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Author Topic: photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?  (Read 4921 times)

Offline flr

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 This may be a naive question, but I kind of had it in my mind for a while and I would try it anyway.

 Due to length contraction an object moving at high speed will perceive from his perspective the space in front of him contracted. The fast moving object won't 'see' any time dilation, but only an length contraction. 

 Extrapolating this to photons themselves, I would expect them to see the length in front of them to zero (as if the space will became 2D).
 Is it correct to say that the photons only perceive a 2D space?


 

Offline LeeE

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #1 on: 14/02/2010 21:17:13 »
It seems to be implied by Relativity, but then relativity really only deals with sub-luminal objects, and it's impossible to actually accelerate a sub-luminal object to light speed, so the implication may not apply.

Actually, I've been 'playing' with a bottom-up synthetic model (as opposed to a top-down analytic model) that suggests that EMR is indeed two-dimensional, but as that model is purely a mental exercise it doesn't, and indeed can't, prove anything.
 

Offline Farsight

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #2 on: 15/02/2010 13:07:42 »
flr: imagine you're in a "magic" spaceship that can accelerate to the speed of light. It isn't possible of course, but just imagine it is. As you accelerate, the space in front of you appears to foreshorten, and the things in it appear to move faster, because you're time-dilated. Those things aren't really moving faster, it's you and all your atoms and electrons and nerve impulses and thoughts moving slower in your local frame. As you accelerate faster and faster the effects increase. When you get to c you might think you'd see space foreshortened to zero, but you are now totally time-dilated. All your atoms and electrons and nerve impulses and thoughts have stopped. You don't perceive anything. 
 

Offline flr

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #3 on: 15/02/2010 13:40:36 »
.... because you're time-dilated.
Actually from my perspective I am not time dilated.
I will not notice anything unusual happening to time, it is just that space in front is much shorter and I travel shorter distances.
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...it's you and all your atoms and electrons and nerve impulses and thoughts moving slower in your local frame. As you accelerate faster and faster the effects increase.
If my understanding is correct, in my local frame all my signals are still limited by c which is the same as at low speed. Therefore it may not be that (from my frame) I and my thoughts (and all signals) slow down but rather the fact that there is little space in front of me to travel and hence I will need shorter time to get to destination.
It is however true that time dilation effect will be observed by a far-away observer at much lower speed, however I disagree with him as I see from my frame not my time to be dilated but the space much shorter.

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When you get to c you might think you'd see space foreshortened to zero, but you are now totally time-dilated.
For the far away observer, right?
But from my ship time flow normal and it does not tick because the space in front of me is contracted to zero, hence I am already at the destination.
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All your atoms and electrons and nerve impulses and thoughts have stopped. You don't perceive anything. 
You may disagree with me and see me time dilated, but from my ship I have a different view: the distance to travel is ZERO due space contraction and that is why in my ship the clock did not yet had 'time' to tick.

If the universe will be only from photons, there will be no far away observer moving slower than c to see the time-dilation, but rather photons which would have the direction of motion shrunk to zero.

Anyway, thanks for your replay, it clarified me that photons are indeed in a 2D space AND they don't experience time flow . All they got (from their view) is a 2D space.  
 

Offline Farsight

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #4 on: 15/02/2010 14:43:04 »
Yes, you don't notice your time dilation locally, flr, and yes, to you distances look shorter. But you aren't seeing the simplicity of it. Suppose you're in your magic spaceship traversing the galaxy at c. You might think it's flat and it takes you no time to go from one end to the other, but I've got all the time in the world to put an asteroid in your way. You don't see me do it, because you don't experience anything. And then you don't reach your destination.   
 

Offline flr

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #5 on: 15/02/2010 15:13:46 »
That asteroid clearly ruined my day, not because I am gonna hit it in a finite time in your frame, but because I will never hit it in my own frame (photon frame).
I think this view from "photon frame" is right, isn't it? 
 

Offline Farsight

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #6 on: 15/02/2010 16:51:03 »
Not sure, flr. In your "photon frame", you hit that asteroid instantly. Kapow! Game over.
 

Offline Geezer

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #7 on: 15/02/2010 19:33:28 »
I doubt that photons "see" any dimensions. They have no time. They arrive as soon as they leave.
 

Offline yor_on

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #8 on: 16/02/2010 18:49:19 »
flr, as they are at 'c' they can't have any geometry at all :)
Think about it and you will see what I mean.
 

Offline flr

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #9 on: 16/02/2010 21:03:30 »
flr, as they are at 'c' they can't have any geometry at all :)
Think about it and you will see what I mean.

 Apparently I can look at it in many ways - if you drop a hint, I may easier follow your specific thoughts on it.

 Perhaps special relativity fails to reveal the perspective of a moving frame at precisely c ? .....
 

Offline yor_on

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #10 on: 16/02/2010 23:08:44 »
Be cool Flr.

Two ways. Look at it as a particle, Lorentz contraction will then reach the infinite as matter 'reach' light speed. Look at it as a photon, then you have a boson, a boson can be superimposed, assuming that they take place that shouldn't be possible. I guess there are more 'improbabilities' involved but those two was the ones that came to mind now.
==

But I still liked the idea.
So now you just have to prove where I went wrong:)
« Last Edit: 17/02/2010 00:16:29 by yor_on »
 

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photons, do they 'see' the universe as 2-dimensional?
« Reply #10 on: 16/02/2010 23:08:44 »

 

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