Saw this, Blew Mind. Thanks Stephen Hawking

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    May 08, 2010 4:28 AM GMT
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1269288/STEPHEN-HAWKING-How-build-time-machine.html

    I'm not gonna say I understand it completely, but he explains it in an understandable way for someone who isn't a physicist. Thought other people might like it.
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    May 08, 2010 11:47 AM GMT
    Interesting, yes, but mate, you really shouldn't be reading The Daily Mail.

    I'll let you off since you're not English.
  • TannerMasseur

    Posts: 7893

    May 08, 2010 1:17 PM GMT
    As Spock wud say: "Fascinating!" icon_smile.gif......
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    May 08, 2010 2:28 PM GMT
    I loved that article. Thanks to the OP for posting!

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    May 08, 2010 3:04 PM GMT
    Oh Stephen, you're such a fun read at 1 o'clock in the morning... icon_lol.gif
  • neosyllogy

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    May 08, 2010 4:10 PM GMT
    Brit_Bloke saidInteresting, yes, but mate, you really shouldn't be reading The Daily Mail.


    Why, what's it's stereotype?
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    May 12, 2010 10:36 AM GMT
    Tory (Republican?), Xenophobic, Homophobic, you name it ... very "Middle England". For example (from Wikipedia):

    "The 16 October 2009 Jan Moir article on the death of Stephen Gately,[52] which many people felt was inaccurate, insensitive, and homophobic, generated over 25,000 complaints, the highest number of complaints for a newspaper article in the history of the Press Complaints Commission.[53][54] Major advertisers such as Marks and Spencer responded to the criticism by asking for their own adverts to be removed from the Mail Online webpage around Moir's article. The Daily Mail removed all display ads from the webpage with the Gately column.[55]"

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    May 12, 2010 12:24 PM GMT
    Can someone please explain to me why it 'time' is that is speeding up and not just the individual? I would have thought that, unless the universe is replicating itself every instant, time is only a human construction which tries to understand and place in an order the relative configurations of the matter that makes up the universe. That is, the matter itself is constant.Thus as you approach the speed of light you are not travelling through time, you are just speeding up relative to the photons which are reflecting an image of a past configuration of matter i.e. whilst you may see the image for longer, you cant interact with it, because the matter which created the reflection has moved on since, at a rate which is consistent with the matter which constitutes yourself.

    Another example would be stars, looking at them from earth, we may be 'looking back in time', at the light which was emitted from stars which have long since died. However whilst we can see them, we can never interact with them, because the matter which makes them has moved on. Were we to get in a ship travelling faster than light, and head towards the start, we could never get to it before it died, because the light it emitted would cease before we got there, and we would witness its death faster than if we had of watched it from its location.

    I don't know, i'm just not finding all these crazy physics ideas very logical.
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    May 12, 2010 1:43 PM GMT
    Alright... hold on to your hats. It's going to get technical.

    These seemingly unintuitive results about time "changing speed" stem from Einstein's theory of relativity. Let's begin with a though experiment.

    Imagine you're beneath deck on an old sail boat. Without looking outside, it is impossible to determine the direction or speed in which the boat is travelling. In fact, this is true for any motion at constant speed. Essentially, if you're blindfolded you cannot determine whether you're moving or whether you're stationary. This phenomenon is called the principle of relativity and has been accepted since Galileo.

    Firstly, though, a short history lesson. One of the important questions in physics in the 1800s was explaining the method by which light travels through a vacuum. It was generally believed that light "waves" behaved in a similar manner to sound waves moving through air - ie, light needed some medium through which it propagated. This medium was called the luminiferous aether. The aether was thought to be a completely motionless "thing" which filled all space and could pass through any material object but was able to "carry" light. There were many experiments performed to try and detect the aether, or to try and see its effects. None were successful.

    The fact that the aether was completely motionless worried Einstein. He postulated that, should you be able to see the aether, you'd be able to violate the principle of relativity (ie, determine whether you're moving or not). So, locked inside the hull of the boat from our example, by measuring your speed relative to the aether, you'd be able to tell if you were moving. This was one of the arguments that caused Einstein to reject the notion of the aether.

    Einstein tried to form a simple picture of how light moves. He imagined a simple set up, where a person was holding a mirror and travelling at the speed of light. Would there be a reflection in the mirror? Maxwell had proven that the speed of light is a constant. If I were holding a mirror, moving at the speed of light, the light from my face wouldn't be able to catch up to the mirror! My image would disappear.

    If this were to happen, you could tell you were moving at the speed of light just by looking in a mirror! This would violate the principle of relativity! Einstein postulated (in his paper, On the electrodynamics of moving bodies")
    1. The principle of relativity (as set out by Galileo) holds for light as well as ordinary motion.
    2. The speed of propagation of light must always be constant, regardless of the "state of motion" of the observer or the emitting body.

    In order to prove his theory, Einstein had to satisfactorily explain a) how everone can see the same speed for light and b) what happens if you attempt to move faster than light.

    Imagine, for a moment, I'm standing on a train. The train is moving at some speed. I shine a torch from one end of the train to the other. According to postulate 2, the light must leave the torch at the speed of light. Now, imagine you're standing on a nearby hill, watching this experiment. You see the train go by and the torch turn on. Before relativity, you'd expect to see the light leave the torch at a speed equal to the speed of light plus the speed of the train. But, by postulate 2, you see the light leave the torch at the speed of light. How can we both observe the same speed for light if we're both moving at different speeds?

    This conundrum led Einstein to completely redefine the concepts of time, length and mass. It is this definition which gives rise to the oddities that Hawking is talking about. Essentially, what Einstein said was that, for the speed of light to be a universal constant, when something moves close to the speed of light space and time must change.

    The general gist is that in order for the speed of light to remain constant, time must go slower for a person travelling quickly.
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    May 12, 2010 2:10 PM GMT
    i'm no physicist (but i did stay in a holiday inn express once), but i also understand that the constancy of the speed of light is understood in terms of distance or length...i just read about this so forgive my wavering in explaining it...

    but supposedly, if you were to watch someone holding a ruler speeding accelerating to the speed of light, you would notice that the ruler was getting shorter. so, in effect, the reason a person watching an oncoming train with the flashlight measures the speed of light to be 186,000 m/sec and not that PLUS the speed of the train, is because the train is slightly shorter and therefore has more distance to make up...and that difference effectively wipes out the difference in the speed.

    the gallelean theory of relatively then remains in tact because, indeed, light IS traveling at the speed of light plus the train, but relative to the observer, there is a compression in time and space and therefore accounts for the difference.

    i have read countless (COUNTLESS!) books on relativity and it still boggles my mind. i think it is important to read it because i think we all assume so much to be true...when in fact, it isn't. why is it important to know that the sun does not revolve around the earth? because it effects the way you ultimately see the universe. so too, with relativity and quantum physics, it completely blows newtonian physics away (along with cartesian thought) and it opens up your mind to see things new...kind of like neo and the matrix.

    ah....neo....

    slowtime_neo_2.jpg
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    May 12, 2010 2:46 PM GMT
    This is not new, though Hawking does a good job of introducing these concepts to a new generation. I remember in the 1950s seeing animated cartoons that showed a "spaceman" (the terms astronaut & cosmonaut weren't yet common then) leaving the Earth and traveling near the speed of light.

    He returns to Earth 80 years later, not having visibly aged at all, and meets the son he had left as an infant, who's now a stoop-shouldered, white-haired octogenarian. And of course these consequences of Relativity had been known since Einstein proposed his theory in the first part of the 1900s.

    Interesting mind exercises, but fails to answer practical questions like how a spacecraft avoids impacts when traveling near the speed of light. Since the speed of light is constant, the "view" ahead becomes compressed as you travel faster (or perhaps "shortened" is a better term), and you aren't able to anticipate and avoid an object in your path. It's Russian roulette at 186,000 miles a second. Even space dust would become deadly missiles.
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    May 13, 2010 2:52 AM GMT
    Wow, looks like I picked the wrong week to give up the crack.
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    May 13, 2010 4:26 AM GMT
    LGWC saidhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1269288/STEPHEN-HAWKING-How-build-time-machine.html

    I'm not gonna say I understand it completely, but he explains it in an understandable way for someone who isn't a physicist. Thought other people might like it.


    The past is irrelevant...the future is what I know!...and want to know more of!
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    May 13, 2010 4:37 AM GMT
    yea... this makes total sense to me, but then again I studied physics.

    What he's saying though isnt anything new, this shit has been around since Einstein.

    What does confuse me is why any civilization would be motivated to utilize time/space travel in the way he suggests... i.e. going really really fast.

    the ammount of energy required to go that fast would be unbelievably astronomical not to mention the fact that although only a number of years would pass in the spaceship hundreds or even thousands of years might pass on earth... given the instability of our civilizations its likely that whatever government sent those troops into space simply wont be around by the time that ships come out of year light speeds... By the time they land people may not even care about their mission.

    and imagine trying to slow down a ship moving near the speed of light.... it would take as long as it takes to get it moving that fast... like four years
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    May 13, 2010 4:44 AM GMT
    I would love to meet Mr Hawking soo badly. He is ..words cant even come to mind to explain his genius. Anything is possible if you use 100 percent capacity of your brain.
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    May 13, 2010 4:55 AM GMT
    Daedalus304 saidCan someone please explain to me why it 'time' is that is speeding up and not just the individual?

    I think Hawking is writing somewhat inexactly in the article. There are slowed time frames and un-slowed time frames, but no examples of time being sped up are actually given. Time being slowed by gravity and acceleration (which resembles gravity) are the two circumstances discussed. The time that's going "faster" is the time frame further away from gravitational forces or along acceleration.

    From what I've studied, no examples of time going faster (due to an actor/force) have been observed (theorized, yes). Just contrasted time frames.

    It is illogical to say, "I have sped time up by NOT subjecting it to gravity."
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    May 13, 2010 8:45 AM GMT
    Why is the Mail covering such a topic, shouldn't it be busy organising their hate towards immigrants, queers, single parents, wind farms and black people?
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    May 13, 2010 9:12 AM GMT
    Oh I get the general idea. They're trying to quantify time as a medium through which we travel through. Once the components of time are explained scientists can (yes get ready for this) reconstruct TIME itself (*mind explodes*). That will take a while.

    Meanwhile, scientists still don't understand the exact physical component to photons of light. Yet our bodies developed a mechanism to transpose that energy into our perception of light. What if our bodies also developed a mechanism to transpose time into movement? OH SNAP! Our movement is a representation of time just like our sight is a representation of photons.

    I get it and I don't get it at the same time.
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    May 13, 2010 9:14 AM GMT
    dashdashdash saidWhy is the Mail covering such a topic, shouldn't it be busy organising their hate towards immigrants, queers, single parents, wind farms and black people?


    Maybe they want to travel back in time to "cleanse" the Earth.
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    May 13, 2010 9:21 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidAnything is possible if you use 100 percent capacity of your brain.


    [future dr. neuroscientist jake benson says...]

    You ARE using 100 percent of your brain capacity. You just have to build and strengthen neural connections, elongate those connections, reinforce those connections, and make sure you don't produce any long-term potentiation that results in damaged neural structures and pathways. In other words, you have to build long last freeways linking your neuron cells (brain cells) together in the most permanent but efficient way possible. You already have all the building blocks. All the cells in your brain theoretically are assigned to potentially do something initially.

    If a neuron in your brain is not used, it's phagocytosed (eaten) by a glial cells (cells supporting your brain cells). So you are still using 100 capacity but have less neurons in this case. Also, you could be using 100 capacity, but have been wired (through nature and nurture interactions) in a destructive way. For example, you could be using your entire brain...to plot murder. Not good. Don't do it man!

    So I guess to sum this up, I'd say that anything is possible if you TRAIN the capacity of your brain.
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    May 13, 2010 9:26 AM GMT
    I think your position is over egging how bad the daily mail is. Its one of the most read and respected papers in the nation, alongside the sun.

    Ps: labour fan boy, move along lol
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    May 13, 2010 11:37 AM GMT
    JakeBenson said

    I get it and I don't get it at the same time.


    that means you get it.
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    May 13, 2010 11:38 AM GMT
    dashdashdash saidWhy is the Mail covering such a topic, shouldn't it be busy organising their hate towards immigrants, queers, single parents, wind farms and black people?


    it looked like a promo for hawking's new TV show.
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    May 13, 2010 11:40 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidI would love to meet Mr Hawking soo badly. He is ..words cant even come to mind to explain his genius. Anything is possible if you use 100 percent capacity of your brain.


    probably more accurately, anything is possible if you are open to thinking outside the box.
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    May 13, 2010 12:18 PM GMT
    lswh saidI think your position is over egging how bad the daily mail is. Its one of the most read and respected papers in the nation, alongside the sun.

    Ps: labour fan boy, move along lol


    Ummm ... I sincerely hope this is a joke???