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Speed of light broken...did not c that coming

post #1 of 44
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Pun intended on the 'c'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/mai...cispeed116.xml

'We have broken speed of light'

By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 16/08/2007

A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.

According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second.

However, Dr Gunter Nimtz and Dr Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, say they may have breached a key tenet of that theory.

The pair say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons - energetic packets of light - travelled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft apart.

Being able to travel faster than the speed of light would lead to a wide variety of bizarre consequences.

For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.

The scientists were investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which allows sub-atomic particles to break apparently unbreakable laws.

Dr Nimtz told New Scientist magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."
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post #2 of 44
Ouch on the title.

Cool on the article.
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post #3 of 44
We have broken the speed of light, the article's headline boldly proclaims.

No, we haven't. I absolutely guarantee it. First, let's look at what they did:

Quote:
The pair say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons - energetic packets of light - travelled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft apart.

Well there's not really anything here. My first guess was that this was some issue about Quantum Entanglement, but it might not be (and that doesn't offer FTL communication anyway, that's just a sloppy interpretation of what's happening). If this is about entanglement then it's not news, this has been done dozens of times, and it doesn't break SR.

But if it's not about entanglement it doesn't matter, because there's no way light traveled faster than light. It reminds me of someone who asked me if humidity can be above 100%. My response was, "No, because can't hold more water than it can possibly hold."

Light always travels at the speed of light, and the speed of light varies based on the medium the light is in. This comes straight from Maxwell's Laws (see here if you're interested in why), and it's what inspired Einstein to think about what light would look like if you ran alongside it (of course, he figured out that no matter how fast you were running it would still go at the speed of light). Special relativity comes straight from Maxwell's laws, and if something is found to violate SR, then Maxwell's laws aren't correct.

Now, it's always possible that our current knowledge of the universe isn't correct, even something as old and well-established as the fundamental theory of electricity and magnetism. But the more established and well-tested the theory, the less likely this becomes. It's like evolution, sure it could be wrong, but it almost certainly isn't. The same is true of Maxwell's Laws, they've been so thoroughly tested to such insane limits that if they're wrong it would shake physics to its core (given that those four little equation form an entire section of physics, and form the foundation for relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics, the other being QM).

So while it's possible that these two researchers have broken the speed of light, I highly doubt it. Besides, if you look at their setup the have light traveling one meter, which happens in about 3 nanoseconds. I think it's more likely that they measured incorrectly (that there's some error in their experiment) than that half of modern physics is wrong. If I never hear about this monumental discovery again, I'll be pretty sure that I'm right.

Update: A different article has more information, this one attributes the FTL travel to quantum tunneling, which is a process by which a particle goes through an energy barrier that it classically shouldn't be able to go through. I'm not very experienced with this phenomenon, but my understanding is that this still doesn't violate SR since it's not actually moving that distance, the wavefunction has just spread over to the other detector. Since the wavefunction covered the whole distance anyway, the particle wasn't localized before measurement, so it can't be said to have traveled FTL in any real sense (keep in mind that could all be wrong). But it's so hard to say what's going on based on these news reports, they don't include reference information and I can't see it here anyway, so I can't check any actual paper for an idea of what's going on.

In any case, I still stand by my original assessment that this isn't revolutionary, but as always, I could be wrong.

UPDATE 2: Wow, I should have checked Eureka Alert a while ago. Here's a reasonable explanation of what happened. It was indeed tunneling, and it also does not violate SR. As is typical with science reporting, the reporter seized upon the most fantastic interpretation of the results, and not the sober analysis presented at the end. We did not break the speed of light, end of story.


Source


Sometimes blogs are good. Sorry to burst the bubble though.
post #4 of 44
Imagine 2 photons moving in opposite directions from the same source. What is the relative velocity between the two photons? ... C. (not 2c)

This experiment in the 1980s has been cited by some (especially in the "new age phsyics set) as having possible "FTL" implications, but there is no proven evidence of such.
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post #5 of 44
Nice explanation - by measuring the peak of the wave packet, and having that wave packet 'shrink', the observed 'speed' of the peak is > c, but if you were to measure from the leading edge, it would be c.

Okay, this is interesting - assume that the peak represents the sum collection of some amount of information. The leading edge alone won't do it. Transmit as they did. Did you just transmit *information* > c, or does the lossy nature, coupled with the quantum inability to determine precisely which bits will be lost, mean that you can never guarantee that the information you *want* is transmitted, thereby bypassing the issue?

Hmm.
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post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha View Post

Nice explanation - by measuring the peak of the wave packet, and having that wave packet 'shrink', the observed 'speed' of the peak is > c, but if you were to measure from the leading edge, it would be c.

Okay, this is interesting - assume that the peak represents the sum collection of some amount of information. The leading edge alone won't do it. Transmit as they did. Did you just transmit *information* > c, or does the lossy nature, coupled with the quantum inability to determine precisely which bits will be lost, mean that you can never guarantee that the information you *want* is transmitted, thereby bypassing the issue?

Hmm.

Hmm. sounds interesting, Schrödinger equation (rogue waves), evanescent modes (standing waves), wave celerity, group velocity (individual waves within the group travel faster than the wave group itself (except at the shallow water limit))). Water waves.

Aren't waves bounded by the medium they travel in?

And since space is expanding at an increasing rate now than in the past, the entire Elvis wave train (nee packet) arrives before (nee at the same time) it's left the building?
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post #7 of 44
This is a quantum event, right? I didn't think it was assumed that any of the same rules applied there, especially the rules that apply large-scale like the speed of light.
post #8 of 44
it has been shown that most rules (all?) apply.
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post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

it has been shown that most rules (all?) apply.

right up until you hit 'planks' and the singularity, which is when it is not know how stuff behaves, and einsteinium physics breaks its link with quantum mechanics, which is why our understanding of physics is incomplete, because their is either a unifying force between classical physics and quantum mechanics that we have not yet discovered, or the programmers of our simulation screwed up somewhere. Personally i think its extremely likely that we are living in a simulation and someone screwed up. Perhaps the division between classical and quantum is the limit of the FPU precision in someones computer. There are 2 models running to create our universe, the classical model and the quantum model. They mostly are compatible until you reach the precision limit of the computers FPU, and then you jump to the other model. Obviously the problem is the rounding limit of 'the FPU when you make the jump between models.

Think of it like this. Any universe that evolves intelligent life - the intelligent life will create simulations, like we do with software like the sims. As the technology becomes more powerful, we can create better simulations, eventually creating our own simulations of universes, star and planet formations, and evolution. These simulations will then become so accurate and powerful that the simulation will evolve intelligent life, who will eventually create models and simulations of their own simulated environment, and the whole process starts all over. Now, the only chance of being 'real' is if you are the product of the original natural history of the universe, of which there is only one - versus a potentially infinite number of simulations. So there is far more chance that we are actually living in someones simulation.

And incidently, I would argue that we are living in a simulation because there is 1 very simple equation that describes so much, and my belief is that as we come to further probe and understand the universe, we will see that it describes everything, including QM, and that is the theory of Chaos. What better way to accurately model a simulation from the subatomic to the galactic massive' than to put in one very simple law that has the potential to describe everything.?

incidently I read not so long ago, an article on loop quantum gravity, which supposedly shows that the big bang didn't start from a singularity, but a bounce from a previous contracting universe, and as such, 'information' from the previous universe was not totally destroyed and would help to shape this one, i suppose if we ever get clever enough, we would be able to test the conditions and physical laws before the big bang.

Thats sure to get dmz in a quantum spin!

my opinion on the new experiment is that they did not break the c barrier.
post #10 of 44
yadda yadda yadda... tierney... yadda yadda yadda.

classical is connected to quantum in every way. there is a clear experimental point where the quantum models predict NOTHING different than classical models -- remember these are just maths that allow us to interpret what we observe, they aren't what is happening...
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post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

yadda yadda yadda... tierney... yadda yadda yadda.

classical is connected to quantum in every way. there is a clear experimental point where the quantum models predict NOTHING different than classical models -- remember these are just maths that allow us to interpret what we observe, they aren't what is happening...

well ignoranus, i was essentially agreeing with you in every way -and you did leave a question mark after 'all'. And its not really 'All' because otherwise we would have a GUT, and clearly we dont. Afterall, there is this wee little point where classical and quantum do diverge and need a new explanation to unify them...

Bar the fact that we dont actually know what is happening, so we cannot make the assertion that the math 'only' allows us to interpret what is really happening. It might be that the math 'is' what is really happening if the mathematic variables accurately describe 'stuff'
post #12 of 44
Occam's Razor basically eliminates the simulated universe as well as an omnipotent deity. Pretty much the same thing, so can we get back to the science now? plzkthx
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post #13 of 44
Everything I know about any of this stuff comes from "A Brief History of Time." But my understanding was that the two worlds - the large with gravity and such and the small with the strong force etc. and quantum things - weren't integrated at all. And that in fact this lack of integration was the main problem in modern physics, that Einstein couldn't solve, and has lead to all kinds of craziness like string theory.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

well ignoranus, i was essentially agreeing with you in every way -and you did leave a question mark after 'all'. And its not really 'All' because otherwise we would have a GUT, and clearly we dont. Afterall, there is this wee little point where classical and quantum do diverge and need a new explanation to unify them...

Bar the fact that we dont actually know what is happening, so we cannot make the assertion that the math 'only' allows us to interpret what is really happening. It might be that the math 'is' what is really happening if the mathematic variables accurately describe 'stuff'

wake up on the wrong side of the couch?

the whole simulation meme was laid out recently in an article by john tierney.

as far as why we DON'T have a GUT isn't the lack of unification of quantum and classical, it's the fact that we don't have evidence of the equivalency of gravity and the other forces (which is ONLY peripherally related to the question of whether classical observations mesh with quantized forces).

the math isn't what is happening. no physicist would suggest that. no one should believe that. proteins aren't sitting there with calculators determining the energetics of the forces acting on them.
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post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

wake up on the wrong side of the couch?

the whole simulation meme was laid out recently in an article by john tierney.

as far as why we DON'T have a GUT isn't the lack of unification of quantum and classical, it's the fact that we don't have evidence of the equivalency of gravity and the other forces (which is ONLY peripherally related to the question of whether classical observations mesh with quantized forces).

the math isn't what is happening. no physicist would suggest that. no one should believe that. proteins aren't sitting there with calculators determining the energetics of the forces acting on them.

Yadda yadda yadda Boltzmann Brain Yadda yadda yadda.

well i'm afraid this tierney guy has been in flying around the universe in a bubble at c for the half his life, because I read the simulation idea about a year ago from a paper that is about 30 years old.

As for the math, it pains me to think that im discussing an idea with someone who thinks im saying that proteins are sitting there with calculators working out how theyre supposes to behave before they do something.

There is something else though that has been interesting me for a while. That might be related to c.

These days we are finding many extrasolar planets around stars many light years away, but there is one very odd thing about all this. Their size and their orbital times.

We are talking about host stars that are many times more massive than our Sun, and the planets are on the order of many times more massive than our own Jupiter, nothing too strange there. But then we are seeing orbital times of days. DAYS!

Of course, im smart enough to realise that as we are at the start of a new technology, our detection is going to be limited at the moment to whatever is easiest to detect. And our 3 variables, star mass, planet mass, orbital period, do lean towards the easiest to detect, which would explain why we are detecting them first.

But days. That is very far out!

What if - the light we view from outer space travels at a different c than our own local system?

why would it do that? because perhaps c is relative to the strength of the local gravitational system, we will always measure c at 186000mps wether the source is local or extraterrestial, because every measurement we can make of c is done in the vicinity of our local gravitational system, so there is no discrepancy and it would be a correct measurement.

What if when in a different gravitational field, pretend one twice as strong, we would still locally measure c at 186000 miles per second, but it was a 'different' or relative 186000 mps, so that if it were possible to measure that c from out own relative gravitational field on earth, it would actually be say 93000 mps or half because the grav field is twice as strong. The measurement would still be the same locally, but different relatively?

You might then find that in systems where there is little gravitational influence like outer space, that although if you went there, you would still measure c as 186000mps, because of the relative gravitational force, if it were possible to measure c in the context of a different local relative gravitational system of outer space, you might find that you get a different reading of c say 10 times faster, while still being the same and not violating any laws of physics.

That would mean that what we see from space is vastly sped up, so we see massive gas giants orbiting stars in days, but c is still the same wherever we measure it relatively. Oh yes it also makes the universe vastly vastly older relatively, while not breaking any known laws of physics.
post #16 of 44
The speed of light can be different at every point in space (given an absolute non-perturbed measure of distance), it's true. But astronomers aren't seeing evidence of radically blue or red shifted light from the stars in question; this means that their observations of periodicity AREN'T due to radically varying gravitational fields.

The fact that gravity is spherically symmetric means that whatever gains in relative speed (or decreases in ticking of the local clock) light has on the approach to a gravitational well is lost on the exit.

These are the reasons why your relative light speed argument doesn't explain away the periods of the planets.
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post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

The speed of light can be different at every point in space (given an absolute non-perturbed measure of distance), it's true. But astronomers aren't seeing evidence of radically blue or red shifted light from the stars in question; this means that their observations of periodicity AREN'T due to radically varying gravitational fields.

The fact that gravity is spherically symmetric means that whatever gains in relative speed (or decreases in ticking of the local clock) light has on the approach to a gravitational well is lost on the exit.

These are the reasons why your relative light speed argument doesn't explain away the periods of the planets.

In my thought experiment im not so sure that the red or blue shifts would be affected. Let me try to explain.

Say star X at a distance of 1000 ly is travelling away from us creating a red shift in our observation. All of the light leaving that star is red shifted from our POV. The red shifted light enters outer space where the is no gravitational force, its expanded wavefront relative to itself is still expanded relative to its origin, but the lightwaves have sped up en mass, preserving the redshift information. If you took a reading of it in outerspace it would still measure c and the redshift would still be the same, because you would have to take a measurement of this light exactly where you did, so your measuring equipment is subject to the same conditions as to where your position is that you are measuring.

It then travells 999.999 ly to earth until it enters our solar systems gravity. It then slows down to our relative gravity, the redshift is preserved and measuremnts are normal and correct.

Its just a thought experiment, thats all.

Anyway, don't you think its very odd that these massive stars can have massive gas planets orbiting them at less of a distance of mercurys orbit in a couple of days? (IIRC Mercury is a solid rock that orbits in 88 days)

Has anyone calculated the speed at which these planets must be orbiting? What freakish gravity is holding these Gas Giants together? Why dont they ignite and burn up?

Or Put it another way...

Does our present understanding of physics allow us to merge all of the gas giants in our system into one supermass, move it to the position of Mercury and give it enough kinetic energy to orbit the sun in 3 days, and keep a stable orbit and keep the mass together under extreme kinetic forces long enough for an intelligent civilization to take readings of it hundreds of light years away.

The alarm bells MUST be ringing...
post #18 of 44
Marc...

Remember light isn't speeding up, if it 'should' speed up, it becomes blue shifted. This is the way it works, we have enough evidence of this. The results of your thought experiment don't make sense in this context.

As far as whether it is possible to have a massive massive planet closer than mercury, it certainly is as long as that planet is much much heavier than mercury. The closer a planet get to the star the bigger it needs to be to prevent it from boiling off. It thus makes sense that the planets we can detect are enormous AND close the stars. There is self-selection in our detection method.
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post #19 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Marc...

Remember light isn't speeding up, if it 'should' speed up, it becomes blue shifted. This is the way it works, we have enough evidence of this. The results of your thought experiment don't make sense in this context.

As far as whether it is possible to have a massive massive planet closer than mercury, it certainly is as long as that planet is much much heavier than mercury. The closer a planet get to the star the bigger it needs to be to prevent it from boiling off. It thus makes sense that the planets we can detect are enormous AND close the stars. There is self-selection in our detection method.

Im sorry, that is wrong. Blue shifts or red shifts are not caused by a change in the speed of light, they are caused by a light emitter having relative motion to the observer, which changes the frequency.

Theoretically, if the passage of red-shifted light travelling through space under no gravity sped up to the extent it was blue shifted - as you claim, then the resulting slow down that happened when it entered our system - would restore the original red-shift.

However, what I am saying is that no matter where you took your measurement, the light would be red-shifted and appear at 186000 mps, because your measureing device has to be subject to the system where you take the measurement. therefore, theoretically, you can only see the effect I am describing if it would be possible to abstract yourself from the system and use a different local system as a benchmark for a different system. I know its impossible, its just a thought experiment!
post #20 of 44
No, Marc. I am not wrong. I have studied general relativity. You, obviously, have not. Light will only be returned to the same frequency if the gravitational field it experienced out bound from a star is exactly equivalent to the gravitational field it experienced in bound to the observer -- as this is unlikely, the light will be changed (albeit small).

It isn't light that is changing it's speed -- its a stretching of the space-time metric in the presence of a gravitational field.

Edit: It doesn't matter in any event, marc... Except for the most recently discovered one, all of the planets discovered fit into what could be called conventionally expected.
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post #21 of 44
Dude, arguing with him is beyond pointless. The only future in that is pain and suffering from repeatedly beating your hands and head to a pulp on the keyboard.
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post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Dude, arguing with him is beyond pointless. The only future in that is pain and suffering from repeatedly beating your hands and head to a pulp on the keyboard.

yes i know it is. How annoying is it to have someone keep telling me I am wrong, then expresses exactly the same fucking concept with a different set of words.
post #23 of 44
Marc...

here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_redshift

It is only a frequency change. Not a speed change. Etc etc etc.
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post #24 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Marc...

here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitational_redshift

It is only a frequency change. Not a speed change. Etc etc etc.

YOU WROTE
Quote:
if it 'should' speed up, it becomes blue shifted. This is the way it works....

So when I wrote

Quote:
Im sorry, that is wrong. Blue shifts or red shifts are NOT caused by a change in the speed of light, they are caused by a light emitter having relative motion to the observer, which changes the frequency.

HOW CAN I MAKE MYSELF MORE COMPREHENSIBLE???"
post #25 of 44
Your reading comprehension is clearly negligible.
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post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Your reading comprehension is clearly negligible.

well obviously, Im trying to explain something, you're saying Im wrong, then saying the same as what I said in a different set of words. What gives? Is this just a joke to annoy me?
post #27 of 44
No. I think we have been talking about each other...

What I am trying to argue is that earlier in this thread when you were talking about the speed of light changing radically in space, which is irrelevant and nearly impossible, such that observations of the periods of planets around distant stars CHANGE is not only wrong, it shows a clear lack of understanding the fundamentals of general and special relativity. The periodicity observed in the color light coming from the distant solar systems is built ON TOP of the (nearly) constant relativistic changes imparted by gravity.
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post #28 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

No. I think we have been talking about each other...

What I am trying to argue is that earlier in this thread when you were talking about the speed of light changing radically in space, which is irrelevant and nearly impossible, such that observations of the periods of planets around distant stars CHANGE is not only wrong, it shows a clear lack of understanding the fundamentals of general and special relativity. The periodicity observed in the color light coming from the distant solar systems is built ON TOP of the (nearly) constant relativistic changes imparted by gravity.

I thought I went to great lengths to try to explain that wherever you measure the speed of light in space, it will always be the same. I'll use your description (between asterix) to hopefully clarify my point.

What I am trying to express is that if you use the local *stretching of the space-time metric in the presence of a gravitational field* as a "scale" to measure c in another place with a different local metric, then you would *theoretically* get faster than c readings for light if *stretching of the space-time metric in the presence of a gravitational field* is less than your "scale metric". I know it is impossible to do and I've said that, - if you went to the other system and measured c in its local space-time gravitational metric, you would get the standard reading for c.

OK so far?
post #29 of 44
You haven't said anything new.

Here is the question you need to answer in your thought experiment:

How can the observed periodicity of the redshift of light from a distant solar system be affected by gravity AT ALL?

You will find, if you think it through, that it would require a super strong periodic gravitational source between the solar system and the observer. There is NO OTHER WAY the periodicity can be affected.
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post #30 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

You haven't said anything new.

Here is the question you need to answer in your thought experiment:

How can the observed periodicity of the redshift of light from a distant solar system be affected by gravity AT ALL?

It Cannot! - but then I am not arguing that it is!

Quote:
You will find, if you think it through, that it would require a super strong periodic gravitational source between the solar system and the observer. There is NO OTHER WAY the periodicity can be affected.


I am drawing a picture to try to help explain my words. Hang on!
post #31 of 44
I am so confused....

Aren't you saying that the periods of the planets we are observing are wrong because the information somehow is getting compressed?
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post #32 of 44
post #33 of 44
Um. What? The observer is measuring light in his own local environment, not light in some distant environment.

I really don't see how any of this makes a difference.
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post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

I am so confused....

Aren't you saying that the periods of the planets we are observing are wrong because the information somehow is getting compressed?

No, its not wrong as such, clearly if were measuring 3 day orbitals, then 3 days it is in our frame of reference. Im questioning the possibility that if we went there and we were in a different frame of reference, then we might not measure 3 days - with 2 options..

1) If we take (abstract) the gravitational metric from Earth and go to the star, we would find that although it measures 3 days on the 'Earth' scale, because we are now in a different space-time metric, the actual orbital period in that space-time metric does not correspond to 3 earth days.

or

2) If we went to the star and measured 3 days in their gravitational metric, then we would not measure 3 Earth days if we looked back at our own planet from the gravitational metric we were now in.
post #35 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

Um. What? The observer is measuring light in his own local environment, not light in some distant environment.

I really don't see how any of this makes a difference.

well that might be getting to my point...

What does it look like if we measure light using the metric of our local system abstracted onto a far away distant one that is under different influences????
post #36 of 44
That is what relativity is about -- being able to change frames of reference based upon speed and gravitational fields.

The corrections are usually very very small -- the planet closest to the star isn't experiencing relativistic speeds, but is deep enough in the star's gravitational well to see some change in click of a clock compared to say earth, but is that even relevant. The time it takes for the planet to go around its star is only going to be slightly different than the three days we observe. Only near black holes do things become significant on such time scales.
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post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardeeharhar View Post

That is what relativity is about -- being able to change frames of reference based upon speed and gravitational fields.

The corrections are usually very very small -- the planet closest to the star isn't experiencing relativistic speeds, but is deep enough in the star's gravitational well to see some change in click of a clock compared to say earth, but is that even relevant. The time it takes for the planet to go around its star is only going to be slightly different than the three days we observe. Only near black holes do things become significant on such time scales.

great! were getting somewhere.

But I wonder just how much gravitational difference there must be between our system and the system were discussing.

The planet must have a huge mass - and spin like a bitch to keep intact while so near to its star, and with huge mass comes huge gravity. And the star must have enormous mass to hold on to such a rapidly moving huge mass. I wonder what the frame dragging is like in this setup? Tidal locking???

heres the planet!
post #38 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcUK View Post

well that might be getting to my point...

What does it look like if we measure light using the metric of our local system abstracted onto a far away distant one that is under different influences????

Gravitational warping of light notwithstanding, I happen to think the observational astronomers have accounted for all these factors. Note the observations in our own Milky Way galaxy of the supermassive black hole at it's center, and the objects orbiting it, some with very high eccentricities and relative speed changes (highest at closest approach).

Note also that most (if not all (?)) of these extrasolar planets are massive and orbiting stars within ~100l LY of our Sun.

There was an interesting show on "The Science Channel" last night on just this subject. In the 80's and early 90's they were looking for solar systems like our own with gas giants with orbital periods of 10-30 years, they didn't find any (in that timeframe). The first ones they did confirm had orbital periods much less then our gas giants, it came as a big surprise. They also talked to an astrophysicist (asian) who developed a theory (spiraling inward) to explain the short orbital periods.

Perhaps when NASA gets Kepler Space Observatory or James Webb Space Telescope they'll have more luck with solar systems like our own and/or rocky extrasolar planets.

It's all a matter of instrument resolution.
Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale. NOT!
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post #39 of 44
OK then.

Suppose we have a magic rule...

It is set to be 1 metre long when set in Earth's relativistic frame. It is magic because relativity has no effect on it, always measuring 1 Earth metre wherever it is in space.

Suppose we go into deep space deviod of space-time warping and measure the length of an imaginary EMF wave that has a *relativistic* local length of 1m. What does this measure on the magic Earth rule?
post #40 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by franksargent View Post

Gravitational warping of light notwithstanding, I happen to think the observational astronomers have accounted for all these factors. Note the observations in our own Milky Way galaxy of the supermassive black hole at it's center, and the objects orbiting it, some with very high eccentricities and relative speed changes (highest at closest approach).

Note also that most (if not all (?)) of these extrasolar planets are massive and orbiting stars within ~100l LY of our Sun.

There was an interesting show on "The Science Channel" last night on just this subject. In the 80's and early 90's they were looking for solar systems like our own with gas giants with orbital periods of 10-30 years, they didn't find any (in that timeframe). The first ones they did confirm had orbital periods much less then our gas giants, it came as a big surprise. They also talked to an astrophysicist (asian) who developed a theory (spiraling inward) to explain the short orbital periods.

Perhaps when NASA gets Kepler Space Observatory or James Webb Space Telescope they'll have more luck with solar systems like our own and/or rocky extrasolar planets.

It's all a matter of instrument resolution.

Its not suprising they dont find them, these freakish planets we have been discussing only block about 1% of the light from the parent star even when being so close and so massive, I would guess that the amount of light Jupiter blocks from our star to a distant observer is crazy small undetectable, like 0.000000001%.
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