A question anyone can answer.

R. Scott Jokerst scott_jokerst at data-transport.com
Thu Oct 17 12:44:51 EST 1996


Not sure this is the best venue for this discussion, but it is difficult
for a non-physicist like myself to resist commenting as if I really knew
the field!  Which I don't.

Does anyone have direct empiricle evidence which could be used to answer
your question?

I have a thought experiment for you (with no assertion of factuality here):

Imagine that if instead of c being the speed of light in a vacuum above
which no object can traval faster, that instead c is the fastest speed by
which one object can communicate (impart or receive a 'force') with
another.

If this were the case, we would still 'observe' that no matter the power
applied to an object, we could neither propel it (nor detect it) traveling
faster than c.  For example, a coasting freight train could push a very
light object rolling in the same direction on it's tracks no faster than
it's own speed before contact.  Thus, we never can seem to accelerate
objects faster than c relative to us using devices which are stationary to
us and pumping out energy photons at c to do the job.

In you're experiment, however, the car is moving at c.  By our initial
(perhaps questionable) hypothesis, the observer in the car will see these
photons leave at the speed of light (now, perhaps going 2c from our
perspective).  But what would we (resting) see, since we cannot receive
information regarding these super-c photons at speeds greater than c.
Since we only receive info at a rate equal to c (tops), then a doppler
effect occurs.  We see a photon traveling at c with a frequency twice what
the observer in the car sees (if the beam is pointed straight at us).

I am prepared to be torn apart by those with some experience in the area of
relativity and empiracle experience which will refute the above hypothesis.
And would enjoy it.  This is an issue which has always nagged at me... the
question of whether what we infer of the universe has been distorted by our
inability to observe and compare phenomena from velocities which vary so
little in difference from c.

Scott

Of course, its equally likely Hector could be right on!

************

At 7:41 AM 10/17/96, pezmen at gate.net (Hector Cruz-Lopez) wrote:
>the light will splatter all over the windshield!
>


At 10:34 PM 10/16/96, Jeremy Harrison wrote:
>I have long been wondering;  If you are driving in n automobile that is
>traveling at the speed of light, what happens if you turn on the
>headlights?
>
>Please tell me what you think would happen.  If I don't get an answer,
>then I'll assume that none of you really know.
>
>Jeremy Harrison
>jharriso at nike.heidelberg.edu

    R. Scott Jokerst (510-648-8229)    scott_jokerst at data-transport.com
       Biological Data Transport       http://www.data-transport.com
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