# If you travel faster than light, what happens?

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#### rosgar

##### New Member
Hmmm...the light we see from stars are way back billions of years ago. If I can travel within a second to that direction, all I can see is the birth of the universe.

#### callumacrae

##### not alex mac
Community Support
You would go blind and crash....

#### sunils

##### New Member
man you will vanish

#### lordtron

##### New Member
I don't think its possible to go back in time as some people on here have said.

You would more likely just go faster to point A to point B that everyone would have to catch up to you. Since you are faster than everyone does not mean that you have gone back in time.

#### smaier

##### New Member
I'm no relativity expert (is anyone?), but as I understand it, you are always going through spacetime at exactly the speed of light. Not space, but spacetime. Using the Pythagorean theorem, we find that the faster we go through space, the slower we must go through time. space^2 + time^2 = c^2. Therefore, if space > c, or we go faster than the speed of light, time^2 < 0. In order for this to work, we must go through imaginary time. So, in conclusion, if you go faster than light, you will go through imaginary time, which has no meaning. But this is all very theoretical, and I'm no expert.

#### tittat

##### Active Member
if you travel faster than light...u cant see the universe as like this...because being faster than light the frequency of the light rays reaching u eyes will chage.violet may seem as red.Sometimes not even see....

#### VoxDei

##### New Member
Unless I've misunderstood something, you wouldn't travel back in time as you reached lightspeed.

When stationary, a body travels through time at a rate of 1 s^-2 (ie. one second per second) relative to the rate of the universe. Since the Earth is moving at a significant speed, the rate is different on Earth, but since we are all moving at about the same speed, the difference between any point on Earth is negligible.

However, as you speed up, the rate you travel through time falls, and you experience time dilation. You would not notice this while your were onboard your transportation (which for the purpose of this post I am going to assume is a space ship, or something similar,) since your spaceship is moving at the same speed as you are, and is subject to the same time dilation. It is only when you returned to Earth that you would notice the effects.

This time dilation effect has been shown to occur in real life, using hyper-accurate atomic clocks and supersonic aircraft. The clock left on the plane showed a tiny amount less time had passed than the clock left on the ground.

The idea that passing lightspeed might allow time travel comes from knowing that the instant before you reach lightspeed, the rate at which time passes on your spaceship falls to 0.00*absurd number of zeros*0001 seconds on your ship to every second on the Earth. At lightspeed, the rate would, in theory, fall to 0 seconds per second, effectively stopping time onboard. Technically speaking, we are time machines ourselves, since we can move, and thus alter the rate at which we travel through time.

Anyway, the reasoning goes: If the rate of change in time can be reduced by going faster, then surely it can be made negative by going faster beyond the point at which the rate is zero. If my account was working, I'd put in a graph explaining what I mean, but it's not, so I can't.

As for the G-forces killing you, that would only be a problem while you were accelerating, and you could mitigate that by accelerating slower.

G force is the force generated by Newton's Second Law. According to the law, the Force Acting on a body is equal to the mass of the body, multiplied by the rate at which it is accelerating (F=MA)

If you are not accelerating (ie A=0) then it doesn't matter the mass of the body, there will be no force acting.

With regards to what happens when you travel faster than the speed of light, I'd settle for the warp drive effect or the Battlestar Galactica FTL effect, but I suspect what you'd see as you accelerate is the light ahead of you being blueshifted, and the light behind redshifted (Doppler's law) and as you passed lightspeed, the view behind would be black and the view ahead white. Right up to the point where you hit something because you can't see where you're going, and nobody can see you coming because you're traveling faster than the light you reflect...

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#### swirly

##### Active Member
Well, I will go back and answer the orignal question that was asked. If you were to travel faster than light, you would see nothing. Nothing would exist.

#### Kieran G

##### New Member
I think you would experience "Future Echoes" in other words kinda see the future(Anybody who's seen Red Dwarf will know what I mean)

#### Stormscape

##### New Member
I'm personally all for the Red Dwarf theory. If only for the pure laughs that episode generated. Now as for mine opinion on Attempting to travel faster than the speed of light.

Assuming you could find an area with a long enough straight section to accelerate to the speed of light without enduring crushing G-Forces, there still would be a second issue. How would you turn? Light does not take well to turning, only refracting. I'm pretty sure you can't refract a physical object.

#### Smith6612

##### I ate all of the x10Pizza
Community Support
You get divided by zero

#### gmtech

##### New Member
most people don't get this 'faster than light' thing. remeber light is just light. another object isn't the same thing. you might be able to push an atom to light speed but a car is as different as can be. we engineering did the math and concluded if a large object is pushed hard enough so it could readh light speed in even in a few years the constant 'hammering' of the push whould squish it to road kill. as there really isn't anything in the math to say something can go faster than light, but it does show no machine can push faster than light, you whould 'out run' the push!

#### whitebus

##### New Member
I'm guessing you'll win a Nobel Prize, assuming you can turn around and come back.

#### warlordste

##### New Member
i belive if u get to the speed of light or greater with out dying time would slow down or even stop depending on the speed but to get to that speed is impossible at the moment but what happens to the objects around you if u go that speed and has the post above me say how would u turn or even stop for that matter

#### UberNube

##### New Member
Firstly, this is impossible. As your speed increases, so does your mass, and hence more energy is required to accelerate. In order to accelerate to the speed of light you need an infinite amount of energy. This is impossible due to conservation of energy.

However, assuming you can travel at the speed of light, you would encounter time dilation. This means that the faster you go, the slower time passes for you relative to the rest of the universe. This means that time outside your 'bubble' of reality would appear to travel faster from your point of view. Once you reached the speed of light, time inside the 'bubble' would freeze, meaning you would perceive time outside the bubble to be going at infinite speed. This would mean that you would appear to be instantly teleported to the end of time, and DIE!!! Disregarding this, your infinite mass would probably create a black hole wherever you were, compressing the entire universe into a singularity at the speed of light. If you shone a torch or other light source while travelling at this speed, then depending on the direction, you could create a 'photon blob', make the torch invisible, or just use it relatively normally.

If you could travel faster than the speed of light, time outside would appear to travel backwards. Other than this though, your mass would actually decrease as you went past the speed of light, so there would be no other adverse effects. At these speeds, it is unlikely that any torches or other light sources would work. However, this is entirely theoretical, and since we can't even create theories for ways of accelerating to the speed of light, this is also rather pointless.

#### taekwondokid42

##### New Member
Have any of you actually proved any of this?

To be honest, I'm not so sure that Einstein knew exactly what he was doing, and there are probably a whole lot of factors that he didn't take into account (because he didn't know about them, and not even we know about some of them). If you think back through history, very few people who tried something new actually got it right. Pi was not pinpointed until very recently, however pi had been around as long as most mathematics.

Many philosophers in the Roman times also got a lot of things wrong.

Now I'm not saying that he definitely got the theory of relativity wrong, because there are scientists who did nail things the first time. An example would be Sir Issac Newton, who introduced the idea of gravity and mass ect. and all of his calculations are still used today.

But, answering the original question, regardless of all theories of the speed of light and time, if you somehow did find yourself going at the speed of light, you would probably die. If you were in any sort of atmosphere, the amount of pressure exerted on you by just the air particles would tear you to shreds. Even in space, there might be the odd particle here or there that is waiting to rip through you.

#### jensen

##### Active Member
Light travels in photon packets, So if we get to travel at that speed or faster, we go up in flames. What's the word again... auto-combustion?

#### bilal855

##### New Member
According to Einstein, Nothing can travel faster than light but with too much acceleration it can come equal to it. If it does, time widening will occur and a minute might be changed in a light year.

#### Zdroyd

##### New Member
Its physicaly imposible to travel faster than light. Because nothing is faster than light. Not even the Christan God.
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Light travels in photon packets, So if we get to travel at that speed or faster, we go up in flames. What's the word again... auto-combustion?
Spontaneous Combustion

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#### cowctcat

##### New Member
I never said that. I said when you're going FASTER than the speed of light, not near it. If you were giving an example thats fine, if you thought I said that, please read my post again.

As far it comes to going from a blur, to white, and then to black, you're basically telling me you're losing consciousness. The G forces involved at the speed of light are crazy, but doesn't necessarily mean that a human will 'NEVER' be able to try it. In the 1930's and 1940's, pilots only dreamed of breaking the sound barrier. Most pilots at that time believed it was impossible. Look at us today in 2008, we have MiGs, Su's, Tu-160's, F-16s, and F-22s that can break the sounds barrier. No commercial plane can go over sound barrier? Think again, the Concorde could reach speeds of Mach 2.2, of course its out of service today.
Now, to help pilots survive massive G forces, the G suit was invented. So why not invent some clothes or device that will help humans survive massive G forces during the speed of light. Obviously today we think its impossible... but we just haven't done enough research and haven't opened up enough technology yet. Time Dilation is hard to explain, but gravity has a lot to do with it. Basically our bodies grow on steady G forces, in space, people can't grow as easily, its zero gravity. Well they can, but not as planned. Lets say a spaceship is going faster than the speed of light with humans in it to another galaxy. To the viewers perspective, you think that you will reach there in 2 weeks. On Earth's perspective of time, you'd think the spaceship will get there in 100,000 light years. When the spaceship reaches the galaxy, the humans can walk out (if they find a planet), and see that to themselves about 2 weeks passed. The humans didn't necessarily get older, gravity prevented. On earth meanwhile, it is the year 100,008. We aren't 100% sure of how dilation 'works', but aging and gravity is a good theory.

This really bugs me Light years is a measure of distance not time!!!!!!!!!

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