Faster-than-light travel - is it possible?

tommytwojags

Well-known member
Fans of science fiction series Star Trek will already be aware that many technological advances of the past half century were modelled on components of the Federation's Starship Enterprise. When the franchise first appeared on 8 September 1966, there were no large screen tvs, mobile phones, intelligent personal assistants, pocket computers, tablets, video calls, communication badges and automatic opening doors. Yet all were components of the starship and are now in regular use worldwide. Other Gene Roddenberry 'inventions' are now real production possibilities, such as the replicator (advanced 3D printer), universal translator, tractor beam, phaser (tazer) and in-ear translator.

All very impressive, but the reason for my post is the latest news that the most unlikely of all the Star Trek fictional technologies has been announced as feasible, according to leading physicist Dr Erik Lentz. Apparently, the good doctor believes that faster-than-light (FTL) speed is physically viable for the reasons briefly mentioned in the attached link and based on 'solitons' and 'super-luminal motion', words that might become as common as 'furloughing' in the future. Humans are never likely to explore distant worlds, even those outside our immediate solar system, unless FTL travel is possible. Wish I could be around to see it.

 

Tangojoe

Well-known member
I've been working on this concept for some time and I have also concluded that it is indeed possible to travel faster than light. This would involve using a spaceship capable of travelling at the speed of light and then turning its lights on. By my reckoning, the light from the headlights would exceed the speed of light. Job done. (Nominations for Nobel Physics Prize via AVFTT please)
 

Curryman

Well-known member
If it does come about, I just hope that it isn't used in weaponry. Just imagine the chaos if a superpower were to have weapons of mass destruction that were faster than light. Apparently Russia already have a delivery system that exceeds the speed of all deterents. NB always check spelling, deterents appeared as detergents originally.
 

Grumpy_no_more

Well-known member
🎶
Nothing's impossible I have found,
For when my chin is on the ground,
I pick myself up,
Dust wissels down,
Start all over again.
🎶
 

tangerinenotorange

Well-known member
If it does come about, I just hope that it isn't used in weaponry. Just imagine the chaos if a superpower were to have weapons of mass destruction that were faster than light. Apparently Russia already have a delivery system that exceeds the speed of all deterents. NB always check spelling, deterents appeared as detergents originally.

I can tell you that faster than light travel is not possible in the atmosphere of a planet so you can rest easy.

Some great gadgets aboard the starship Enterprise but nothing as great as 7 of 9 😍
 

Matesrates

Well-known member
Breaking the four minute mile was considered impossible, so there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen in the future. Wish it would happen in my lifetime, but as I’m 78, it’s probably unlikely. Nevertheless, I’ll keep hoping, and hopefully living for ever.
 

bleach51

Well-known member
I can tell you that faster than light travel is not possible in the atmosphere of a planet so you can rest easy.

Some great gadgets aboard the starship Enterprise but nothing as great as 7 of 9 😍
7 of 9....now your “talking”😉...and there is always Data for the ladies.
 

Mark_GT

Well-known member
Faster than light speed was not the greatest idea of Star Trek.

That wibble wobble Transporter was 👍
Lieutenant Uhura was the best thing to come out of Star Trek. Oh my word 😍
The internet shows that we can (with the right provider of course) move certain things pretty fast. Faster than light? We'll see.... maybe we'll be able to go back and expunge the Stains from history 🤣
 

Mexboroseasider

Well-known member
Lieutenant Uhura was the best thing to come out of Star Trek. Oh my word 😍
The internet shows that we can (with the right provider of course) move certain things pretty fast. Faster than light? We'll see.... maybe we'll be able to go back and expunge the Stains from history 🤣
If time travel was possible wouldn’t someone have come back and told us by now?
 

Bottle

Well-known member
Space is big you know, even at twice light speed it would take over 2 years to reach the next nearest star - Alpha Centauri B - that’s assuming you hit light speed immediately you put your foot on the gas and you could pull up to a dead stop at your destination.

You might have to go through the gears for a year to reach light speed and then take a year putting the brakes on!

As an avid SF reader one of my fave books had some space explorers spend 100 years cryogenically frozen to reach Alpha Centauri B, when they came out of the freezer they discovered that FLT travel had arrived 60 years earlier and everyone was flitting between planets willy nilly whilst they slept and lost everyone they knew back on Earth.

Mind you the first thing they asked on waking was “How did Pool get on against the Cods?”
 

CGP1

Well-known member
How else to explain Jofra Archer?

Now we just need to invent one that doesn't replicate the Millennium Falcon's light speed in Empire Strikes Back, and fit it with decent navigation.
 

bollieboy

Well-known member
If time travel was possible wouldn’t someone have come back and told us by now?
If you could travel faster than the speed of light then that makes time travel (backwards only) possible. I think that it would only be the ability to observe the past and not to be physically there (and have the ability to interact/impact).

Would open up many interesting things though that could be discovered. Eg - Did Jesus exist ? What happened at the Big Bang ? Where's the Ormerod money buried ?
 

CGP1

Well-known member
Bit of a disappointment to read that Bottle.

So, if I was going for it, as a bare minimum you'd recommend packing some sandwiches and an overnight bag?
 

Tangerinemoss

Well-known member
Current understanding of physics has suggested for many years that it may be possible, but whether it is practical in energy terms is an entirely different issue. For travel, perhaps worm holes are an alternative, bit like the Navigators in Dune, they connect different areas of the universe in a different dimension.

Cerenkov radiation is the only known instance of faster than light movement. On the other hand, Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity says nothing can.
 
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Alf

Well-known member
Breaking the four minute mile was considered impossible, so there’s no doubt in my mind it will happen in the future. Wish it would happen in my lifetime, but as I’m 78, it’s probably unlikely. Nevertheless, I’ll keep hoping, and hopefully living for ever.
There's a massive difference between the question of whether something is realistically or theoretically possible though. "Will somebody ever run that fast" is a completely different subject from "is it physically possible for an object to move that fast?"
 

tangerinenotorange

Well-known member
Current understanding of physics has suggested for many years that it may be possible, but whether it is practical in energy terms is an entirely different issue. For travel, perhaps worm holes are an alternative, bit like the Navigators in Dune, they connect different areas of the universe in a different dimension.

Cerenkov radiation is the only known instance of faster than light movement. On the other hand, Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity says nothing can.

Einstein was good, but he's no Gene Roddenberry.
 

Blackpool_Gaz

Well-known member
main-qimg-31c28a0d1f09dc2b149009b3e3eb56b1
 

Mr Tangerine Man

Well-known member
Unless you have the infinite source of energy , you cannot take any object in this universe near to the speed of light. Unless you find a way of negating mass.
 

Pasty Muncher

Well-known member
It looks like the Preston to Blackpool line has been upgraded just in time then. The trains would need damn good brakes though if they were to stop at Poulton.
 

Mark_GT

Well-known member
It looks like the Preston to Blackpool line has been upgraded just in time then. The trains would need damn good brakes though if they were to stop at Poulton.
PLF's been stuck in a time warp as long as I can remember. Strange alien beings, the females strange doll like creatures,orange hued with dyed blond hair and the males circling the Thatched zombielike, pastel shaded golf jumpers casually tied about their shoulders.
 

southshore

Well-known member
I'm not sure they do travel faster than light in Star Trek.

'Warp drive' as the name suggests involves bending space, so that the origin and destination are closer together, travelling through a 'worn hole', but at sub light speeds (as per Gaz's image above).

If they did travel faster than light, then a five year mission to them would be say a 200 year mission by earth time.

You have to read that in a nasally voice, so you sound like an anorak.
 
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Tangojoe

Well-known member
FUN FACT
The transporter in Star Trek was conceived as they couldn't afford the shots of a shuttle landing on each planet.

"While Star Trek human teleportation is still a long way from being feasible, scientists are making progress on the concept. Many different versions of teleportation have been explored – one key development is known as quantum teleportation, which involves sending information regarding atomic locations between two points. For a more practical form of teleportation, one German company is working on an alternative solution, a 3D printer which scans an object and produces an exact replica at another location. This could also prove the first steps towards being able to instantaneously transport items across vast distances."

Imagine that then. You transfer someone by teleportation but the person you transfer is just a replica of the original. I assume that means the original is still there. No wonder they call the lieutenant 7 of 9.
 

Lytham_fy8

Well-known member
"While Star Trek human teleportation is still a long way from being feasible, scientists are making progress on the concept. Many different versions of teleportation have been explored – one key development is known as quantum teleportation, which involves sending information regarding atomic locations between two points. For a more practical form of teleportation, one German company is working on an alternative solution, a 3D printer which scans an object and produces an exact replica at another location. This could also prove the first steps towards being able to instantaneously transport items across vast distances."

Imagine that then. You transfer someone by teleportation but the person you transfer is just a replica of the original. I assume that means the original is still there. No wonder they call the lieutenant 7 of 9.
Basically the plot to the last reel of The Prestige.
 

Tangojoe

Well-known member
Just when you thought that forces could be reduced to only four fundamental categories: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong force and the weak force, it transpires that there could be a fifth force of nature. I thought it was odd when the muons started wobbling faster than they should. I couldn't make my mind up whether this was a leptoquark or a Z'boson, so I had a beer.

 
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