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Showing results for tags 'speed of light'.
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I'm trying to get a better understanding of special relativity and had a few questions I was hoping some helpful forum users could answer. First off, suppose I am moving at 0.5c relative to the earth. If I shine a light directly ahead of me, one would think it would appear to move at 0.5c relative to me because that would make its total velocity relative to earth equal to c. However, according to what I have learned, that does not seem to be true. To me, the light will still appear to be moving at c, which would make its velocity relative to the earth 1.5c, which is impossible. How does the speed of light relate to these difference frames of reference? Secondly, it is my understanding that mass (or apparent mass) increases as matter gets closer to the speed of light. There seems to be a contradiction when this is in a different reference frame, however. Say a spaceship is traveling at .99c relative to earth. Now say a smaller ship comes out of its cargo bay and starts to accelerate. In its frame of reference, the smaller ship will appear to be accelerated from a standstill, so should not have to worry about increasing mass until it gets closer to its own relative speed of light. However, from earth's frame of reference, it is already moving at extreme relativistic speeds so should find it nearly impossible to accelerate and encounter an asymptote with diminishing returns as it approaches the speed of light. Which of these situations would actually happen, or is it some weird mix of the two? My brain has been wired for Newtonian mechanics (too much KSP, yada yada) and I am just trying to build a better intuition and grasp on the concepts of special relativity and how it relates to light. Thank you for your help, and please don't be (too) condescending about my lack of knowledge on the subject!
So I was trying to come up with a way to graphically represent the scale involved concerning the speed of light. I wanted to make a comparison between that speed (~300,000,000 m/s) and the fastest airbreathing craft in existence (the X-43 at roughly 3300 m/s). It's a pretty large gulf. The simplest approach, I decided, would be to depict the distance traversed by a photon next to the distance traversed by the X-43 in some arbitrary period of time. Trouble is, the ratio is 90,333:1. That's a hard distance to depict in a simple graphic; I don't know of anybody with a screen large enough to display a 90,333 pixel line. However, what about a spiral? If I could create a spiral with an arc length of 90,333 cm, then I could display it next to a 1-cm line. That would be a pretty striking way of depicting the difference. If an arc length of 90,333 cm was impossible, I could make a perceived arc length of 90,333 cm...for example, by depicting a spiral with 500 turns and an outer diameter of 180 cm (as if the diameter is constant but the spiral is receding back into the screen). No idea how I could possibly find a way to render that, though. Any ideas? Or any other ideas of how to depict a scale difference of 90,333:1?
I was trying something earlier today... the fastest I could get a craft to go in Kerbins atmosphere....... New rule for challenge: 1. Only one engine can be used for the final craft, nothing else can be used to gain speed, only to get the craft into space. 2. Infinite fuel is the only cheat allowed. 3. Get as fast as you can, and take screenshots of the craft to post them below (also get speed in some of the shots) 4. Must be stock, or with visual mods installed (of some kind, as long as they do not interfere with the "Stock" challenge)