Einstein, light speed questions
I am not sure if physics is the right topic to put this under but it
seemed appropriate. Einstein stated that if an object that produces energy
or light is traveling towards you at the speed of light, you will be
instantly vaporized by an infinite amount of energy. A few questions pop
up I'm my mind when I say this. First of all, Does only the space
directly in the path of the moving object become vaporized? If light travels
-ls at the speed of light why are not we vaporized every time we turn on a
lamp. Why even think of this if nothing can go that fast? If you go faster
than light are you, in theory, going faster than time?
I hope you can answer these to the best of your ability. I am thinking
of becoming an engineer at Argonne. Thank You.
1. According to our present understanding, it is not possible to
move faster than the speed of light.
2. If you are moving very - very fast, almost at the speed of light,
then strange things will happen. One of these is that if you
switch on a lamp, which according to you emits light in all
directions uniformly then it will appear to be emitting mostly
along the direction of your motion ! Also, to an object or
observer sitting quitely in your path, the light will appear
as x-rays if you are moving fast enough - this happens
because of something called the doppler effect, or rather this
is a special case of doppler effect. The fact that the lamp
appears to radiate mainly in the direction of motion is called
So now if you want to kill a guy, all you have to do is to run
towards him at a fast speed and switch on a lamp ! But this will
work only if you are moving at .999999 times the velocity of light
and that is very hard to do.
I hope this is what you were looking for.
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Update: June 2012