# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?  (Read 9972 times)

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« on: 07/07/2006 19:04:27 »
Just out of idle speculation: could there be a minimum speed of matter?

I was thinking that, since we have relativity telling us that nothing can exceed the speed of light, could we also have a converse law that says that things must travel with a minimum speed?

If such a minimum speed limit were to exists, its effects could only exist at the quantum level.

Would not a minimum speed limit would create an ambiguity in the speed of a particle that would be not by unlike the uncertainty principle?

George

#### Razak

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 17
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #1 on: 08/07/2006 06:22:05 »
I think the uncertanity principal will create problems to mesure such a speed.

RazaK

#### gecko

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 196
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #2 on: 08/07/2006 07:09:47 »
no. there is no minimum speed of matter. i have no evidence, so dont ask for any.

#### heikki

• Full Member
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##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #3 on: 10/07/2006 08:36:28 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone

Just out of idle speculation: could there be a minimum speed of matter?

I was thinking that, since we have relativity telling us that nothing can exceed the speed of light, could we also have a converse law that says that things must travel with a minimum speed?

If such a minimum speed limit were to exists, its effects could only exist at the quantum level.

Would not a minimum speed limit would create an ambiguity in the speed of a particle that would be not by unlike the uncertainty principle?

George

Hi.

If light-particles can go that measured light speed and light speed is different in different matter-stuff(water.air.space,glass. etc.) then if exist smaller matter-particles which can go faster than measured light-speed then it can and speed therefore can be 500000km/s or ever faster. But anypath, space-nature matter-contitions make limits also of this speed (distance/time). And then there is maximun speed-limit.

So other ways, minimun speed? If one matter-particle stay on it's place without moving any direction, then it's speed is 0m/s.

Distance is 0 and speed is 0m/1s.

But, like you make question, can it be 0?

I think that if one matter-particle is alone, then is dont goes any direction and speed is 0m/1s.

But, where is the location or place to our space-nature where some matter-particle is alone without contacts some others particles?

Hmm. a_s your question is quite fine and my thought of this question is that there is minimun speed limit at todays space-nature because it move(live) all time everywhere.

But is it important to know these speed limits on these small matter-particle sizes? I'm sitting and wroting computer and my speed is now 0m/s on to my sittingplace, but my speed when i round sun is much more. What or where technics area or scient to i do or need data of these speed limit knowing? Electricity, maybe? Other areas?

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #4 on: 10/07/2006 14:49:46 »
quote:
Originally posted by heikki
If light-particles can go that measured light speed and light speed is different in different matter-stuff(water.air.space,glass. etc.) then if exist smaller matter-particles which can go faster than measured light-speed then it can and speed therefore can be 500000km/s or ever faster. But anypath, space-nature matter-contitions make limits also of this speed (distance/time). And then there is maximun speed-limit.

Since the reason why light can travel at the nominal speed of light (~3x10^8 m/s) is because it has zero mass, then you are correct that if something has less mass than that, it may well travel  faster than light, but the only way that matter can have less mass than zero mass is if it can have negative mass.  We know of no way to create negative mass, but if such a particle could be created, it would probably also exhibit anti-gravity.

Could not exactly work out what you meant when you referring to the slowing down of light in the vicinity of matter.  That slowing down happens because light is interacting with the electrical charge of the atoms (because light is an electromagnetic wave).  In a simplistic way, I would imagine you can think of it as light having to hop from atom to atom, so while it is travelling between the atoms, it is still travelling at its normal speed, but then rests a while as it reaches an atom, so its average speed slows down.  I accept that this is grossly simplistic.

quote:

So other ways, minimun speed? If one matter-particle stay on it's place without moving any direction, then it's speed is 0m/s.

Distance is 0 and speed is 0m/1s.

But speed is always relative.  To say that something is travelling at 3 m/s, one has to say that it is travelling at 3/s relative to something.

If one says that something is travelling at 0 m/s, then it is to say that it is stationary with respect to something else.

To say that there is a minimum speed limit would be to imply that nothing can be stationary with respect to anything else, which is to say that any two objects that are anywhere in the universe, if they are capable of being aware of the other object, must be travelling at a different speed to the other object (i.e. no two objects in the universe can have exactly the same speed – a little like the Pauli exclusion principle applied to fermions of similar spin, but applied to all things in the universe).

A minimum speed limit would not only mean that two objects cannot be stationary with respect to each other, but that there must be a minimum difference in speed between them, would would imply (although not necessitate) that velocity is quantised (i.e. that velocity can inly increase in discrete steps, rather than as a continuous value).

George

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #5 on: 11/07/2006 03:20:19 »
quote:
Originally posted by Razak
I think the uncertanity principal will create problems to mesure such a speed.

It would create problems in directly measuring such a speed, but the effects of there being a minimum speed limit would probably be visible even at scales that we can observe, even though those effects might be indirect.

Suppose that the minimum speed limit is a speed that we designate V(0).  Suppose, for the sake of argument, that the smallest measurable speed is actually 100 time V(0), thus it is clear that we can never actually measure the difference between V(0) and zero velocity.

Suppose we have 4 objects that we can observe, and each of them are subject to the same minimum speed limit.  We will label these objects A through D, and their respective speeds as V(A) through V(D).

What are the minimum speeds that these objects can move at?

If we arbitrarily use object A as a baseline to work from, then we will arbitrarily assume that V(A) is actually zero speed relative to our reference, because it is actually designated as the reference for everything else.

Since object B cannot be travelling less than V(0) relative to the speed of V(A), then
Code: [Select]
`    V(B) >= V(A) + V(0).`
Since object C cannot be travelling slower than V(0) relative to either A or B, therefore either
Code: [Select]
`    V(C) >= V(B) + V(0)         >= V(A) + 2 * V(0)`or
Code: [Select]
`    V(C) <= V(A) - V(0)`
Similarly, if V(C) >= V(A) + 2 * V(0) then either
Code: [Select]
`    V(D) >= V(C) + V(0)         >= V(A) + 3 * V(0)`or
Code: [Select]
`    V(D) <= V(A) - V(0)`
but if V(C) <= V(A) – V(0) then
Code: [Select]
`    V(D) >= V(B) + V(0)         >= V(A) + 2 * V(0)`or
Code: [Select]
`    V(D) <= V(C) - V(0)         <= V(A) - 2 * V(0)`
Thus, with 4 objects, each object must occupy a unique speed that is and integral multiple of V(0) (this must be so, because if any of the two objects are travelling at the same speed, then there will be another object within the system with which they are at rest with, and thus violating the notion of a minimum speed limit); and the fastest of the objects must be travelling at a minimum speed (for a 4 object system) of twice the minimum speed limit (i.e. it must be travelling at least at V(A) +/- 2 * V(0))..

If one now has a system composed of 1000 objects, then the fastest of these objects must be travelling at a speed of at least V(A) +/- 500 * V(0).  Since we can measure any speed of at least 100 * V(0), so it is clear that the fastest of these objects must be travelling at a clearly measurable speed (in fact 80% of the objects must be travelling at a clearly measurable speed); and we can say that in this system, it would be impossible for these object to travel any slower than these speeds, no matter what one does to the system.

George
« Last Edit: 11/07/2006 03:29:33 by another_someone »

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 2175
• Scallywag
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #6 on: 11/07/2006 14:23:18 »
Is it the object that has the speed or the force that is acting on it?

What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #7 on: 11/07/2006 15:27:11 »
quote:
Is it the object that has the speed or the force that is acting on it?

Force does not have speed.

If you are saying that the space in which the objects lie has speed, that is something else, but even then, I am not sure what that means.  General relativity allows space to posses acceleration (which manifests itself as an apparent gravitational force), but not speed as such.

Yes, it is very likely that such a minimum speed limit, if it exists, may be associated with some curvature of space, which would imply that local space is accelerating; but the actual observed speed would have to be manifest in the objects themselves.

George

#### heikki

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##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #8 on: 13/07/2006 19:50:31 »
quote:

Is it the object that has the speed or the force that is acting on it?

You make the question which is very good basic question to study all objects motion.

My self.
I'm a object and i can make that speed-force when i example running. But, but, can i make it alone? Without else? No i cant. I need ground where i can push my legs to run. If i dont have ground under my legs my mind can control me to run and try to acting me to make that speed-force but nothing dont happend.

I'm a object who has speed of force and i can acting it, but, but, not alone.

Other object, example.
Moon. Moon is a object who has speed of force and something acting and control it.

Basic question.
I have mind to control that speed force. I can acting and control it. But i need ground under my leg, otherwice i cannot do anything.

Moon have mind to control and acting that speed force or not?

Second basic question.
I am object, construction is matter.
Moon is object, construction is matter also.

If moon dont has mind to control it's speed force then something round of moon control it. Earth-ball, sun-ball, space-matter. Philosophically comes clearly next question. What different has moon than sun or earth-ball or space-matter?

Hadrian make fine question. It open many new thinking ways to my mind. Thanks.

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #9 on: 14/07/2006 02:20:14 »
quote:
Originally posted by heikki
Basic question.
I have mind to control that speed force. I can acting and control it. But i need ground under my leg, otherwice i cannot do anything.

Moon have mind to control and acting that speed force or not?

Second basic question.
I am object, construction is matter.
Moon is object, construction is matter also.

If moon dont has mind to control it's speed force then something round of moon control it. Earth-ball, sun-ball, space-matter. Philosophically comes clearly next question. What different has moon than sun or earth-ball or space-matter?

What kind of control were you thinking for the moon?

The moon has a fairly constant speed (although, because of its orbit, it also has constant acceleration) – so why would it need active control of its speed?

George

#### heikki

• Full Member
• Posts: 56
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #10 on: 14/07/2006 18:49:41 »
quote:

What kind of control were you thinking for the moon?

The moon has a fairly constant speed (although, because of its orbit, it also has constant acceleration) – so why would it need active control of its speed?

Moon, hmm. i dont exactly know.

Moon is matter-ball and goes forward. It dont has actually constant speed and constant acceleration if we speak long time period. Also i thing that if we measure accurace it's daily speed at one year we notice that speed vibrate little.

What control moon speed and place?

We know that sun and earth is part of that control-process. Also moon itself has weight and also therefore speed-force. Then space-matter where moon "swim" or "fly" has also one part of that control-process.

We can see that example flower has purpose, it's a life and be exist.

What is purpose of this nature planet process?

And how planets control that motion process?

I mean that if there is not any kind of join-control-process, then moon must fly away like hammer fly away from sportman hands. But, moon dont fly away, it "want" to round earth.

I think that space-matter has some kind of big part of this join-control-system.

But, why this planets-process exist? Why space-nature planets want to round and grow, bigger and bigger, grow like trees on the forest.

#### neilep

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##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #11 on: 14/07/2006 19:35:03 »
There simply must be a minimum speed of matter !!

..Try to get wifey to pay for something and a  hundred thousand frame per second camera would not detect any movement !

Conversely, when I'm paying for something, the speed at which she grabs for my wallet puts the speed of light to shame !!

Men are the same as women, just inside out !

#### nexus

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• Posts: 19
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #12 on: 21/07/2006 05:24:31 »
Speed has direction, a vector, if you go lower than zero you are going in reverse.

But if you simply think that there is minimum unit of time above zero I don't think there is.

Take some billiard balls(on a frictionless pool table), the cue ball hits another, say the 8 ball, straight on, all the speed gets transfered to the 8 ball.

Now have the cue ball hit 8 ball at an angle from the direction you want it to travel, only a fraction of the speed is transfered. Now increase the angle a smaller amount of energy is transferred. And so on, approaching the speed of zero but never getting there.

#### heikki

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• Posts: 56
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #13 on: 21/07/2006 07:32:31 »
quote:
Originally posted by nexus

Speed has direction, a vector, if you go lower than zero you are going in reverse.

I think that not reverse.

Time goes forward always. Speed unit is m/s.

Then all objects which have speed goes forward relation to time.

But relation to place (point a-b) of cource can go reverse direction.

Object speed m/s is always connection to time s.

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #14 on: 21/07/2006 13:06:36 »
quote:
Originally posted by nexus
Speed has direction, a vector,

True.

quote:

if you go lower than zero you are going in reverse.

If speed were a scalar, this would be so; but you have yourself said it is a vector – in other words, speed has direction and magnitude, but magnitude cannot be negative..

But this is in some ways semantics – whether or not you regard the speed of an object travelling 180 degrees to the current vector as being arithmetically less than the speed of the reference object, or just a positive speed rotated through 180 degrees, what the real intent of the question was to ask whether there can be a minimum magnitude of speed, whatever its direction or sign.

quote:

But if you simply think that there is minimum unit of time above zero I don't think there is.

In some ways this is a related but not identical question.

There is I believe what is known as the plank unit of time, which is the smallest measurable unit of time, although whether this is the smallest physical unit of time is another question (but this in some ways also relates to all quantum measure, and the general evidence at present seems to argue that the uncertainties involved in quantum measurement are not merely limitations of measurement itself, but limitations in the underlying physical processes).

quote:

Take some billiard balls(on a frictionless pool table), the cue ball hits another, say the 8 ball, straight on, all the speed gets transfered to the 8 ball.

Now have the cue ball hit 8 ball at an angle from the direction you want it to travel, only a fraction of the speed is transfered. Now increase the angle a smaller amount of energy is transferred. And so on, approaching the speed of zero but never getting there.

You cannot infinitely divide up the angle of impact between two billiard balls because you cannot infinitely divide up the balls themselves – at the minimum level, you start getting into the interaction of two atoms on the surface of the billiard balls just grazing each other, and beyond that, you even get into quantum uncertainty (how accurately can you measure the angle of one quantum particle hitting another quantum particle?).

George
« Last Edit: 21/07/2006 13:10:36 by another_someone »

#### nexus

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##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #15 on: 21/07/2006 13:40:28 »
yes i agree largely with the responeses to my response, in my haste to type it out I left out portions I was thinking (they never made it to my fingertips)

but just because something is uncertain does that mean that it can't happen?

#### another_someone

• Guest
##### Re: Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #16 on: 21/07/2006 15:40:10 »
quote:
Originally posted by nexus
but just because something is uncertain does that mean that it can't happen?

This is true, and this is where much of the debate about quantum uncertainty lies – whether there is a precise reality that exists but is really unmeasurable, or whether reality itself is that vague.

The present consensus tends towards the latter interpretation (and some of the arguments about quantum entanglement actually are based upon the fact that there cannot be an underlying but immeasurable precision to the universe).

George

#### pete1024

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##### Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #17 on: 05/01/2008 14:58:12 »
Ah, you guys are missing a point here. A stationary object contains atoms, these atoms are moving, but are being bounced around and held in place by the interactive forces around them.
'Speed' as we measure it is the average resultant vector of those atoms.
But in actual fact a stationary object still has 'speed' so long as the atoms are vibrating.
So, would the minimum speed of an atom be zero, if the atoms temperature reached absolute zero?
Can it reach absolute zero, or is there some retained energy as a result of the atoms' first energy level.

Could the minimum speed be 1/c?

#### Soul Surfer

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• keep banging the rocks together
##### Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #18 on: 06/01/2008 10:18:21 »
An interesting topic pete and worth reviving, but I dont think you are right. Whilst I do not think there is a minimum speed because it should be possible for two pbjects to be stationary with respect to each other.  There may however be a mininmum change of speed so two objects that are moving must move at specific velocities or zero by quantum theory but these changes will be extremely small and not observable.

It is interesting to think that in a universe that had a beginning (big bang) there is a lower limit on the frequency of electromagnetic and gravitiational waves to those with a period less than the time since the big bang.  The electromagnetic limit is probably not significant (now ) but the gravitiational waves might be and could possibly have an effect like dark matter dark energy or MOND.  I always wonder if that possibility has been factored into the equations by the cosmologists.

Consider the Casimir effect.  This produces an attractive force between two plates by the exclusion of some of the states of the quantum mechanical vacuum.  Could the whole universe exhibit such an effect particularly when it was very small?

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Could there be a minimum speed of matter?
« Reply #18 on: 06/01/2008 10:18:21 »