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Thread: Can speed and time determine size

  1. #1 Can speed and time determine size 
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    I awoke from a dream this morning pondering a few questions that i couldn't get my head around. I'm not a scientist or work in the industry, just a keen interest in it so forgive my layman approach to this subject.

    Through lack of articulation ill just give you my questions and answers as i thought of them:

    Q, How long would it take to walk a piece of rock?
    A, It would depend on the size of the rock.
    Q, If the rock is a mile long how long would it take me?
    A, It depends on the speed.

    So then i put the speed of light and a fixed time in to the equation, bare with me.

    If the size to be traversed was the size of a grain of sand and the object was traveling the speed of light and it took that object an hour to reach one end to the other then the object should be infinitesimally small ?
    but if the distance to be traveled was greater than light can travel in an hour then the size of the object could be any size?


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  3. #2 Re: Can speed and time determine size 
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYSFLUID
    ...So then i put the speed of light and a fixed time in to the equation, bare with me.

    If the size to be traversed was the size of a grain of sand and the object was traveling the speed of light and it took that object an hour to reach one end to the other then the object should be infinitesimally small ?
    but if the distance to be traveled was greater than light can travel in an hour then the size of the object could be any size?
    I'm afraid your question is a bit too muddled to make any sense out of it.

    1) What equation are you proposing?

    2) What is the object that's traveling at the speed of light? Is it the grain of sand you mention?

    3) You say "...it took that object an hour to reach one end to the other...". --- One end to the other of what?

    The only part of your post for which there's even a hope of an answer is your last question:"...if the distance to be traveled was greater than light can travel in an hour, then the size of the object could be any size?..."
    If "...the distance to be traveled..." is taken to mean the diameter or the length through one axis of the object, then the answer would be no, the object could not be any size. The object would have to be greater than the distance a photon can travel (in a vacuum) in an hour - which would be (approximately):


    Chris


    It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
    Robert H. Goddard - 1904
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  4. #3  
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    Sorry to be muddled but the distance traveled would be that of a grain of sand, so you can say its not that far however if the (unknown to me) object was traveling at the speed of light and it took an hour to get from one side of the grain of sand to the other because the object is so small.

    I see now that it doesn't make a difference of the journey size or the size of the object, the time it would take to cross it would be very small because of the speed, the speed of light. I was thinking from the perspective of how a human can run way faster than an ant but if the ant was the same size as a human it would prob leave us in the dust, as in speed gets slower as it gets smaller, i know that makes no sense.

    OK here is another way of putting what and the way i was thinking this morning.

    If i were a thousand times bigger than i am now, then would my perspective of the speed of light relative to me and my size be different than your standard human being relative to him/her?
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAYSFLUID
    ...If i were a thousand times bigger than i am now, then would my perspective of the speed of light relative to me and my size be different than your standard human being relative to him/her?
    According to our good friend Albert Einstein the speed of light is exactly the same for any observer in an inertial frame of reference, regardless of the motion of the body emitting the light.

    If a giant had giant-sized "meters", the numerical value he would ascribe to the velocity of light would be smaller than if an ant measured the speed of light with his ant-sized "meter".

    If the giant and the ant got together and figured out the conversion factor between "ant meters" and "giant meters" they would find that the actual speed of light is equivalent in both of their systems of measurement. The difference in the numerical value they get for the speed of light is simply due to the difference in the size of the units they use.

    Chris
    It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
    Robert H. Goddard - 1904
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