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Spacescifi

Effects of a superluminal photon

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Posted (edited)

 

Please consider, as I am considering it useful for scifi.

1. How would superluminal photons look?

Very. Bright. Like a brillant god/sun ray in broad daylight that is bright as if not brighter than our sun. Do not look directly at it.

Why? Photons emitted per second is MUCH higher due to their higher speed. Meaning in a short amount of time more photons will be reflected/absorbed/emitted.

Uses: If one increases the speed of the photons high enough what you have is a photon rocket. Since the same amount of photons emitted from a spaceship converting mass into energy (photons) for thrust you can also get merely by increasing the rate at which they are emitted.

All plans with antimatter basically just chucks out tons of photons at once, or injects them into propellant.

Nothing has ever been practically done to increase lightspeed to get the same effect, although you could in scifi because of faster flow rates.

Sadly, this idea is just as dangerous as normal photon rockets. Would still nuke all in it's wake.

Since if you take an ordinary lightbulb and speed up it's photon emission rate high enough, the photon density of emission would be so high that it would turn into a mini photon rocket.

 

What do you think?

EDIT: Actually I found one advantage scifi superluminal photons have over both normal photon rockets and antimatter fuel injected propellant rockets.

You do not have to store antimatter! Provided it is just a scifi device that does not take gobs of power to operate, one could use superluminal photon injection into propellant to get thrust rates/propelkant efficiency on par with an antimatter thermal rocket. Thrust at 1g for days! Buring only a few kilograms of propellant per second.

Since a lot of photons emitted does not care whether it's source was superluminal photons or the conversion of matter into energy. It is still thrust.

 

Edited by Spacescifi
Antimatter thermal rocket kilograms

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Leaving aside the fact that a superluminal photon is an oxymoron, I don’t see the logic behind faster = brighter.

Assume for the sake of argument that solar radiation was emitted at superluminal speeds. There’s no obvious reason I can think of why the rate of production of those photons should correlate with their velocity. It seems more likely to me that you’d see the same brightness of sunlight but you’d be seeing the sun as it was, say 2 minutes ago rather than 9.

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I would say the photon goes backwards in time.

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When a photon looks, it doesn't exist anymore, it's been absorbed.

6 hours ago, KSK said:

I don’t see the logic behind faster = brighter.

The stronger it hits, the brighter are sparkles.

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GAH.  This could be a great physics problem.  How many wrong assumptions does this question have?
A(n ordinary c-traveling) photon has an energy of hv (that "v" should be a greek "nu" but I'm too lazy to look up how to type it).

But that is apparently derived from the Planck constant times c (presumably changed to match the new, improved speed) divided by the wavelength.  So the energy would presumably increase for a "superphoton" of the same wavelength.

Of course, once it hits your eye (or camera), a curious effect happens.  Your eye isn't calibrated for non-c photons.  It is calibrated for standard ones, so it assumes that the wavelength (the color) of the light is inversely proportional to the energy of the photon (probably.  Or perhaps your retina uses filters.  I'd still expect the non-c photons to pass filters based on energy, not "real wavelength").

"Brightness" is based on number of photons, or probably more likely the total energy of all the photons.  Each photon of light can only be one "brightness" dependent on the frequency of that photon: this is one of the reasons "quantum" physics is "quantized".   Don't bother with "superluminal light": it makes for bad sci-fi.

And of course anyone looking at said light would have "second sight" as they are looking into the future.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, wumpus said:

GAH.  This could be a great physics problem.  How many wrong assumptions does this question have?
A(n ordinary c-traveling) photon has an energy of hv (that "v" should be a greek "nu" but I'm too lazy to look up how to type it).

But that is apparently derived from the Planck constant times c (presumably changed to match the new, improved speed) divided by the wavelength.  So the energy would presumably increase for a "superphoton" of the same wavelength.

Of course, once it hits your eye (or camera), a curious effect happens.  Your eye isn't calibrated for non-c photons.  It is calibrated for standard ones, so it assumes that the wavelength (the color) of the light is inversely proportional to the energy of the photon (probably.  Or perhaps your retina uses filters.  I'd still expect the non-c photons to pass filters based on energy, not "real wavelength").

"Brightness" is based on number of photons, or probably more likely the total energy of all the photons.  Each photon of light can only be one "brightness" dependent on the frequency of that photon: this is one of the reasons "quantum" physics is "quantized".   Don't bother with "superluminal light": it makes for bad sci-fi.

And of course anyone looking at said light would have "second sight" as they are looking into the future.

 

I have always enjoyed and been fascinated by scifi that attempts to answer the question, what if? What if we could?

Seems to me light is the most prime canidate for speeding up, given how fast it already is.

I am not sure you would see the future. If anything, all the light you would see. In fact all normal light is old, even if by a few milliseconds.

If someone shined a superluminal flashlight at you, the light hitting you will seem instant. But it will have been hitting for slightly longer than normal light.

I really do not buy into FTL equals time travel.

I also suppose that superluminal flashlights would could have thrust on par with rockets.

What I am not sure of is whether thre photon requirement would be massive (photon rocket), or more safe (a big flashlight propels a spaceshipl. 

 

EDIT: Research I have done on FTL light theorizes that FTL light would have higher energy.

Basically FTL visible light would be ss ionizing as gamma rays. I do not even wanna think anout how bad actual FTL gamma rays would mess a person up

 

So the drive seems like a no go. About as dangerous as your average antimatter rocket. Use in space only.

Edited by Spacescifi

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Spacescifi said:

I really do not buy into FTL equals time travel.

It doesn't matter if you buy into it, its true.

Maybe this can help explain it:

http://www.physicsmatt.com/blog/2016/8/25/why-ftl-implies-time-travel

or maybe this:

http://www.theculture.org/rich/sharpblue/archives/000089.html

Quote

I also suppose that superluminal flashlights would could have thrust on par with rockets.What I am not sure of is whether thre photon requirement would be massive (photon rocket), or more safe (a big flashlight propels a spaceshipl. 

Ignoring the idea of light faster than light... light has momentum. If light goes faster, light should have more momentum (and more energy).

So if they go at 2x light speed, you should get 2x the momentum.

and normal "flashlights" could have thrust on par with rockets, if we're talking about an antimatter+matter = massive gamma ray emission type of "flashlight".

Either way, pure energy is your reaction mass-energy so the energy requirement should be the same. And of course your energy storage is going to be unaffected by this, so the most you can hope for is 100% mass to energy conversion, so I don't see how it could be a normal antimater-matter drive.

Quote

EDIT: Research I have done on FTL light theorizes that FTL light would have higher energy.

I don't see how its possible to do research on an oxymoron

Quote

Basically FTL visible light would be ss ionizing as gamma rays. I do not even wanna think anout how bad actual FTL gamma rays would mess a person up

As the energy of light increases, its wavelength decreases. I wonder if there's some relation here with length contraction as you approach light speed. Getting anything with rest mass to light speed results in infinite energy (hence why there's a big difference in KE between .9999c and .9999999c). Getting something with a "true velocity" beyond light speed would be beyond infinity... what?

Photons are weird, massless but not momentumless (well rest-mass), its like multiplying 0 x infinity and getting a number.

Also note that light speed isn't really a limit. Something 100,000 light years away doesn't take 100,000 light years to reach, if you travel at close to light speed. Thanks to length contraction, you could go from 1 end of the galaxy to another it in less than a year(or any arbitrarily small number) ship-time , but to the rest of the galaxy, they'd see it take 100,000 years.  Going to and from earth for a few minutes (ship time) at .999999999c would cause things to appear to change very fast on earth, and enable you to get lightyears away in minutes, but from your perspective, nothing moved faster than light speed, distances just changed.

I suspect that math would say a photon gets negative wavelength as it goes faster than light...

Your FTL photon simply cannot exist. Its like asking what if 1+1= 2 but 1+1 also = 3... everything else just breaks down.

Throw a photon through wormholes/warp drives, and eliminate the "true velocity > lightspeed", but rely on tricker of space time, then it can make more sense, but it also allows you to send messages to the past.

Sorry, that's just the way it is.

Edited by KerikBalm

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

Photons are weird, massless but not momentumless (well rest-mass)

Another evidence that the mass is nothing, just a secondary coefficient. While everybody needs energy and momentum, even the photons.

5 hours ago, KerikBalm said:

its like multiplying 0 x infinity and getting a number.

It's like the Universe's formula for the mass computing is not that simple.
So, the current theories are just not relevant for any FTL effects predictions. As well to explain why the magic c at all.
So, a sci-fi writer can use any description, including elvish magic, just follow it later.

Edited by kerbiloid

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29 minutes ago, kerbiloid said:

Another evidence that the mass is nothing, just a secondary coefficient. While everybody needs energy and momentum, even the photons.

It's like the Universe's formula for the mass computing is not that simple.
So, the current theories are just not relevant for any FTL effects predictions. As well to explain why the magic c at all.
So, a sci-fi writer can use any description, including elvish magic, just follow it later.

 

I see. So are current understanding/calculations breaks down when it comes to FTL photons since our understanding does not take that into account? So any FTL photon can have any effect I want because we have no clue what it would do?

Sounds about right.

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At least, nobody can experimentally disprove any presumption in near future.

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, kerbiloid said:

At least, nobody can experimentally disprove any presumption in near future.

 

Good point. So I can freely have fun with it then. Until they disprove it. Which should not be for.... some time. Bwahahahaha!

Edited by Spacescifi

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On 7/13/2019 at 9:14 PM, Spacescifi said:

So any FTL photon can have any effect I want because we have no clue what it would do?

On 7/13/2019 at 9:48 PM, Spacescifi said:

So I can freely have fun with it then. Until they disprove it. Which should not be for.... some time. Bwahahahaha!

Ummm, so basically you are saying "if I ignore physics once, then I can ignore physics again, because they can't disprove it except for the part that's disproven but I ignore" ???

Here's a scenario that you might like as a setting... one day, the rules of the universe just... *changed*, relativity was no longer a thing, and the speed of light was infinite, one could say the universe suddenly had a preferred reference frame.

The characters can debate what happened (in the prologue if this won't be the main focus). Were they living in a simulation that was based on the "real world", but with physics changed? do the laws of physics just change from time to time (perhaps the big bang was caused by a sudden change in the laws of physics)? Was it an act of God? was there any practical distinction between god and a limited being running a simulation that we experience as the universe?

How long after the change would people still ask these questions before accepting that as just the way things are? Millennia from now, would people even believe there once was this thing called relativity? By invoking a simulation, or alluding to that being a possible explanation without being specific: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulation_hypothesis you can do whatever you want without breaking any known laws of physics.

As I said in another thread... you just "lampshade" it. Pick your rule of physics that doesn't apply, and don't apply it, but just be careful about what you throw out for consistency. Instead of throwing out a light speed limit, throw out all of relativity, instant communication across the universe, no time dilation weirdness, everyone agrees on the order of events, and lives in the same time frame. Ships can go as fast as they want. KE approaches infinity as your speed approaches infinity, instead of as your speed approaches lightspeed. Any you can still have mass turn into energy.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, KerikBalm said:

Here's a scenario that you might like as a setting... one day, the rules of the universe just... *changed*, relativity was no longer a thing, and the speed of light was infinite,

... and the metals stop shining (at least some of them do this due to relativistic effects).

So, here is a book series name: "Dark Gold"

Edited by kerbiloid

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