Who thinks Faster Than Light travel is possible?

Whatever they travel about in, their superpowers (well, the superpowers of those that have them) are pure fantasy.

But to find, perhaps, a compromise, a more suitable descriptive name for them might be science fantasy.
 
Ursa, you and I probably agree about the non-sfnal quality of the superhero movies. But whatever we choose to call them, they do contribute to the culture's immersion in broadly sfnal notions -- aliens, space travel, multiple dimensions, hi-tech weapons and body armor and so on.
 
But to find, perhaps, a compromise, a more suitable descriptive name for them might be science fantasy.

That's the old science fiction vs fantasy discussion which never has a definite solution. If you want to get technical about it, 99 percent of what passes for science fiction is science fantasy. Might as well drag Speculative Fiction back out into the spot light.

Anything with space travel past the asteroid belt is pure fantasy, within the belt that's science fiction so long as it is done in tiny ships and not giant massive dreadnaught size ocean liners. I say that because I believe that is entirely possible. Just because the people trying to get out there are not playing with a full deck doesn't mean they won't get out there in their tiny ships. Then again, the Vikings had tiny ships for the most part and they could have gone around the world if they had wanted to. Sometimes they dragged the ships over land to get to the other side.

Perhaps life can never be accelerated past the speed of light without becoming a monument to its previous existence. All the ftl has a magic bubble around the ship so it stays intact, inside people are walking around breathing the vapors as if nothing extraordinary was happening. If we can't do ftl perhaps no one else can either, so you can throw all the alien intervention stuff under the bus as well. The first and maybe only contacts will probably be robots.

What does seem to be completely blowing the fantasy out of science fiction is anything based on genetics. Perhaps real life super heroes will be bred in the proverbial test tube. The mind is a portal and maybe we can step into other dimensions through enhanced brains with just the thoughts in our minds, as nothing materialistic can be dragged along inside with us. Inside our heads we are in touch with everything quantum, and if we were bred to travel into those regions we might find a whole new way of getting around. Perhaps it is just the materialistic garbage that is restricted from traveling around the universe.
 
But to find, perhaps, a compromise, a more suitable descriptive name for them might be science fantasy.

That's the old science fiction vs fantasy discussion which never has a definite solution. If you want to get technical about it, 99 percent of what passes for science fiction is science fantasy. Might as well drag Speculative Fiction back out into the spot light.

Anything with space travel past the asteroid belt is pure fantasy, within the belt that's science fiction so long as it is done in tiny ships and not giant massive dreadnaught size ocean liners. I say that because I believe that is entirely possible. Just because the people trying to get out there are not playing with a full deck doesn't mean they won't get out there in their tiny ships. Then again, the Vikings had tiny ships for the most part and they could have gone around the world if they had wanted to. Sometimes they dragged the ships over land to get to the other side.

Perhaps life can never be accelerated past the speed of light without becoming a monument to its previous existence. All the ftl has a magic bubble around the ship so it stays intact, inside people are walking around breathing the vapors as if nothing extraordinary was happening. If we can't do ftl perhaps no one else can either, so you can throw all the alien intervention stuff under the bus as well. The first and maybe only contacts will probably be robots.

What does seem to be completely blowing the fantasy out of science fiction is anything based on genetics. Perhaps real life super heroes will be bred in the proverbial test tube. The mind is a portal and maybe we can step into other dimensions through enhanced brains with just the thoughts in our minds, as nothing materialistic can be dragged along inside with us. Inside our heads we are in touch with everything quantum, and if we were bred to travel into those regions we might find a whole new way of getting around. Perhaps it is just the materialistic garbage that is restricted from traveling around the universe.
So, now any SF with ships larger than the space shuttle is fantasy, even though the surface of the moon is aluminum?
 
I wonder if there is any American or British physicist, currently employed by a university or a private corporation, who would accept a bet on the following basis.

1.If he or she wins the bet, the physicist will win $10 million or the equivalent in sterling; if he or she loses the bet, the loss is 10% of one year's top earnings. That is, if during the 20 years the losing physicist's top earnings for a year were $250,000, he or she would pay the bettor $25,000. (I figured that was enough of a loss to hurt, but not enough to deter someone who really believes he or she had a good chance of winning the bet.)

2.The bet is this. Within 20 years, the wealthy bettor bets that none of the following will have occurred.

a.The discovery of certain evidence of life, convincing to the scientific community, other than microscopic, originating anywhere in the universe other than on this planet.
b.A manned mission to Mars that reaches the planet and returns to Earth.
c.Certain proof that FTL travel is possible, i.e. the physics are worked out even if the application will take some years yet; but the scientific community affirms that it can be done.
d.Certain proof that time travel into the past or into the future may be done, i.e. the physics are worked out even if the application will take some years.

If one or more of these occurs at any time before the 20 years are up, the bettor will pay the physicist $10 million.
 
a.The discovery of certain evidence of life, convincing to the scientific community, other than microscopic, originating anywhere in the universe other than on this planet.
b.A manned mission to Mars that reaches the planet and returns to Earth.
c.Certain proof that FTL travel is possible, i.e. the physics are worked out even if the application will take some years yet; but the scientific community affirms that it can be done.
d.Certain proof that time travel into the past or into the future may be done, i.e. the physics are worked out even if the application will take some years.
a. Lift a Buick over your head.
b. Warm up soup.
c. Memorize Wikipedia.
d. Hold your breath for 1 hour 35 minutes.

We could go to Mars in 2 years if we broke the nuclear weapon space treaty, or sunk a couple trillion into it. It isn't really a technical problem as much as a political one. The other ones range from unpredictable to scientifically unlikely. All of which are out of the control of scientists.
 
I'd take that bet, although I'm not a physicist. d) may need some rephrasing. Technically space station crews have experienced less time than folks on earth (by the merest fraction of a second) due to time dilation. This could be argued to be a small jump forwards in time. But certainly not what most people would define as significant time travel. c) and d) are kind of related. They would come as a package I think.

The only problem is that in 20 years I'll be a little too old to spend all that money on partying and loose boys. Can I get an advance?
 
I'd take that bet, although I'm not a physicist. d) may need some rephrasing. Technically space station crews have experienced less time than folks on earth (by the merest fraction of a second) due to time dilation. This could be argued to be a small jump forwards in time. But certainly not what most people would define as significant time travel. c) and d) are kind of related. They would come as a package I think.

The only problem is that in 20 years I'll be a little too old to spend all that money on partying and loose boys. Can I get an advance?
I might be able to find you some loose boys. Got pics?
 
That depends. Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy are pretty much SF, and the Matrix straddles the line.
Iron Man does not have superpowers (he has technology)... which means that he fits the exception I implied:
Whatever they travel about in, their superpowers (well, the superpowers of those that have them) are pure fantasy.
 
Maybe we are experiencing them but just aren’t aware that we are.

After all, our bodies are subjected all the time to things we aren’t aware of (at least without measuring equipment). Example… Radon gas daughter product particles that often fill our homes without us realising that they are there. They can produce alpha particles that enter our lungs and potentially irradiate soft tissues but we just don’t experience any of that on a conscious level.

Edit, I don’t actually believe that we are experiencing FTL without awareness but, as it’s a thought experiment then I thought I’d add a thought alternative.:)
Hm... so if something is travelling faster then the speed of light relative to the observer, then they would go right through the observer without the observer feeling a thing?
 
Okay, I'll play. The part about Albert confused me, so I'll omit him. Assuming the frame of reference accelerates to the speed of light and then goes past it, the observer would see time slow and then stop. Assuming negative time, the observer would move back to earlier times. One cannot assume the observer both moves forward in time and backwards in time, so the observer cannot create new events. The observer would be walking back through past events.

From an external frame of reference, when the moving object starts going backwards in time, then it no longer goes forward in time. From an external point of view, the object would hit the speed of light and then cease to exist. From an external point of view, the speed of light was not violated, though there is the pesky matter of conservation of matter and energy.
Hm... interesting... hm... If the obverse in their own frame reference accelerates away from another frame of reference (I believe it had a clock tower in the original correspondence - so let's put a clock tower in this frame of reference), then indeed the time as measured by the clock tower would appear to slow down. If the observer travels at the speed of light away from the clock tower, then the clock tower would always show the same time. If the observer exceeds the speed of light, then it would show the clock tower before the the observer left because the observer would only see the light that was sent earlier. (I think we're agreed so far!)

Now if the observer returns to the clock tower after having accelerated to beyond the speed of light from the clock tower, the observer would go back through all the light signalling until the observer reaches the clock tower at a time later than the observer started out where that time difference is due to the time it takes the observer to travel away from and back to the clock tower. So by this 'logic' the observer could not return to the clock tower before the observer left. (Which is different from the example I cited earlier - mea culpa).

Does this make sense to you?
 
Like India launching a probe to Mars the same year Interstellar came out, and they did it cheaper than the cost of the movie. $57 million vrs $165 million
Meanwhile, Neymar (a football player) transfer fee to Barcelona - 222 million euros!
What hope is there for the future of mankind with societal priorities like that?

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Hm... interesting... hm... If the obverse in their own frame reference accelerates away from another frame of reference (I believe it had a clock tower in the original correspondence - so let's put a clock tower in this frame of reference), then indeed the time as measured by the clock tower would appear to slow down. If the observer travels at the speed of light away from the clock tower, then the clock tower would always show the same time. If the observer exceeds the speed of light, then it would show the clock tower before the the observer left because the observer would only see the light that was sent earlier. (I think we're agreed so far!)

Now if the observer returns to the clock tower after having accelerated to beyond the speed of light from the clock tower, the observer would go back through all the light signalling until the observer reaches the clock tower at a time later than the observer started out where that time difference is due to the time it takes the observer to travel away from and back to the clock tower. So by this 'logic' the observer could not return to the clock tower before the observer left. (Which is different from the example I cited earlier - mea culpa).

Does this make sense to you?
The issue is not observation of light, but time dilation in different frames of references. Time dilation is already an observed phenomenon and satellites orbiting the Earth require periodic time clock resynchronization. This time dilation, however, is due to the effects of gravity not speed. Time runs faster in space. Take two clocks, leave one on Earth and take the other up to space and then back down and the clock on Earth will record less time elapsed than the one that traveled into space.

At velocity, the opposite occurs. The object in motion experiences time passing slower. At the speed of light, time ceases to pass. Someone who traveled for a light year out and a light year back would experience no passage of time, while two years have passed at the origin point. The concept of variable time is pretty strange.

If an object exceeds the speed of light, it would seem to enter the realm of negative time, which is an even more bizarre concept. My extrapolation was that time moving in a negative direction meant that the object would regress back to an earlier state. I had also assumed that this would mean the object regressed to an earlier position. If so, the object would no longer be externally observed. This seems to be a rather strange outcome from an external observation point, but it avoids the consequences of experiencing reversal of interaction. One such interaction would be emitting the light of previously viewed objects, but from a different location in space.

Another way of viewing this would be to look at the speed of light as a wrap point. Some of the computer scientists may get this, but essentially C + 1 = -C + 1. Continued acceleration in the original direction becomes deceleration in the opposite direction.
 
The issue is not observation of light, but time dilation in different frames of references. Time dilation is already an observed phenomenon and satellites orbiting the Earth require periodic time clock resynchronization. This time dilation, however, is due to the effects of gravity not speed. Time runs faster in space. Take two clocks, leave one on Earth and take the other up to space and then back down and the clock on Earth will record less time elapsed than the one that traveled into space.

At velocity, the opposite occurs. The object in motion experiences time passing slower. At the speed of light, time ceases to pass. Someone who traveled for a light year out and a light year back would experience no passage of time, while two years have passed at the origin point. The concept of variable time is pretty strange.

If an object exceeds the speed of light, it would seem to enter the realm of negative time, which is an even more bizarre concept. My extrapolation was that time moving in a negative direction meant that the object would regress back to an earlier state. I had also assumed that this would mean the object regressed to an earlier position. If so, the object would no longer be externally observed. This seems to be a rather strange outcome from an external observation point, but it avoids the consequences of experiencing reversal of interaction. One such interaction would be emitting the light of previously viewed objects, but from a different location in space.

Another way of viewing this would be to look at the speed of light as a wrap point. Some of the computer scientists may get this, but essentially C + 1 = -C + 1. Continued acceleration in the original direction becomes deceleration in the opposite direction.
If an object exceeds the speed of light, that object would observe the universe around it as if it were travelling back in time. The object itself does not become younger because it remains in its own frame of reference. This applies even when gravity affects the speed of light as in Einstein's theory of general relativity.
 
If an object exceeds the speed of light, that object would observe the universe around it as if it were travelling back in time. The object itself does not become younger because it remains in its own frame of reference. This applies even when gravity affects the speed of light as in Einstein's theory of general relativity.
I will freely admit that I do not grasp the concept of negative time or whether it exists. I even struggle with the idea of zero time. For my model, I tend to rely on the idea of someone on a moving object with a flashlight.

Suppose there is an object traveling at 0.9 C and someone (the internal observer) turns on a flashlight. An external observer will see the light from the flash traveling at C and the object traveling at 0.9 C. In one second, the light will travel 1.0 light-seconds and the object will travel 0.9 light-seconds and the two will be 0.1 light-seconds apart. Now where is starts to get strange, for the internal observer, the light from the flashlight still travels away from him at C. After 1 second, the light will be 1 light-second distant. One explanation for this is the rate of time has reduced for the internal observer (another is that distance has expanded, but that becomes even weirder).

Now, what if the object reaches the speed of light. When the flashlight is turned on, the light cannot move faster than the object and remains at the emitting bulb. After 1 second, both would travel 1.0 light-seconds. For the internal observer, the speed of light is still a constant. The light from the flashlight would need to move away at the speed of light. After 1 second, the light would need to be 1.0 light-seconds away. This can be explained by the rate of time internal to the object having gone to zero and introduces all sorts of divide by zero issues. I assume that this means that time fails to pass for the internal observer.

Now, suppose the object gets to 1.1 C. For an external observer, after 1 second, the light from the flashlight would be 0.1 light-seconds behind the object. For the internal observer, however, after 1 second, the light would be 0.1 light-seconds in front of the object. Or perhaps the internal observer experiences -1 seconds to a time 1 second before the flashlight was turned on. If time is truly reversed, wouldn't the internal observer be emitting light from his or her eyes that is traveling back towards its source? If moving backwards in time, wouldn't the object be returning to an earlier state? Wouldn't any particles shed by the object be re-merging with it? If so, how would these shed particles now be a a different location? The only way I see to resolve this is that when time goes negative, so does distance. Which would put the object overlaying its previous location, effectively doubling its mass. To the external observer, the moving object would wink out of existence as it passed the speed of light.

I am not qualified to say any of this is true, but I do have a hard time apply negative numbers to most physical phenomena.
 
I recall reading, more than four decades ago, at least some of a small (library) book by Albert Einstein (which he started writing at the end of 1915) aimed at "a popular audience". I thought I'd look it up online. There's been an update to it, but I thought I'd see if the original was available... and it was (and for 45p as a Kindle book).

Don't expect this to enable me to explain anything raised here, but some of you might find it worthwhile looking at, what with such a bargain price and a relatively well-informed author.
 
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I didn't look "on gutenberg", as I assumed it was still in copyright here, given that Einstein lived until 1955.
 
I don't know if this has been mentioned (almost certainly), but general relativity theory (theory!) predicts any number of natural scenarios where a person in one reference frame can look towards a person in a different reference frame and view them as moving faster than the speed of light. A trivial example would be a spinning reference frame (special relativity doesn't explicitly deal with this situation, oddly enough, although you can hack it to do so by dividing time into infinitesimal slices!). Others include the ergosphere around a spinning black hole and regions of the universe beyond our hubble volume.

Now... nobody jump me. I've had people get really mad and insist on long and 'passionate' arguments just from hearing someone say these things. They're usually especially offended by the more trivial examples because of course, in a scenario where you spin with your finger out, the direction you're pointing changes at a rate faster than the speed of light - that's not FTL movement, it's a trick - it's conflating angular motion with linear motion. I'm happy to talk about the reasons why GR does count such things as more than just a trick (e.g. everyone is stationary in their own reference frame, FTL motion is only actually forbidden locally wrt to the observer etc etc), but can I be clear: I'm not being a smartass and trying to trick anyone.

Disclaimer made...
While there are natural examples of something like FTL motion predicted by GR, it's unclear at best whether these might translate into actual travel, even in principle. I think guys like Alcubierre are akin to 17th century mathematicians calculating a the orbits needed to reach the Moon. Sure they can calculate what would need to be done, but there's literal lifetimes of other stuff that would need to be overcome before it was anything more than a theoretical curiosity.
 
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