LEE, could you answer this question?

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Why is it that we do not age during travel at light speed? What is it that allowes us to stay the same age while the world around us increases in age?

Why can we go on a trip traveling at light speed and not age at all, whereas the earth we seemingly just departed from has aged thousands of years? It would seem to me that we are just traveling faster...kind of like taking a trip around the world in an airplane instead of a boat...we are just moving faster, and therefore it would seem that the rest of the world would age much less than it would by boat.....Same goes for space travel, if we are moving much faster, then why would the earth age many years why we only aged a few days? I am confused..

How does this work?

Thank You

Well I'll try Adam, if I can. I'm a lay person in these matters.

I believe you are referring to the phenomena of Time Dilation as predicted by relativity. This has been confirmed to a small degree by the atomic clock experiment several times where two perfectly syncronized devices are used to demonstrate this by having the one in the fast moving aircraft return to the ground and then be out of sync with it's counterpart which was left behind. The amount of variance was in accord with Einstein's predictions.

To my knowledge, not even Einstein himself knew HOW this is so, merely that it is a predicted result of differing velocities, relative to each others' frame of reference. As we approach the speed of light, the effect becomes so pronounced that the traveller experiences such a dilation that the passage of time appears to be almost non-existant for him, FROM THE STATIONARY OBSERVER'S point of view. The traveller see's the opposite. Time for the RELATIVELY stationary objects speeds up, from HIS point of view. Neither actually senses this for themselves even tho the effect is measured to be real. Each person's actual perception would not change, relative to themselves!

As an example, it's been calculated that travelling near the speed of light, it would take a ship several billion years to circumnavigate the known universe, from the point of view of someone on Earth. However, to the traveller, the amount of time that would have appeared to have elasped would be about 50+ years! (These are Carl Sagan's figures from his late PBS series, COSMOS. I'm sure thay can be backed up elsewhere.)

Einstein theorized that any hypothetical "Time Travel" could ONLY be accomplished at velocities greater than light. He also said exceeding the velocity of light was impossible and thereby, en defacto, declared time travel to be impossible by default, if you will.

I don't know of anyone who can explain exactly 'how' this dilation works beyond the fact that it seems to be nothing more than a natural process of the laws of relativity physics, difficult as that may be for most of us to grasp. Time dialtion of course is NOT time travel. It is an effect dependant on your frame of reference, relative to velocity.

To my knowledge, all real time travel theories come from hypotheses in Quantum Mechanics, not relativity. Indeed, Standard Quantum Theory DOES NOT reconcile with relativity. Most people do not realize this. It NEVER reconciled with Einstein to HIS satisfaction and with the help of some collegues, devised an experiment that is unresolved in Quantum Thoery to this day. It's know as the EPR Paradox and has to do with the "seeming" cause/effect reversal of interfering particle/wave duality. In essence, particle/wave duality leads to a situation where in certain circumstances, a particle "seems" to arrive at a target BEFORE it left. Einstein said, in effect, it cannot be! He attributed it to something he called a "spooky force at a distance" which he refused to buy into.

For me, I have a feeling the particle/wave duality is doomed to a better explaination in the future. I think this may also have an impact on the time dilation effect also which MAY be due to some force we do not yet understand that is acting on the measuring devices themsleves, and is NOT in fact what it currently APPEARS to be. But this last is my humble opinion. Not anything I can write a differential equation to explain at the moment.

Check out http://www.yankee.us.com/TEW/

It's a Quantum Theory (with lay person descriptions) that really solves the particle/wave duality problem. Unfortunately, it dooms any current time travel hypotheses in the process, since the two are interelated.

Did this help?
Thank you LEE!!

Yes, your information was very helpful, thank you...I am doing a speech on time travel tomorrow in one of my college classes, my main task is to lay down an acceptable theory on how time travel would be possible....

Again thank you

If I may add a little something..

One of the theories surrounding relativistic travel, is that it is only possible for energy (electromagnetic waves etc) to travel at the precise speed of light, not matter. This is how the theory goes..

It has to do with the fact that the mass of matter increases with velocity and as you approach the speed of light it would rise exponentially. As any form of propulsion system, no matter how 'exotic' requires some form of fuel to convert into 'thrust', part of the mass of a spacecaft must be this fuel. As the spacescaft mass increases, so does the amount of thrust that is required to continue accelerating. More thrust requires more fuel. This is the problem. Imagine the relation between the increasing mass and the increasing power ouput that is required to continue acceleration. Imagine the amount of fuel that is neccessary to feed this ever increasing demand for thrust.

The theory says that if matter were able to travel at the speed of light, it would have infinate mass. Thus you would require an infinate amount of fuel, which would result in infinate mass, and round and round it goes. It is an infinate, thus impossible ratio. You could never carry enough fuel, as the fuel would only add to your mass, thus defeating the purpose of carrying it.

You could say that in the future a drive may be invented that does not need to carry any fuel with it at all, it can somehow spontaeniously covert collected 'cosmic' fuel into thrust. Even so, you would need to collect an infinate amount of it as your vessel's mass would still increase with velocity (if I understand the theory correctly).

Energy, light for instance, doesn't have this problem though because it has no mass - it's energy not matter..

That's just a little food for thought.

As for time dilation, it has to be a fundamental element of the nature of the universe and just one of the things that we seem to be aware of, but not how or why it is so..Time and space are one and the same though, we can only perceive a part of the overall picture, but the future is just as real as the past, even if we aren't able to perceive it..
Re:Re:LEE, could you answer this question?

Yes, the mass/velocity problem is indeed at the core of ONE of the reasons Quantum Theory does not reconcile with Relativity. It's another manifestation of the wave/particle duality problem. It is also why I used an example for Adam that involves travelling NEAR the speed of light, not actually AT it. (In the Sagan calculation example, I believe he used something like 99.9999% of c (light speed) as the velocity.)

Incidently, the mass increase calculation/prediction is not really "exponential" per se, as that would still graph to a straight line increase, albeit a very steep one. The mass "increase rate" plots to a hyperbola where it is miniscule at low velocities, and shoots up as you get very near c. Even MORE drastically than exponential.

I think you and I only disagree on one point, if "disagreement" is indeed what it is. In your above dissertation, your last sentence says "...but the future is just as real as the past, even if we aren't able to perceive it.. "

I'd be interested in why you think so since I can't see any empirical evidence of this. :-)


Is the future as \'real\' as the past?

I may have been a bit sketchy on the details concerning matter and the speed of light, it was just something that I remembered whilst reading the time dilation query..It's been floating around inside my head for years in some vague form or other..

Anyway, you ask what I base my "the future is as real as the past" comment on.

Well..Firstly I apologise. I didn't mean state it as categorical fact, but part of my theorising.

It's all to do with that old chestnut, "Time is an artificial concept created by beings living in a linear existence". It is how we perceive the universe, because we are limited to perceiving events only in the order of cause and effect, if you like. What if, this constraint is not a universal law? It's difficult to think of the universe in these terms, but how would the time/space continuum appear from the perspective of the universe itself? Because we can't comprehend such a concept, does that mean that such a perspective can't exist? If time is truly just our perspective (artificial?) may there not be something else in the universe that is not restricted in this way

Imagine if you could see the universe from beyond a linear perspective. You could then (theoretically) see every event, regardless of 'when' it occurs. Time itself would become utterly meaningless.
You may say "yes, but how could we ever 'see' beyond our natural perception?". Well, I don't know, but since we don't know how to time travel either, I'd say that you can't rule out the possibilty that the two problems are interlinked.

The future may not seem real to us, but consider time travel itself. If it becomes possible to travel to the past, then it is possible for a time traveller from the future to arrive in our 'present'. They would be 'real' and would have come from a 'real' point in the future, hence that future is 'real' We can't perceive it, so it may not seem real to us, but nevertheless, it must...exist (in a manner of speaking), making our perception irrelevant to the fabric of the universe.
Whether you hold most stock in a single predetermined universe where time travel is integral to history(which I'm beginning to as I feel that it's cleaner and more ingenious), or in a universe containing infinite alternate realities, (one of which has just been created by said incursion) makes no fundamental difference. The time traveller is real and he/she came from a real point in 'time' relative to us. If this is not so, how would time travel into the future be possible? I'll leave that alone though, that's another can of worms.

This is related to the question of whether or not something exists if it is not perceived by anyone or anything. I find the idea that something has to be perceived to be real ridiculous. It would suppose that human perception,ie linear perception is the be all and end all of the universe, with no other form of perception possible. Is this another case of human arrogance? Because let's face it, there is lot about the universe that we are ignorant of..

Anyway, who knows?? I don't
) I just feel that considering the time/space continuum from outside our normal frame of reference may well be a neccessary factor when actually tackling the problem of time travel. If 'displacing' matter through time is universally impossible though, I suppose that theorising on perspective will never be more than academic..
Re:Is the future as \'real\' as the past?

OK. I gotcha. I'd have to say that I most certainly agree.

First adam, allowes is allows(I had merciless english teachers in grade school) but anyway, there is no such thing as "time". Like the ancient idea of "caloric" it just doesn't exist. To wit, once it was thought that all substances had varying amounts of earth-ness/fire-ness/ water-ness/air-ness until an american, Benjamin Thompson(an american Loyalist, not revolutionary) did an experiment that paved the way for the understanding of SPECIFIC HEAT, but "caloric" still lives on as in food-heat. And so, it will take you some "time" to escape the idea that "time" is some thing in and of itself, but perhaps you could benefit by reading my OUT OF TIME paper:snail mail:W=P 420 2nd Ave East Kalispell, MT 59901(406-752-3328). If you can escape the mental prison cell of "time"(that so many others love as home) then it will become laughably obvious how aliens do the missing time number and travel as phase matter waves at C squared = 105 sec/light year, how they disappear(like JESUS),accelerate/decelerate at seemingly impossible speeds, and much, much more. But first comes.... learning, hard learning.....
Re:Re:LEE, could you answer this question?

SimonB-you have bought into a lot of the ignorance of the past(of human physics). Perhaps you would like to know the truth that Einstein/ Planck/Heisenberg overlooked or didn't want known as it would have under cut their own credibility. Anyway, there is no such thing as "time", any more than there is a thing as "caloric". I have generated a paper:OUT OF TIME that explains the mystery: your existence in "time" is but a movie of quantum-momentum picture frames that gives the ILLUSION of continuous motion. The frames are determined by matter wave length and matter part- icle velocity, or to put it another way, "time"(=KE=mass=Ws not = Pv) is underunning/over-running invisible matter waves vs particle velocities. My snail mail is: W=P 420 2nd Ave East Kalispell, MT 59901 (406-752- 3328). Once you understand the true nature of "time" then the mystery of "missing time" in alien abductions becomes laughably easy to see, as well as travel at C squared(105 sec/light year), invisibility, spiritual control, and much, much more; but first you must escape the mental prison cell of "time". Can you do it?
Re:Re:Re:LEE, could you answer this question?

IT was just a vague recollection on relativistic travel that I had, I never claimed to be an expert, or hold Einstein's theories as gospel.
My interest doesn't really lie in cold scientific theory anyhow, it lies in theorising the various possibilities that time travel proposes from a logical standpoint.- 'What would happen?' rather than 'What technology would it require?' Purely academic.

I have accepted for a long while that 'TIME' is merely our limited perception of the universe (and stated it). If you were able to perceive beyond this limitation of 'linear time' as we call it, from a 'cosmic' perception if you like, time would obviously become a meaningless concept. People that refuse to theorise beyond what they can perceive are obviously going to have great trouble with time travelling concepts.
I don't consider myself to be small mided in such a way. Maybe you could read some of my other mails (I'm not a physicist, I'm a Designer who loves stretching his mind - please keep that in mind.)

I have always felt that it is essential to accept that there must be far more to the universe than human perception.

I remain open minded.

I don't think that there is any need for condescension. Thanks.