Sunday, 15 January 2012

Light speed and throwing baseballs on trains!!!

Hello interweb, It is Sunday afternoon and I'm off to work at the hospital soon so today’s post will probably be quite short but possibly informative.
You see I have been thinking yet again, I know, I know it never ends well and keeps me awake at night running over and over things in my mind.
You see last year I made a post about particles travelling faster than the speed of light and what that would mean if it were true, it can be found here,
Well this got me thinking back to the age old question of what would happen if you were travelling at the speed of light and you switched your headlights on? 

Well the quick answer is you can’t so stop worrying about it it’s never gonna happen get over it, but the longer answer after trying to get to sleep for several hours is this,
“Nothing” you see as you get closer to the speed of light time actually slows down and at the speed of light time simply ceases to be. It stops. This is for the person travelling at light speed. For an observer however things are slightly different.
You see first off we will not be travelling at the speed of light but 99.9% the speed of light  and to a stationary observer your entire ship would appear to be compressed along your direction of motion.  If you're standing the right way, it'll look like you've lost weight and that your body has been flattened under a giant big heavy thing.
They'd also see your clocks and your heartbeat, your speech running slowly.  This is true, but completely unobservable in everyday life.  Typically on earth, it's an effect of about 1 part in a quadrillion, but at 99% the speed of light, you'll appear to be running at only 1/7th speed.  The length contraction and time dilation conspire (out of mathematical necessity) to make your high beams move at the speed of light to somebody watching you from the side.  But just as a baseball gets a boost of energy when you throw it on a train which is something I cannot advise anybody to do as you will probably hit somebody much bigger than you are on the head with it which cannot end well, the light gets a boost of energy as well.  The difference is that it doesn't go faster; it just looks bluer.  In this case, your headlights would be boosted into the ultraviolet.
Anyway remember this if your head is still spinning, Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It arrives at midnight every day, clean and crisp,  It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday. Let us hope we have as well.
Peace out y'all THE BAGSTAXXX

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