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Author Topic: Attributes of Light  (Read 2851 times)

Offline Acoustic Samurai

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Attributes of Light
« on: 25/06/2006 04:59:06 »
After my recent reading of Stephen Hawking's The Universe in A Nutshell, I have a few a questions regarding characteristics of light.
First i recall reading more or less that the speed of light is not relative to an object traveling along side of it, (Even if both are traveling in the same direction) and the book gave a few examples of experiments and methods used to test that theory.
I was wondering if i had interpreted the book correctly or if I missed something siginificant regarding the ship that traveled with it or the direction of the light.


 

Offline ukmicky

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Re: Attributes of Light
« Reply #1 on: 25/06/2006 14:11:56 »
quote:
Originally posted by Acoustic Samurai

After my recent reading of Stephen Hawking's The Universe in A Nutshell, I have a few a questions regarding characteristics of light.
First i recall reading more or less that the speed of light is not relative to an object traveling along side of it, (Even if both are traveling in the same direction) and the book gave a few examples of experiments and methods used to test that theory.
I was wondering if i had interpreted the book correctly or if I missed something siginificant regarding the ship that traveled with it or the direction of the light.



Yes its weird but irrespective of your speed or direction of travel light will always pass you by 186,000 miles a second.
Even if you were travelling at 185,999 miles per second in the same direction that the light is travelling ,light would still pass you by and be travelling 186,000 MPS faster than you.

Michael
« Last Edit: 26/06/2006 00:48:51 by ukmicky »
 

another_someone

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Re: Attributes of Light
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2006 15:11:04 »
quote:
Originally posted by ukmicky
Even if you were travelling at 185,999 miles per second in the same direction that the light is travelling ,light would still pass you by and be travelling 186,000 MPS faster than you.



Isn't this the root of the issue with regard to relativity who says you are travelling at  185,999 miles per second?  185,999 miles per second relative to what?

You cannot say, in any absolute sense, that you are travelling at  185,999 miles per second, only that you are travelling at  185,999 miles per second relative to something else, and both you and that something else still regards that light is travelling at 186,000 miles per second relative to you.

The point is not that you are travelling at  185,999 miles per second, and light is travelling at  186,000 miles per second, and thus light must be travelling at  371,999 miles per second but is not.  It is that light appears to you to be travelling at 186,000 miles per second (as if you are stationary), but you appear to be travelling at  185,999 miles per second to someone else, but that someone else does not have the same view of the light that you have, so the fact that he also sees light as travelling at 186,000 miles per second is not a conflict, because he has a different view of the light.

That two different observers might see the same object apparently travelling at different speeds because they are observing the object from different perspectives is not something that we are unfamiliar with; it is only the particular mechanics of that difference of perspective that is peculiar to relativity.



George
 

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Re: Attributes of Light
« Reply #2 on: 26/06/2006 15:11:04 »

 

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