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Thread: Are we travelling at the speed of light in time?

  1. #1 Are we travelling at the speed of light in time? 
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    This idea is not mine. It comes from the Cassiopeia Project, a now defunct series of educational science videos.

    Here is the video:




    So what do you guys think? Have any of you heard of this idea before?


    Last edited by Naggy Doggy; March 4th, 2013 at 11:47 AM.
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Yes and no.
    How's that for a concise answer?
    We might well be travelling through spacetime at the speed of light but to say that we're moving at X m/ sec "through" time is meaningless.
    The graph "illustrating" time dilation is also a little off. The relationship shown is linear - 50% of light speed gives 50% time dilation - this simply isn't true:


    Corections, of course, invited and welcomed.


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  4. #3  
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    That's quite interesting.
    Last edited by Naggy Doggy; March 6th, 2013 at 12:52 AM.
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Nope.
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  6. #5  
    Quagma SpeedFreek's Avatar
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    I have heard of it, it is how Prof Brian Greene explains it in his book "The Fabric of the Cosmos" and on PBS/NOVA. It is a valid analogy and I have used it myself in past discussions.

    NOVA | Special Relativity in a Nutshell
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  7. #6  
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    Well now. This is one I can really sink my teeth into. So, lets humor the OP, and do some math. . Yay! I'm gonna be using figures from this website, What is the Speed of the Earth? Investments in Proper Research and Data , they don't need to be exact to bring the point across.

    Doing some basic conversions, I found that within our galaxy, our speed compared to that of the speed of light is roughly about 255371.11 m/s, or, if you prefer, 0.09% speed of light. And if I used our speed within the universe, I found it to be 850571.11 m/s, or 0.28% speed of light. This is a considerable fraction of the speed of light, yet it has a few interesting affects. For instance, if the earth had to suddenly just stop in place, I would weigh less. Not because of gravity being less, but because the relativistic effects would "wear off", so to speak.

    Also, my biological clock will speed up. Which means, taken from the OP, if I would live to be 70 years old on the moving earth, I would only live to become 69 years, 9 months and 20 days old. That's a deficit of 2 months and 10 days, give or take.

    This is all according to the OP. Now, I do agree with Dywyddyr, to give time a speed is useless, but we do move through it everyday, every hour, every minute and so on. And I do prefer a longer lifespan. . I have so much to learn. And so little time. Who knows, maybe in a couple of 100 million years, if we are closer to the centre of the galaxy (and moving faster through space), I could be re-incarnated and live 3, 4 or hopefully 10 times longer! I would like that. But somehow, I just get the feeling that relativity is going to catch me, or at the very least, be short on my heels.

    This is just idle speculation. Please, do correct me where I have forgotten something.
    Last edited by WaterWalker; March 4th, 2013 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Fixed wording error.
    "No army is stronger than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

    Dywyddyr - "You're rather good at denying reality, aren't you?"
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    Dywyddyr - "And you've done it again. Well done. Would you like a biscuit?"
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  8. #7  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterWalker View Post
    Also, my biological clock will speed up. Which means, taken from the OP, if I would live to be 70 years old on the moving earth, I would only live to become 69 years, 9 months and 20 days old. That's a deficit of 2 months and 10 days, give or take.
    BUT, and this also applies to your "weight" (actually mass), that's not the case.
    Your age would only vary as measured from, er, wherever it is we're doing the 0.28% C relative to.
    Your comment that "our relative speed to that of the speed of light is roughly about 255371.11 m/s, or, if you prefer, 0.09% speed of light" isn't right because we're doing 0m/ sec relative to light. Light ALWAYS travels at C, for ALL observers. Therefore any observer is stationary "relative" to light.

    Or have I screwed up somewhere?
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by WaterWalker View Post
    Also, my biological clock will speed up. Which means, taken from the OP, if I would live to be 70 years old on the moving earth, I would only live to become 69 years, 9 months and 20 days old. That's a deficit of 2 months and 10 days, give or take.
    BUT, and this also applies to your "weight" (actually mass), that's not the case.
    Your age would only vary as measured from, er, wherever it is we're doing the 0.28% C relative to.
    Your comment that "our relative speed to that of the speed of light is roughly about 255371.11 m/s, or, if you prefer, 0.09% speed of light" isn't right because we're doing 0m/ sec relative to light. Light ALWAYS travels at C, for ALL observers. Therefore any observer is stationary "relative" to light.

    Or have I screwed up somewhere?
    No, you are correct. I shall re-word that section to make sence. Thanks. And as a side note, I compared a stationary earth to a moving earth for the duration of an entire life cycle. Problematic, I know, but it should give the general idea. I hope.
    "No army is stronger than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

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  10. #9  
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    Wouldn't our velocity through time have to be measured against the 3 spatial dimensions? I mean, our velocity through the three spatial dimensions is measured relative to time..... why not the other way around also?
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterWalker View Post
    Well now. This is one I can really sink my teeth into. So, lets humor the OP, and do some math. . Yay! I'm gonna be using figures from this website, What is the Speed of the Earth? Investments in Proper Research and Data , they don't need to be exact to bring the point across.

    Doing some basic conversions, I found that within our galaxy, our speed compared to that of the speed of light is roughly about 255371.11 m/s, or, if you prefer, 0.09% speed of light. And if I used our speed within the universe, I found it to be 850571.11 m/s, or 0.28% speed of light. This is a considerable fraction of the speed of light, yet it has a few interesting affects. For instance, if the earth had to suddenly just stop in place, I would weigh less. Not because of gravity being less, but because the relativistic effects would "wear off", so to speak.

    Also, my biological clock will speed up. Which means, taken from the OP, if I would live to be 70 years old on the moving earth, I would only live to become 69 years, 9 months and 20 days old. That's a deficit of 2 months and 10 days, give or take.

    This is all according to the OP. Now, I do agree with Dywyddyr, to give time a speed is useless, but we do move through it everyday, every hour, every minute and so on. And I do prefer a longer lifespan. . I have so much to learn. And so little time. Who knows, maybe in a couple of 100 million years, if we are closer to the centre of the galaxy (and moving faster through space), I could be re-incarnated and live 3, 4 or hopefully 10 times longer! I would like that. But somehow, I just get the feeling that relativity is going to catch me, or at the very least, be short on my heels.

    This is just idle speculation. Please, do correct me where I have forgotten something.
    So what do you think of the thread's main topic?
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  12. #11  
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    Well, I think the threads main topic is fine, in principle, although the graph used in the video in the OP is a little misleading, as Dywyddyr said.

    But the important thing to remember is that your speed through space is always relative to somewhere else, rather than being absolute.

    IF you were travelling at 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would have converted some of your motion through time, relative to the Earth, to motion through space. At 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would be time-dilated by a factor of 2, relative to the Earth, so a year on board your spaceship would equate to 2 years back on Earth. But your time-dilation relative to somewhere else - a place that also has motion relative to the Earth, would be different. You might be travelling more than, or less than 86.6% of the speed of light relative to that place, so you would be time-dilated by a factor other than 2 relative to that place.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by WaterWalker View Post
    Well now. This is one I can really sink my teeth into. So, lets humor the OP, and do some math. . Yay! I'm gonna be using figures from this website, What is the Speed of the Earth? Investments in Proper Research and Data , they don't need to be exact to bring the point across.

    Doing some basic conversions, I found that within our galaxy, our speed compared to that of the speed of light is roughly about 255371.11 m/s, or, if you prefer, 0.09% speed of light. And if I used our speed within the universe, I found it to be 850571.11 m/s, or 0.28% speed of light. This is a considerable fraction of the speed of light, yet it has a few interesting affects. For instance, if the earth had to suddenly just stop in place, I would weigh less. Not because of gravity being less, but because the relativistic effects would "wear off", so to speak.

    Also, my biological clock will speed up. Which means, taken from the OP, if I would live to be 70 years old on the moving earth, I would only live to become 69 years, 9 months and 20 days old. That's a deficit of 2 months and 10 days, give or take.

    This is all according to the OP. Now, I do agree with Dywyddyr, to give time a speed is useless, but we do move through it everyday, every hour, every minute and so on. And I do prefer a longer lifespan. . I have so much to learn. And so little time. Who knows, maybe in a couple of 100 million years, if we are closer to the centre of the galaxy (and moving faster through space), I could be re-incarnated and live 3, 4 or hopefully 10 times longer! I would like that. But somehow, I just get the feeling that relativity is going to catch me, or at the very least, be short on my heels.

    This is just idle speculation. Please, do correct me where I have forgotten something.
    True. I'm just curious, is the OP idea new to you?
    Last edited by Naggy Doggy; March 6th, 2013 at 12:27 PM.
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  14. #13  
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    I thought of it once myself because it seemed to me that as you increase your speed through space this is swapped for your "speed through time". I forgot about it because I assumed it didn't make sense. Then, much later, I found out that the Lorentz transform can be viewed as a rotation of the space and time dimensions. So it did, sort of, make sense after all.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naggy Doggy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Well, I think the threads main topic is fine, in principle, although the graph used in the video in the OP is a little misleading, as Dywyddyr said. But the important thing to remember is that your speed through space is always relative to somewhere else, rather than being absolute. IF you were travelling at 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would have converted some of your motion through time, relative to the Earth, to motion through space. At 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would be time-dilated by a factor of 2, relative to the Earth, so a year on board your spaceship would equate to 2 years back on Earth. But your time-dilation relative to somewhere else - a place that also has motion relative to the Earth, would be different. You might be travelling more than, or less than 86.6% of the speed of light relative to that place, so you would be time-dilated by a factor other than 2 relative to that place.
    True. I'm just curious, is the OP idea new to you?
    Can you not read? I already confirmed in post #5 that I have heard of this analogy and have used it myself in past discussions. So NO, the idea is not new to me. The idea is completely valid. How many more times do I have to say it?
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  16. #15  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    i know I am not. Seems I am always about 10 minutes late.
    Dywyddyr likes this.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Naggy Doggy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    Well, I think the threads main topic is fine, in principle, although the graph used in the video in the OP is a little misleading, as Dywyddyr said. But the important thing to remember is that your speed through space is always relative to somewhere else, rather than being absolute. IF you were travelling at 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would have converted some of your motion through time, relative to the Earth, to motion through space. At 86.6% of the speed of light, relative to the Earth, you would be time-dilated by a factor of 2, relative to the Earth, so a year on board your spaceship would equate to 2 years back on Earth. But your time-dilation relative to somewhere else - a place that also has motion relative to the Earth, would be different. You might be travelling more than, or less than 86.6% of the speed of light relative to that place, so you would be time-dilated by a factor other than 2 relative to that place.
    True. I'm just curious, is the OP idea new to you?
    Can you not read? I already confirmed in post #5 that I have heard of this analogy and have used it myself in past discussions. So NO, the idea is not new to me. The idea is completely valid. How many more times do I have to say it?
    Sorry SpeedFreek. I quoted the wrong post. I wanted to ask WaterWalker instead.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    i know I am not. Seems I am always about 10 minutes late.
    Sorry, you know you are not what?
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naggy Doggy View Post
    Sorry SpeedFreek. I quoted the wrong post. I wanted to ask WaterWalker instead.
    Wow, for a minute there I thought I had replied to a post not addressed to me! Phew!

    No worries
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  20. #19  
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    Hmm... Very interesting, it seems as if time is a 'black hole' and it is sucking us into the future
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  21. #20  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naggy Doggy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seagypsy View Post
    i know I am not. Seems I am always about 10 minutes late.
    Sorry, you know you are not what?
    Traveling at the speed of light in time.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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  22. #21  
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    This idea has been suggested before, and appears to be triggered by the idea of zero time for a clock moving at light speed, if that were possible.
    It’s also another perspective of the moving light clock.
    Two mirrors separated by a perpendicular distance d, move to the right in the x direction at speed a=v/c. A photon is emitted from the lower mirror to the upper mirror. For the clock to function, the photon path must have an x and p component. The x component compensates for the motion of the clock. The p component is the active part of the clock.
    Since the photon speed is constant, its path in any direction generates a circular arc for the 90º between the p axis and x axis. This means the relative photon speed along d is c*sqrt(1-a^2), i.e. the clock ticks slower.
    With vt the x component and pt the p component, it can be rephrased as
    1. (vt)^2 + (pt)^2 = (ct)^2, or
    2. (object motion)^2 + (object time)^2 = (light motion)^2.
    Conclusion:
    There are only two motions involved, vt for the clock, and vt and pt for the photon.
    The clock is only serving as a standard reference for events, and the motion within the clock is labeled as ‘time’. Counting ticks is in reality counting spatial increments of (2d).
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  23. #22  
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    i can't see any difference to what's already known, what's different in the OP's post?
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  24. #23  
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    The difference is simply in the way of explaining it. It is another approach to teaching the principles of Special Relativity.
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