Aircrafts have past the speed of sound ... do you think they will ever break the speed of light?
Do you think the light barrier can be broken? ... I think it can.
Well, recent results from CERN seem to suggest that faster-than-light neutrinos have been found... but they haven't been confirmed yet. If things could travel faster than light, that would have some very weird consequences for physics, such as allowing time travel.
It would be a big jump to go from finding particles that travel faster than light to building aircraft that can break the light barrier.
Such an ability would require a fundamental breakthrough like the ability to manipulate the fabric of space.
Space is warped by gravity, but could we create artificial gravity? If we could, we may be on our way to breaking this barrier. Of course, any matter caught outside of a spatial warp, protective field would be subject to the Einstein laws which prevent FTL (faster-than-light) travel.
interesting responses ... thanks guys.
@topquark - the laws of physics are made by humans ... they can change so all good. but yeah i guess you're right in saying that it would be a big jump to build an aircraft if they only possibly found a particle.
@lonestar - very interesting approach ... i talked on a forum once with someone about utilizing the gravitational fields of the universe to travel faster.
I guess only time will tell.
@ arksys - I completely disagree that physical laws are made by humans. They are a fundamental part of the universe in which we live, they are integral to it existing as it does. Most of the laws of physics have been confirmed experimentally as being accurate, so the laws of physics are not made by humans, but by nature itself. We mealy use our language to describe these laws so that we can understand them.
No. If you could make a plane that had no mass, then it could travel at light speed. (In fact, it would have to). But nothing can travel faster than light. Sadly, there are all sorts of mechanisms that forbid it.
There is no comparison between sound waves and photons in this context (apart from the wave-equations). Sound is energy passed from one particle to the next and cannot exist in a vacuum. There are no fundamental laws that preclude any mass going faster than a sound wave in air as long as you can displace the air particles fast enough to overcome friction. The same argument goes for water. It's not reasonable to make the same argument for granite since it's easier for sound to travel through granite than for you to drive a vehicle through it. In fact sound travels in dense mediums like rock much faster than in air. In air, the speed of sound depends on pressure and temperature.
Light however, is an electromagnetic wave that travels without any medium at all. Therefore light can travel through space, while sound has a very hard time of it since there are only a few atoms per cubic Km of space. In fact, light is made of photons which have no rest mass. This means they cannot be accelerated or decelerated. If you are a single photon, you have two options. Speed of light or nothing.
Through any medium, photons bump into atoms, get absorbed, and then emitted again which slows the entire beam down (but while existing, each photon travels at c).
So even light cannot break the light-barrier, and anything with a rest-mass must travel slower. There is no way around this. Not even with faith and inspiration.
Since it is information that can piggy-back on a photon, you can extend this to say that no SIGNAL can travel faster than c. This is a more useful definition. It's theoretically possible to fold or stretch space without violating this rule. So it's possible in theory to join two points of space with some kind of short cut or to stretch space so fast that two objects separate faster than c. But in neither case is the light-barrier broken and to manipulate space itself this would require mind-bogglingly high energies.
BTW - Neutrino FLT was found to be a cable-problem which affected the measurements.
May be only after we learn to deal with invisible things, and versed with mass-energy interconversion.
For our science hitherto says, at the speed of light entire mass of the body gets converted to energy.
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