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Thread: Can you prove this wrong ?

  1. #1 Can you prove this wrong ? 
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    Matter can theoretically surpass the speed of light.

    Imagine an infinite long flag pole stemming from the core of the earth. One inch from the starting point of the pole a marker is placed. After one full rotation of the earth (one day) this marker has traveled 6.28 inches. At 100 inches a second marker is placed, this marker has traveled 628 inches in one day.

    Light will travel approximately 25,920,000,000 km in one day. If a marker on the flag pole was placed at 8,254,777,070 km from the starting point of the flag pole, the marker will have had to have traveled 25,920,000,000 km in one day. Any markers placed farther than 9 billion km must travel faster than light to make a rotation.

    The amount of energy required to move matter at an infinite speed must also be infinite. This energy can only come from the weakest force in the universe, gravity. Although weak, gravity has no maximum force. More matter equals more gravity. The classic theory of a black hole would posses the infinite density required to manage this. If our “flag poled” earth was revolving around such a black hole the energy would be present. If the flag pole was pointed in the exact opposite direction of the black hole which we are revolving around, and our “flag poled”earth was in the same type of orbit around this black hole as the moon orbits earth now (revolution and rotation exactly equal) the speed of light would be broken by matter. If the pole was not infinitely long and the black hole was infinitely dense the black hole would remain perfectly still, a binary orbit would not occur unless the flag pole was infinitely long. As I stated though; if the orbit of our flag poled earth was 24 hours, the flag pole only needs to be 9,000,000,000km long to break light speed. In this diagram the flag will be traveling faster than the speed of light.


    Infinitely heavy Black Hole
    / 9billion km pole
    / /
    T-0 () 0----------x - Flag
    \
    Flag Poled Earth


    T+6hours () – Black Hole


    0 – Flag poled Earth
    |
    | - 9billion km pole
    |
    x - Flag


    Sorry for spelling and grammer mistakes. I just was thinking about this and got it down on paper right away. My math is not exact either but that doesn't affect the theory i am thinking of.

    EDIT: Well the cheap little diagram i tried to make goes goofy on me when i submit my post, just quote my message if you want to see it how i made it. It should correct it's self in the typing box when your quoting.


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  3. #2 Re: Can you prove this wrong ? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTwenny
    Code:
                                                         
                       Infinitely heavy  Black Hole     
                       /                      9billion km pole
                      /                     /        
    T-0          ()            0----------x - Flag
                                      \
                                       Flag Poled Earth
    
    
    T+6hours     () – Black Hole                                 
                         
    
                         0 – Flag poled Earth
                          |
                          | - 9billion km pole
                          |
                          x - Flag
    Fixed it for you: you have to use 'code' tags

    Now to answer your question: aren't you forgetting conservation of angular momentum? As you raise the pole higher and higher, the Earth will start spinning slower and slower in such a way that you will never reach anything near lightspeed.

    edit: also, I don't think there is such a thing as an infinitely heavy black hole, and if it would exist, earth would need to circle around the hole at infinite speed to avoid collapsing into it, etc...


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  4. #3 Re: Can you prove this wrong ? 
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTwenny
    Matter can theoretically surpass the speed of light.
    Hi Four

    Welcome to the forums.

    Your ingenious flagpole speculation isn't required for this one - a moving edge of a shadow can travel faster than the speed of light (as long as it is far away from the body upon which it is cast). Similarly one can imagine a giant pair of scissors in which the point at which the blades meet, moves from hinge towards tip at a speed faster than that of light (in a vacuum).

    Here's the point, though: Einstein eventually, after bunches of clever ideas like this, made the point that he was talking about signals, when referring to the absolute limit of the speed of light - "No signal can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum" is the way to interpret the phrase. (Try attaching a telegram to a swinging flagpole moving past you at a speed greater than that of light in a vacuum.)

    There is, of course, more than one problem with your statement of your thought experiment, the most basic being structural: all matter will have some 'give' - there is no substance that is perfectly rigid. (I strongly recommend J E Gordon's classic The New Science of Strong Materials for more on this).

    Therefore in the first place any additional speed you give to the tip of the flag pole will have to come from the base, and will result, thanks to inertia, in the flagpole bending 'backwards', more and more, until it presumably forms a spiral around the planetary body in question.

    Even more importantly, given that all matter has 'give', any gravity acting upon a flagpole that size (and its own gravity will almost certainly play a part too) would crush it, or if it is affected primarily by centrifugal effects, then tear it apart - we cannot conceive, on our current theoretical models, of any substance that could actually stand up to the forces to which you would like to subject this flagpole.

    cheer

    shanks
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  5. #4  
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    Ya i know all matter has give, i was imagining an infinitely strong material. Plus i started thinking about this more and remember how the faster an object travels the thinner it gets. Like at 1% the speed of light it would look like ----------- but at 99% the speed of light it would only be --- . And when you reach the speed of light theoretically it would vanish because it would have reached the point of infinite density.

    It was a dumb idea on my part but made a lot of sense at the time to me lol. I guess i just like to imagine things, but i always end up leaving a few key principles out. I still believe in my heart one day we will find a way to theoretically make matter go faster than light, without tearing space-time. I mean we can do it if the light is in water, neutrinos or something move slightly faster because light slows down in water and they don't.
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  6. #5 Re: Can you prove this wrong ? 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTwenny
    Matter can theoretically surpass the speed of light.

    Imagine an infinite long flag pole stemming from the core of the earth. One inch from the starting point of the pole a marker is placed. After one full rotation of the earth (one day) this marker has traveled 6.28 inches. At 100 inches a second marker is placed, this marker has traveled 628 inches in one day.

    Light will travel approximately 25,920,000,000 km in one day. If a marker on the flag pole was placed at 8,254,777,070 km from the starting point of the flag pole, the marker will have had to have traveled 25,920,000,000 km in one day. Any markers placed farther than 9 billion km must travel faster than light to make a rotation.

    The amount of energy required to move matter at an infinite speed must also be infinite. This energy can only come from the weakest force in the universe, gravity. Although weak, gravity has no maximum force. More matter equals more gravity. The classic theory of a black hole would posses the infinite density required to manage this. If our “flag poled” earth was revolving around such a black hole the energy would be present. If the flag pole was pointed in the exact opposite direction of the black hole which we are revolving around, and our “flag poled”earth was in the same type of orbit around this black hole as the moon orbits earth now (revolution and rotation exactly equal) the speed of light would be broken by matter. If the pole was not infinitely long and the black hole was infinitely dense the black hole would remain perfectly still, a binary orbit would not occur unless the flag pole was infinitely long. As I stated though; if the orbit of our flag poled earth was 24 hours, the flag pole only needs to be 9,000,000,000km long to break light speed. In this diagram the flag will be traveling faster than the speed of light.


    Infinitely heavy Black Hole
    / 9billion km pole
    / /
    T-0 () 0----------x - Flag
    \
    Flag Poled Earth


    T+6hours () – Black Hole


    0 – Flag poled Earth
    |
    | - 9billion km pole
    |
    x - Flag


    Sorry for spelling and grammer mistakes. I just was thinking about this and got it down on paper right away. My math is not exact either but that doesn't affect the theory i am thinking of.

    EDIT: Well the cheap little diagram i tried to make goes goofy on me when i submit my post, just quote my message if you want to see it how i made it. It should correct it's self in the typing box when your quoting.
    Your example relies on the pole being a rigid body. In special relativity there can be not ridgid bodies, since the existence of such would permit superluminal transmission of information (just by moving the body).

    You can do something like what you suggest by replacing the pole with a beam of light projected on a distant screen. By swinging the light source (say a laser pointer) you can cause the illuminated spot to move faster than light. The trick here is that nothing physical is moving and no information is transmitted by the movement of the spot. Special relativity is not contradicted in this case.
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