Can We Travel Faster Than Light?

We can't move through the vacuum of space faster than the speed of light, confirmed Jason Cassibry, associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama's Propulsion Research Center in Huntsville. But no object actually moves through the Universe faster than the speed of light. The Universe is expanding, but the expansion does not have a speed; it has a speed per unit of distance, which is equivalent to a frequency or to an inverse time. One of the most surprising facts about the Universe is that if you do the conversions and take the inverse of the expansion rate, you can calculate the time it will take you to get out.

Travel and communication at a higher speed than light (also in FTL, superluminal or supercausal) are the conjectural propagation of matter or information at a higher speed than the speed of light (c). The special theory of relativity implies that only particles with mass at rest zero (i.e. e. There have been hypotheses about particles whose speed exceeds that of light (tachyon), but their existence would violate causality and involve time travel.

The scientific consensus is that they do not exist. The apparent or effective FTL, on the other hand, depends on the hypothesis that unusually distorted regions of space-time could allow matter to reach distant locations in less time than light in normal space-time (without distortion). Starting in the 21st century, according to current scientific theories, matter is required to travel at a lower speed than the speed of light (also STL or subluminal) with respect to the locally distorted space-time region. General relativity does not rule out apparent FTL; however, any apparent physical plausibility of the FTL is currently speculative.

Examples of apparent FTL proposals are the Albierre thruster, Krasnikov tubes, traversable wormholes, and the construction of quantum tunnels. Neither of these phenomena violates special relativity or creates causation problems, and therefore neither qualifies as FTL as described here. In the following examples, it may appear that certain influences travel faster than light, but they do not transmit energy or information faster than light, so they do not violate special relativity. For a terrestrial observer, objects in the sky complete a revolution around the Earth in one day.

Proxima Centauri, the closest star outside the Solar System, is about four and a half years away. In this frame of reference, in which Proxima Centauri is perceived to move on a circular trajectory with a radius of four light-years, it could be described as having a velocity many times greater than c, since the speed of the edge of an object moving in a circle is a product of the radius and angular velocity. It is also possible, in a geostatic view, for objects such as comets to vary their velocity from subluminal to superluminal and vice versa simply because the distance from Earth varies. Comets can have orbits that take them to more than 1000 AU.

The circumference of a circle with a radius of 1000 AU is greater than a light day. In other words, a comet at that distance is superluminal in a geostatic framework and therefore not inertial. If a laser beam passes through a distant object, the laser light point can be made to easily move across the object at a speed greater than c. Similarly, a shadow cast on a distant object can be made to move across the object faster than c.

In neither case does light travel from the source to the object faster than c, nor does any information travel faster than light. The speed at which two moving objects in a single frame of reference approach is called mutual or closing velocity. This can approach twice the speed of light, as in the case of two particles traveling at a speed close to that of light in opposite directions with respect to the frame of reference. Imagine two rapidly moving particles approaching each other from opposite sides of a collider type particle accelerator.

The closing speed would be the speed at which the distance between the two particles decreases. From the point of view of an observer at rest with respect to the accelerator, this speed will be slightly less than twice the speed of light. Special relativity doesn't prohibit it. It tells us that it is incorrect to use Galilean relativity to calculate the speed of one of the particles, as would be measured by an observer traveling with the other particle.

In other words, special relativity provides the correct formula for adding velocity to calculate said relative velocity. If a spacecraft travels at high speed to a planet within one light-year (measured in Earth's resting frame) from Earth, it could take less time than one year as measured by traveler's clock (although it will always be more than one year as measured by terrestrial clock). The value obtained by dividing distance traveled determined in framework Earth by time spent measured by traveler's clock is known as adequate speed or adequate velocity. There is no limit to value an adequate velocity since an adequate velocity does not represent velocity measured in single inertial frame.

A light signal that left Earth at same time traveler always arrived destination before traveler. The phase velocity an electromagnetic wave when traveling through medium can routinely exceed c vacuum speed light. For example this occurs most glasses X-ray frequencies. However phase velocity wave corresponds speed propagation theoretical single-frequency component (purely monochrome) wave frequency.

Such wave component must have infinite extension constant amplitude (otherwise not truly monochromatic) therefore cannot transmit any information. Therefore phase velocity greater than c does not involve propagation signals with velocity greater than....

Jeannie Eschenbrenner
Jeannie Eschenbrenner

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