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Thread: Space time question

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    Default Space time question

    Hi I am a Salvation army officer in Chesterfield England (But don't hold that against me) trying to make sense of some of the latest findings and report arriving from the science communities. The question is
    If I was to travel one light year into space and back in one second (I know its not possible) would I arrive 2 years before I left?

    Ray Baynes
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    Default Re: Space time question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaynes View Post
    Hi I am a Salvation army officer in Chesterfield England (But don't hold that against me) trying to make sense of some of the latest findings and report arriving from the science communities. The question is
    If I was to travel one light year into space and back in one second (I know its not possible) would I arrive 2 years before I left?

    Ray Baynes
    Ray, my answer may come across as disappointing... Please don't let it discourage you.
    I cannot word it in any way that is different and still have it make any sense.
    The short of it is that your question creates an absurdity that disallows any answer.
    This is one of the most trickish parts of Thought Experiments.

    In order for you to go one light year in one second, you would need to violate the fundamental properties of spacetime itself. As you say, this cannot happen. It ends there: It cannot happen. Saying, "But what if I could, by magic or whatever..." - No, it cannot happen. There can be no productive answer because the question contradicts and violates the fundamental properties that would define an answer.
    Now, I see where you are going with it; the proposition that if you somehow could go one light year in one second, you would have performed time travel into the past.
    Well, sure... And if you built H.G. Wells time machine or rode in Marty McFly's Delorean, you could travel "into the past." But those absurd examples of a mechanism are no more absurd than traveling faster than "c."

    The short of it is, No. You cannot Violate physics, therefor, that is not a mechanism to travel into the past. You also can write fiction, wherein you cast a magic spell, build a flux capacitor or whip around the Sun at warp speed and travel to the past.
    --Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges--
    “Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    "When photons interact with electrons, they are interacting with the charge around a "bare" mass, and thus the interaction is electromagnetic, hence light. This light slows the photon down." - BuleriaChk

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    Default Re: Space time question

    Yes, I agree it would be impossible and it is a thought experiment based on a critical analysis of a Jehovah’s Witness book which I am working on as part of my on-going training. If time travel was possible by jumping to the far reaches of space then at any given time all past time exists somewhere in space time.
    The result being the JW argument that Christ ascended to some sort of throne in 1914 falls apart unless heaven was in the same space-time as earth.
    I think I may be not only thinking outside the box but completely outside the planet.

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    Default Re: Space time question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaynes View Post
    Yes, I agree it would be impossible and it is a thought experiment based on a critical analysis of a Jehovah’s Witness book which I am working on as part of my on-going training. If time travel was possible by jumping to the far reaches of space then at any given time all past time exists somewhere in space time.
    The result being the JW argument that Christ ascended to some sort of throne in 1914 falls apart unless heaven was in the same space-time as earth.
    I think I may be not only thinking outside the box but completely outside the planet.
    Not to be rude, this is science and mathematics forum, not fantasy of religion.

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    Default Re: Space time question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaynes View Post
    Yes, I agree it would be impossible and it is a thought experiment based on a critical analysis of a Jehovah’s Witness book which I am working on as part of my on-going training. If time travel was possible by jumping to the far reaches of space then at any given time all past time exists somewhere in space time.
    The result being the JW argument that Christ ascended to some sort of throne in 1914 falls apart unless heaven was in the same space-time as earth.
    I think I may be not only thinking outside the box but completely outside the planet.
    No, you are actually making sense... physically speaking. Einstein thought along similar lines.
    I don't know if you have ever used powdered creamer in coffee... But if you had a cup of coffee in front of you and you sprinkled some creamer in it, you would see a layer of particulates floating on the surface.
    Consider those to be a Fundamental Property of Space-Time.
    As you put a coffee stirrer into the mug and move it, you see bits of creamer getting dragged in the wake of where the coffee stirrer dents the surface of the coffee.
    Mass warps SpaceTime and this has a noticeable effect. Einstein felt that this warping of spacetime is what gives us the effect of Gravity, but also the effect of time.
    This is not a view that shows time as a river, flowing along. In fact, time is merely a surface and it is our motion through it, not its motion around us, that makes the effect that we perceive. Because of this, time does not move at a constant rate between two relatively moving objects.

    But this also demonstrates that time travel may be impossible. Because in order to 'move' to a different point in time, you would also need to move the entire universe and every quark in it back into the same spacetime position it all occupied at the moment of 'that time.'
    Time, not being an independent flowing system, cannot be independently navigated.

    Now, without being able to observe the structure of the fabric of spacetime at magnification much smaller than the Planck length, we cannot directly verify what it is about SpaceTime that gives us these properties of Time and Gravity. But we can see these effects, clearly.
    --Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges--
    “Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    "When photons interact with electrons, they are interacting with the charge around a "bare" mass, and thus the interaction is electromagnetic, hence light. This light slows the photon down." - BuleriaChk

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    Default Re: Space time question

    If it was possible to travel one light year in a second this would create a new value that would blow the current physic laws. Still, if it was possible to travel a light year into space and be back in a second, wouldn't that create a time warp?
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    Default Re: Space time question

    I don’t consider your statement rude and you do have point but I think using science to combat strange ideas has its place here.
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    Default Re: Space time question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaynes View Post
    I don’t consider your statement rude and you do have point but I think using science to combat strange ideas has its place here.
    Absolutely.

    I think the above post got the idea you were supporting some religious ideas with Science. While the ability to enjoy faith and believe in things greater than yourself can be a fine thing, some folks will... muddle... science... in order to fit religion into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by spacedout View Post
    If it was possible to travel one light year in a second this would create a new value that would blow the current physic laws. Still, if it was possible to travel a light year into space and be back in a second, wouldn't that create a time warp?
    I think it would break the universe...
    --Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges--
    “Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    "When photons interact with electrons, they are interacting with the charge around a "bare" mass, and thus the interaction is electromagnetic, hence light. This light slows the photon down." - BuleriaChk

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    Default Re: Space time question

    I think we all agree that one light year in a second would be impossible but how do we view the following statement?
    If Space and time are both manifestations of the same thing and a single point of time moves away from us at the speed of light we could not catch up with it but, it would still exist as a point in space-time.
    Would that be correct?
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    Default Re: Space time question

    Quote Originally Posted by rbaynes View Post
    I think we all agree that one light year in a second would be impossible but how do we view the following statement?
    If Space and time are both manifestations of the same thing and a single point of time moves away from us at the speed of light we could not catch up with it but, it would still exist as a point in space-time.
    Would that be correct?
    Yes, this is correct.
    And, in fact, there is spacetime moving relative to our position at and even greater than c.


    I do want to nitpick a statement: While in a general sense, you could say that space and time are manifestations of the same thing, as you examine space and time in greater detail, the less accurate that statement becomes. So in this conversation and setting, it's plenty accurate enough. But it helps to keep that distinction in mind as you do further speculating and wondering in your mind.
    --Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges--
    “Science needs the light of free expression to flourish. It depends on the fearless questioning of authority, and the open exchange of ideas.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

    "When photons interact with electrons, they are interacting with the charge around a "bare" mass, and thus the interaction is electromagnetic, hence light. This light slows the photon down." - BuleriaChk

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