I am Younger because I am Faster!

Space the final frontier.  How many times have we heard this phrase while flipping through the channels on our TV, or watching a Star Trek episode?  Space really is a frontier all by itself, but what really make it interesting are the laws that put it together.  Laws we think we know, laws that we have no idea about, and maybe there are no laws at all.  The one thing that is quite interesting about space/universe is the one law we are so sure about that if it is broken all our other laws mean nothing.  Light, or rather nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.  Albert Einstein theorized that it was impossible to travel faster than the speed of light.  Others have said that it would take all the energy in the known universe to travel faster than light, and being that we would never be able to harness all the energy in the universe, in turn would render FTL travel impossible.  I, myself, do not like limits, but if I have to follow one I guess I will follow this one for now.  What I really want to dive into is things that happen when we approach the speed of light.  How time and space actually warp, and how this would affect a society of people, like us.

The first interesting phenomenon that happens when we start traveling extremely fast is space starts to warp.  This would seem understandable to a normal person because it is something we can see in our everyday lives.  The faster we go the weirder things will start to look.  We cannot expect anything to look similar when we are going super fast.  Traveling at 70mph in a car looking at a point out a car window we can start to see some distortion effects.  Things do not look exactly the same as they do if we were standing still.  Another example would be watching light pass through water or thick glass.  Light actually slows down when it passes though different materials and we are able to see some distortion effects.  There are many different examples of light distorting in our everyday environment, but where it gets interesting is time.  When we travel faster and faster not only space gets distorted but time does as well.  Space-time as it is called.  Time warping is something that is difficult for people to get their head around.  This is because it causes some paradox shifts in our society if we really think about it.  Now what do I mean by time warping?  The simplest way to put it is that time is not constant, as so many of us believe.  Time actually does not progress at the same speed everywhere.  The closer we get to the speed of light the slower time progresses.  So if I was traveling close to the speed of light and someone else was standing still it would feel to me like 5 or 10 seconds have passed when actually 5 or 10 hours have passed.  Wow!

The actual reasons why this happens is not exactly known, it could be because of gravity, a force we still do not fully understand, is trying to balance the differential bubble that gets created when objects are not stationary or to simplify the reasoning, light is constant so everything else must fluctuate to function.  Not to focus on the reasoning why time is not constant, the fact that time is not constant is what is really mind boggling.  One example that I have seen of this actually taking place is with satellites orbiting earth.  Satellites orbit our planet at an extremely fast speed, still only a drop in the bucket to the speed of light.  Even though the speed is so much slower than light it is still much faster than our daily lives down on earth.  Each of these satellites have a clock on them and the clock runs ever so slightly slower than the clocks on earth.  So in this example, our GPS systems which calculate our positions by exact time measurements have to be tuned with their velocity in mind so that we can calculate what the actually time difference is here on earth.

So how does this affect us?  Well today it doesn’t because we all are on planet earth traveling roughly the same speeds in the same environment but what happens if we have the ability to travel the cosmos.  The ability to live on different planets, traveling at different speeds, things start to get interesting.  Does a people settled on one planet that is traveling 5 times faster than people settled on another age slower?  It would seem that this is the case.   Which planet would you rather live on?  It would seem that traveling close to the speed of light really shakes up the universal ideas that we as a people accept.  Time is constant, but is it?  To a human on planet earth time appears to be constant but appearances can be, and in this case are, deceiving.

How traveling close to the speed of light will change our society cannot be predicted.  What we do know is that it will cause a paradigm shift in the way the human race understands time, and behaves because of it.  But remember, this will only happen if the theories of Albert Einstein are true.

modern day physics = this man

BIGFIX01

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Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 10:20 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Literally, this seems always true-
    people who move fast looks younger for their age.

  2. […] Pooch Purses placed an observative post today on I am Younger because I am Faster!Here’s a quick excerpt…take all the energy in the known universe to travel faster than light, and being that we would never be able to harness all the energy in the… […]

  3. Literally, this seems always true-
    people who move fast looks younger for their age.
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!


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