens?"
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09-07-2006 07:55 PM  14 years ago
comet

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Neuilly sur Seine, Fr

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you gonna run over any potential witnessVT "slow&low"
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09-07-2006 07:58 PM  14 years ago
spritefiend

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Camarillo, CA

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09-08-2006 12:58 AM  14 years ago
Castlebravo

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Excellent site for someone interested in physics like me. Thanks Sprite!
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09-08-2006 04:54 AM  14 years ago
debogus

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670,616,629.384 miles per hour
How long at what gforce would it take to accelerate to this speed?
Always wondered that.
Dave
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09-08-2006 05:23 AM  14 years ago
comet

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It's already daylight

but tell me something, yes tell me,
why are you so creative????
VT "slow&low"
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09-08-2006 10:09 AM  14 years ago
TroyC

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Thanks for the link Sprite. In the link it says this:

"As you approach the speed of light with your headlights on, however, you would still measure the light beam racing away from your car at 186,000 miles per second (c). A 'stationary' observer watching this happen, though, would not then measure the beam's speed at almost twice c. Relativity says that all observers always get the same measurement for c."

I´ve got no problem that in effect the car is stationary and everything else is travelling towards/past you at the speed of light (ok, near the speed of light)so when the headlights are turned on, they emit light as allways. My head starts to hurt I when try to grasp what a by stander then sees.
Any one got an asprin?
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09-08-2006 06:00 PM  14 years ago
MaceT

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The reason is something called "time dilation"

Time is not the same for someone traveling near the speed of light.

The closer you come to traveling the speed of light, the faster your clock will tick, relative to the person standing still watching you go by.
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09-08-2006 06:03 PM  14 years ago
TroyC

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Yeah, that´s correct.
But what will the observer see?
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09-08-2006 06:06 PM  14 years ago
TroyC

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No wait a minute. Isn´t it the other way around?
If your travelling faster then time for you passes slower than in relation to someone "standing still" I thought.
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09-08-2006 06:16 PM  14 years ago
MaceT

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Probably nothing at all. At the very most you would see a flash of light. The length of the flash (time wise) will depend on the speed of the travler. Shorter flash for a faster dude.
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09-08-2006 06:20 PM  14 years ago
MaceT

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If you and your buddy are setting on the front porch, and you head out near the speed of light, when you return, you will be apprxomately the same age, and your buddy will have aged much more.
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09-08-2006 06:38 PM  14 years ago
TroyC

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If it were possible to measure lightspeed at right angles (just supposing) and the observer had a video camera and he could play back the car passing veeerrrrrrryyyyy slowly. Then he "must" see that the light being emitted from the headlights is not travelling at lightspeed away from the car.
Wait, I think I´ve got this.
That would mean he was filming something that was allready "slowed down" in relation to his normal time as he filmed.
Therefore time passes slower for the "dude" in the car. Is that right?
My head hurts again.
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09-08-2006 07:13 PM  14 years ago
scatbass

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Hiram, GA

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Remember - these are all just THEORIES. But because they came from a guy named Einstein, they must be absolute unquestionable truth

Mike
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09-08-2006 07:19 PM  14 years ago
TroyC

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Of course they´re not unquestionable. That´s why people try to get their heads around them.
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09-08-2006 07:30 PM  14 years ago
Mark C

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Houston, TX - USA

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"You´re travelling at the speed of light in your car (unlikely I know) and you turn the headlights on. What happens?"
Well.. just prior to approaching lightspeed there is a chance you will catch up with me leaving work to go fly BECAUSE I HATE THIS FRIGGIN JOB!!!!!


Mark C.
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09-08-2006 07:42 PM  14 years ago
Ed Moore

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West Sussex, UK

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Everything in science is just theory, but as long as the model works, you use it. Obviously quantum theory comes and buggers things up for relativity, but that's a whole nother story Even thought Einstein is the relativiy poster boy, the theory is what it is as much for the decades of research that have backed it up/ found holes in it.

Troy C- yes. Although in theory the distance would also change. i.e. the car might be stretched or compressed in space/time relative to the observer. Time is just another physical dimension. Better get another pack of aspirin
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09-08-2006 07:46 PM  14 years ago
TroyC

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North Germany

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The distances can change!
Thanks Ed, I´m off to the chemists.
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