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Author Topic: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?  (Read 8478 times)

Offline thedoc

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Does time stop for photons travelling at the speed of light?
Asked by Rakesh Singh


                                        Visit the webpage for the podcast in which this question is answered.

 ...or Listen to the Answer or [download as MP3]

« Last Edit: 18/03/2014 21:47:35 by _system »


 

Offline thedoc

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Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2014 21:47:35 »
We answered this question on the show...

Tamela -   He’s probably been studying relatively longer than I have, but I’ll do my best.  So, absolutely right.  If the particle is approaching a speed of light and had a clock on it, we as observers of that particle going extremely fast would see that time slows down and approaches this sort of eventual stopping.  It is impossible to imagine the frame of reference at the speed of light- special relativity doesn’t really deal with that.  It takes the speed of light as a constant and that’s regardless of what speed you're going at.  So, even if you're 99% at the speed of light, you're still measuring c as c.  So in that sense, it is difficult to answer what kind of time is the photon experiencing.  But just to say that if you were a particle, maybe at 99% at the speed of light, in your own frame of reference, time is moving normally.  You have a much faster ticking clock compared to the observer that sees that time has nearly slowed down.  Actually, you’ve probably heard of this, but we’ve experimentally confirmed time dilation here on Earth.  There was an experiment back in the ‘70s that put these atomic clocks on commercial aircraft and had them fly around the Earth, both in the eastward direction and the westward direction, and we’re able to compare, once they got back on Earth with sort of naval observatory clocks.  Actually, there was this difference because they were moving faster than the Earth’s rotation at some point.
Chris - The great pyramids also distort time because they're very massive and so, they bend space time.  So, time travels at a different rate.
Tamela -   Exactly, yeah.
Chris -   Yes, which that really does blow my mind – the whole concept of you going near something very massive and time changes.  So, you go to Egypt, sit next to a pyramid and actually, time is distorted.  So maybe the Egyptians were on to something when they said that they were going to try and make their pharaohs immortal because relative to the rest of us they are ageing more slowly.
Tamela -   To extend this even further, if you go to a black hole and kind of start falling into a black hole, you're observer is seeing that time has nearly stopped for you as you fall towards it because you’ve warped that time so much.  So yeah, lots of interesting things going on.
« Last Edit: 18/03/2014 21:47:35 by _system »
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #2 on: 20/03/2014 02:53:48 »
Suppose we are in a lab whose frame of reference we label S. Let the particle of interest be at rest in an inertial frame S' which is moving relative to S with speed v.

When observers in S compare their clocks with those in S' then the clocks in frame S' will be determined to be running slower than those in frame S due to relativistic effects.

The problem with the question posed in this thread is that we cannot carry out such an observation with a clock in the same frame as the moving particles. It is therefore meaningless to speak of photons experiencing time to stop. It's not even clear what it means for a photons to "experience" something.
 

Offline percepts

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #3 on: 20/03/2014 03:11:30 »
well you might as well ask if time stops for an electron travelling down a copper wire. "The electron" doesn't travel down the cable, it transfers energy down the wire at the speed of light (or close to it) and we measure the effect on whichever electron is at the other end of the wire, usually with the wrong assumption that its the same electron as the one we set off at the other end of the wire. It isn't. So what is travelling is energy which we detect as an electron. Same with photons, they only exist where we detect them.
So the question is, does time exist for energy which travels at speed of c. Answer is yes because it takes time for it to travel. It isn't instantaneous and we can measure that time. Only when the distance travelled is instantaneous could we say time has stopped. At least thats how I percieve it as I'm thinking aloud and probably getting it wrong.
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2014 13:35:41 »
Quote from: percepts
...at the speed of light (or close to it)...

From my non-expert viewpoint it seems that there is all the difference in the world between "the speed of light" and "close to it".
We can measure the effects of time dilation at close to it, but not at c.

Quote
Answer is yes because it takes time for it to travel.


surely the time measured is time in the F of R of the observer and says nothing about any time/movement relationship in a speed of light frame, if one could be identified.  The answer must, I think, be that we cannot know.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #5 on: 21/03/2014 03:44:25 »
Photos have a wavelength that can be shifted but otherwise preserve their information content over vast distances. This is how the composition of stars can be determined. I doubt that this is like time being stopped for the photon. It has no rest mass so does time even apply in the same way? It is affected by gravity but does that include time dilation?
 

Offline sciconoclast

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #6 on: 30/03/2014 00:46:37 »
The phrase experience implies awareness. Panprotoexperientialism is an interesting topic but I believe you are after the most currently accepted view about light and time. To get at this you need to look at the current definitions for photons and time.
 
In the Neil's Bohr interpretation the photon is a reduction in the multiple probabilities within the quantum field to a single set.  This occurs when the probability for a photon in its quantum field overlaps with a probability in another quantum field, such as for an electron, resulting in an interaction and new quantum fields. In the Bohr interpretation there is not a wave or photon actually travelling through space at the speed of light.  However, the time distance intervals for the probabilities in the quantum field for a photon progress commensurate with the speed of light relative to the reference frame it is in.

www.plato.standford.edu/entries/qm-copenhagen 

The Albert Einstein concept of time is that it is merely another dimension. As the values for a field in one dimension increases the value in other dimensions decrease to the point that the value in the fourth dimension is zero for a field that has a progression value equal to the speed of light in another dimension.

www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/special-relativity-nutshell.html

On the other hand if you are already aware of the prevailing theories and are taking a survey of how many members are comfortable with it; I am one of the ones who is not. Some of the current  giants in math are not happy with these principles.

"We can't ignor the absurdity of the situation any longer. It's time to get to the bottom of what is really going on, and in the process cement our understanding of the fundamental nature of the universe," Frank Wilczek.

"I think there is going to be something else which replaces it," Roger Penrose.
 
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #7 on: 01/04/2014 06:55:39 »
Quote
Does time stop for photons travelling at the speed of light?



Personally I see another problem with this.

The photon should be travelling with the speed of light with reference to some 'stationary' point, right? Let's call that point "A", and let's call the photon "P".
Now, the photon traveling with the speed of light should have time stopped.
(it may be a photon or any other 'thing'), so time is 'slowed down'.
However, you could also say that point "A" is moving with the speed of light with reference to "P", right? So, you can equally say that the time at point "A" is now slowing down! so, time is slowing down and moving faster at the same time, which is an impossibility!( And beware, I am not talking about the so-called 'twin paradox'.)
Hence, it is all nonsense the relativity theory.and there is no application(s) for this,
no, also not gps.
« Last Edit: 01/04/2014 06:59:41 by Omaughuntinaser »
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #8 on: 02/04/2014 18:57:14 »
Quote
Does time stop for photons travelling at the speed of light?



Personally I see another problem with this.

The photon should be travelling with the speed of light with reference to some 'stationary' point, right? Let's call that point "A", and let's call the photon "P".
Now, the photon traveling with the speed of light should have time stopped.
(it may be a photon or any other 'thing'), so time is 'slowed down'.
However, you could also say that point "A" is moving with the speed of light with reference to "P", right? So, you can equally say that the time at point "A" is now slowing down! so, time is slowing down and moving faster at the same time, which is an impossibility!( And beware, I am not talking about the so-called 'twin paradox'.)
Hence, it is all nonsense the relativity theory.and there is no application(s) for this,
no, also not gps.


There is a continuous gradient of changing field strengths throughout the universe. These overlap. Some include feedback, as with gravitation. Two points in space-time can be equivalent in all aspects to one another but they will never be adjacent to each other. They will be separated by some distance, large or small. This is a highly complex situation and starts at the particle level. Relativity is probably the only reasonable tool that will describe this situation accurately. Its complexity is the worrying thing.
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #9 on: 02/04/2014 19:58:45 »
There is a continuous gradient of changing field strengths throughout the universe. These overlap. Some include feedback, as with gravitation. Two points in space-time can be equivalent in all aspects to one another but they will never be adjacent to each other. They will be separated by some distance, large or small. This is a highly complex situation and starts at the particle level. Relativity is probably the only reasonable tool that will describe this situation accurately. Its complexity is the worrying thing.

So, what a strange reaction which says nothing at all.

please adress what I wrote, if you can.

Just writing, 'it is too complex', well, it is a bit of hogwash, right? ;)

it isn't complex at all. it is just a bunch of more than idiotic contradictions,

You just let yourself go to a few loops to make nonsense feel alllright.

sorry, won't work. ;)





 

Offline JP

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #10 on: 02/04/2014 20:06:35 »
Quote
Does time stop for photons travelling at the speed of light?



Personally I see another problem with this.

The photon should be travelling with the speed of light with reference to some 'stationary' point, right? Let's call that point "A", and let's call the photon "P".
Now, the photon traveling with the speed of light should have time stopped.
(it may be a photon or any other 'thing'), so time is 'slowed down'.
However, you could also say that point "A" is moving with the speed of light with reference to "P", right? So, you can equally say that the time at point "A" is now slowing down! so, time is slowing down and moving faster at the same time, which is an impossibility!( And beware, I am not talking about the so-called 'twin paradox'.)
Hence, it is all nonsense the relativity theory.and there is no application(s) for this,
no, also not gps.


If you'd read the original answer from TNS, you'd see that we can't actually talk about time stopping for the photon--at least not in terms of its reference frame--so the paradox doesn't exist in the first place. 
 

Offline JP

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #11 on: 02/04/2014 21:36:53 »
Omaughuntinaser, I've deleted your post since it included some language that exceeded the family-friendly nature of this site.  In addition, please review the site's acceptable usage policy, as posts are supposed to foster respectful discussion and yours have crossed that line.

You may want to post in New Theories if your goal is to argue against mainstream physics.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #12 on: 02/04/2014 22:03:04 »
There is a continuous gradient of changing field strengths throughout the universe. These overlap. Some include feedback, as with gravitation. Two points in space-time can be equivalent in all aspects to one another but they will never be adjacent to each other. They will be separated by some distance, large or small. This is a highly complex situation and starts at the particle level. Relativity is probably the only reasonable tool that will describe this situation accurately. Its complexity is the worrying thing.

So, what a strange reaction which says nothing at all.

please adress what I wrote, if you can.

Just writing, 'it is too complex', well, it is a bit of hogwash, right? ;)

it isn't complex at all. it is just a bunch of more than idiotic contradictions,

You just let yourself go to a few loops to make nonsense feel alllright.

sorry, won't work. ;)

You mentioned relativity and how much nonsense it is. I was answering that point which you did state. Do you have short term memory issues?
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #13 on: 02/04/2014 22:37:53 »
Quote from: JP
The photon should be travelling with the speed of light with reference to some 'stationary' point, right?

Is that accurate? Does the photon not travel at the speed of light with reference to any other object, moving or "stationary"?

Can a photon travel at any speed relative to anything, or anything to a photon, if relativity does not accord a photon a frame of reference?
 

Offline Bill S

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #14 on: 02/04/2014 23:10:48 »
I found this in my notes from a few months ago, when I was thinking about claims that information could travel back through time.


Among the better known scientists who apparently subscribe to the view that photons do not experience time is Brian Greene.  He says:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/special-relativity-nutshell.html

“……the maximum speed through space is reached when all light-speed motion through time is fully diverted into light-speed motion through space—one way of understanding why it is impossible to go through space at greater than light speed. Light, which always travels at light speed through space, is special in that it always achieves such total diversion.” 

The diversion he mentions is the diversion from motion through space to motion through time.

So having gone round in a few circles, we find that we will not be totally isolated from the scientific community if we claim that a photon passing through a double slit experiment “knows” everything about the set-up at the moment of its generation; so no information passes back through time.  However, if we make that claim publicly, we can be sure that we will bring down on our heads the disapproval and even scorn of many physicists.

 

Offline JP

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #15 on: 03/04/2014 02:52:50 »
What Brian Greene is saying there is that photons travel along light-like world lines.  There's no controversy there.  His description of motion through space vs motion through time is one way of describing time dilation and length contraction.

However, saying that we can look at the universe from the point of view of a photon is not controversial-- it's just plain wrong. 

So if you're talking about world lines when you say "time stops for a photon," that's fine.  But I've yet to see a layperson mean this when they say such a thing.  They mean "if I imagine myself as being a photon, I would see everything frozen," or some variant of that, which is wrong.  We can't be photons and the question can't even be answered.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2014 02:55:56 by JP »
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #16 on: 03/04/2014 06:37:02 »
You mentioned relativity and how much nonsense it is. I was answering that point which you did state. Do you have short term memory issues?


can't remember. ;)
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #17 on: 03/04/2014 06:37:45 »
What Brian Greene is saying there is that photons travel along light-like world lines.  There's no controversy there.  His description of motion through space vs motion through time is one way of describing time dilation and length contraction.

However, saying that we can look at the universe from the point of view of a photon is not controversial-- it's just plain wrong. 

So if you're talking about world lines when you say "time stops for a photon," that's fine.  But I've yet to see a layperson mean this when they say such a thing.  They mean "if I imagine myself as being a photon, I would see everything frozen," or some variant of that, which is wrong.  We can't be photons and the question can't even be answered.



just a cop out,
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #18 on: 03/04/2014 06:42:25 »
Can a photon travel at any speed relative to anything, or anything to a photon, if relativity does not accord a photon a frame of reference?

yes, why not? I think any speed from anything is always relative to another point.
photon or no photon.

and still my question isn't answered.

well, take something else then,moving with a lower velocity of light and you still have these problems.time is moving faster and slower which is an absurdity.

Relativity is all bollocks, and there is no need for it, nowhere,
just get rid of relativity and we might progress some more,
« Last Edit: 03/04/2014 07:07:35 by Omaughuntinaser »
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #19 on: 03/04/2014 07:23:46 »
Quote from: Omaughuntinaser
just a cop out,
Nope. It's physics, whether you're able to understand him or not, he's correct.
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #20 on: 03/04/2014 09:33:16 »
Quote from: Omaughuntinaser
just a cop out,
Nope. It's physics, whether you're able to understand him or not, he's correct.


So you can say I don't understand so you can keep your religion (belief system) intact.

However, you really haven't adress the issue I stated.

I understand, because you don't understand it at all.

Calling something 'physics' doesn't make it 'physics' does it now?

It really is al baloney.the Naked Emperor has No Clothes.




« Last Edit: 03/04/2014 09:37:24 by Omaughuntinaser »
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #21 on: 03/04/2014 09:40:11 »
The most fun thing to watch is to see no one here EXPLORING,only DEFENDING, the more than ridiculous science dogma's.

I understand, because when one domino falls.....


keep praying to science folks! :)
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #22 on: 04/04/2014 00:43:44 »
The only useful question is 'does it work?', and, judging by my GPS position, the answer is 'yes'.
 

Offline Omaughuntinaser

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #23 on: 04/04/2014 07:00:47 »
The only useful question is 'does it work?', and, judging by my GPS position, the answer is 'yes'.

yes, I know about GPS, but has that to be done here? I have a thread about relativity being obsolete.

but ok,

However, because you adress this issue here I shall reply shortly.

GPS doens'n't need relativity theory,

AND, the problem I stated here is the same with GPS.

GPS works, yes, I don't deny that, However, it still works without so called relativity corrections.

the same as all other things that use 'relativity', they work just fine without relativity,

relativity is a hoax and a more than idiotic theory,

Furthermore, 'does it work' is not a usefull question for validating a theory offcourse.


« Last Edit: 04/04/2014 07:02:38 by Omaughuntinaser »
 

Offline RD

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
« Reply #24 on: 04/04/2014 09:43:28 »
GPS works, yes, I don't deny that, However, it still works without so called relativity corrections.

Only for two minutes ...

Quote from:  astronomy.ohio-state.edu
... If these [relativistic] effects were not properly taken into account, a navigational fix based on the GPS constellation would be false after only 2 minutes, and errors in global positions would continue to accumulate at a rate of about 10 kilometers each day! The whole system would be utterly worthless for navigation in a very short time.
http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html
« Last Edit: 04/04/2014 09:46:08 by RD »
 

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Re: Do photons at light speed experience time stopping?
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