Topic: Aftermath

Amanda's post in the GM forum regarding important dates has made me wonder if we can firm up our Phoenix 'canon' on the aftermath of the Miranda broadcast. Clearly it hasn't inspired an immedate second War for Independence, as we're now playing just over a year after the events of the movie Serenity. But what impact has it had? Did the government claim it was a fake? Suppress it almost entirely? I certainly have some opinions on this, but I wanted us to get talking and decide something as a community.

So, thoughts?

Ash

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Re: Aftermath

I played in a LARP where it was a year after the Miranda broadcast and people were gathering to start the Unification War again. I may or may not have convinced everyone not to go to war, helped with the assassination (unwittingly) of several leaders of the movement, and became overcome by Pax and slept IC for half the game. It was LAME.

Note to GMs - if you plan on having Pax infect everyone, you need to give those of us something to do for the next two hours. Suggestion - let us become Reavers and whack some people with foam weapons or something?

There were some interesting things - like the fact the Rim and Border world browncoats were ready to rebel again except they lacked funds and more importantly leadership. Various criminal/smuggling/businesses were encouraging the fledging rebellion in order to profit. There was a sense of mistrust in the Alliance and the Reavers were growingly becoming a threat rather than a bogeyman of legend.

My thoughts.
-Amanda

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Re: Aftermath

I would say that caused at least one parliamentary inquiry, which is taking its own sweet time investigating.

- Silent

Re: Aftermath

I can' t recall where I read it, but I did read that the Reavers, post Miranda, had been fairly well wiped out because of the battle with the Alliance that happened. Thus, they had become more rare and less of a threat to the outer worlds (not that they'd vanished completely, just that 90% of them had died and the rest had scattered).

As for the broadcast, I figure that a lot of the border worlds (especially those who had sided with the Independents in the first war) had Alliance officials that got pressed to lodge complaints - and if they didn't, it looked particularly suspicious all around. Just because the Alliance won and took over the government doesn't mean the subjects have forgotten anything. And there may well be younger folks in the Alliance in up and coming positions who a.) are willing to go after the higher ups if they don't do anything and b.) may truly be horrified that this institution they've grown up thinking was Right and Proper actually did something that horrible.

Then you have the people who believe the Alliance was only doing something like that because of the Browncoats not submitting during the war years - the Alliance didn't WANT to kill anyone, just make it so that people would get along and no more wars would ever have to be fought between brothers. The fact it went tits-up wasn't something they could have predicted, let alone that some of them would become Reavers (which, given they were bogeymen to all but a fraction of the population because of where they lived, could easily be said to have been blown totally out of proportion in the battle in regards to numbers).

And yes, the idea that the Alliance would even go so far as to claim it was a hoax being led by a terrorist organization could happen. Except for the battle with the Reavers - but even then, outside of the Alliance vessels there, who else saw it in that portion of space? Other than the Serenity crew? Who may well be labeled as the "terrorists"?

In a nutshell, I don't think the battle at Miranda or the broadcast did anything TOO drastic; however, in the year since, it may well have given rise to other matters that have spread the cracks across the perfect exterior of the Alliance. In other words, people are still taking it upon themselves to find out the truth, sabotage the Alliance outright, or loosen its grip on this or that world so that the ruling Governor (etc.) can have it to him/herself. It's like a chip in the windscreen: every pot-hole you smack into after you get it weakens it further until it starts spider-webbing and has to be replaced.

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Rhiannon

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Re: Aftermath

Awesome assessment, Dondi. I agree with it all.

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Re: Aftermath

Likewise.

You're right to mention the battle - I think that's a critical feature for two reasons: one, the reduction of Reaver numbers, and two, the decimation of the Burnham Quadrant fleet.

We can infer that the Alliance won the battle, but we know the flag ship (the one the Operative was on) got destroyed, and they presumably suffered other losses as well. Reaver ships aren't designed to be warships unlike Alliance cruisers, fighters, etc, but they were pretty well customised not to mention ferocious, and Alliance vessels have creches on board and so forth, too, so they're not pure warships either.

Anyway, there'd be a lot of Alliance casualties which would be hard to brush under the rug entirely. Maybe even some disgruntled families on the Core Worlds now? But generally I imagine the Alliance propaganda machine well up to the task of spinning the Miranda Wave as the work of terrorists, and perhaps Serenity and her crew as the terrorists in question.

I also wonder if, with the reduction in Alliance personnel (I mean, what percentage of their total forces did the losses above Mr Universe's moon account for?) and the potential decrease in central authority as the government responds to accusations and infighting, maybe security companies (like our Maczareck's) would be contracting for large corporations and so on and maybe actually fighting small-scale wars with other security companies contracted by rival corporations, looking to seize one another's holdings etc.?

Ash

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Re: Aftermath

I highly doubt the losses by the Alliance were significant. The Longbow class capacity was 3000, the Crete carrior only 1200.

The Tohoku carrier, on the other hand, were basically floating cities, with a capacity of 50,000. It's likely the entire fleet at the Universe battle was roughly equivalent to a single Tohuku in terms of personnel. The real cost would be in the loss of the ships itself, but all involved in the vessel were smaller and built for cost effectiveness.

In the aftermath, the Alliance Navy may have become a bit spread thin, but I don't think there would be a power vacuum in any one place (the Alliance would redeploy to cover the voids).

In reality, with the propaganda machine going, as well as the fact many Rim worlds probably wouldn't have even *received* the broadcast, the overall effect was likely very minimal. Seeds of doubt planted, maybe, but nothing on the scale of revolution.

I'm sure Mal was quite disappointed in the overall outcome, actually, considering what they sacrificed to bring the truth to light.

~Jason

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Re: Aftermath

Jason Andersen wrote:

In the aftermath, the Alliance Navy may have become a bit spread thin,

~Jason

I think they already considering the number of Reavers and pirates out there. Also, I doubt many hardened Browncoats would believe a word of Alliance propaganda.

As for Maczarek et. al, they already were getting called on by governors and landowners before all of this.

- Silent

Re: Aftermath

I wonder if it's worth someone scouring other Browncoat websites to see if we can turn up any other thoughts to consider. In the final analysis, it's my suggestion that our Area GM Coordinator make a ruling on this (what our 'canon' aftermath is) eventually, but we should continue to hash it out for a while yet so everyone who wants to can make known their thoughts for consideration.

Ash

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Re: Aftermath

I would love to see some of those seeds blossoming into, at the very least, small terrorist cells here and there. Even with the propaganda machine going, you know there will be ex-Browncoats and their supporters, as well as those who might be newly-amenable to their cause now that the Alliance sort of oopsied, that would use this as a way to actually gather and start to work on such things.

If nothing else, there's a better foundation for them now, and they may have the ability to get some wealthy financing if some of the families found out that their sons/daughters/brothers/fathers, etc., basically died for nothing, fighting against a sect of people that the Alliance had made into monsters.  What worlds were Alliance and what worlds were Independent during the war, to start? Because with this news, I'd figure it would shake at least the Indies up into covert action if nobody else.

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Rhiannon

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Re: Aftermath

Great discussion guys.

~Deb

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Re: Aftermath

Indeed - I've promoted this on the blog.

Silent

Re: Aftermath

Well I am totally for the small terrorist cells and things along those lines.  (Hell I am almost playing a leader of one of The Elemental well it would be considered one by the Alliance)  Also In Julius's back-story while he has been helping the weak he has been gaining contacts and allies that would aid in a new War, if it happened.

In the sim I want to run (The one which the war actually started) it started after Julius's story came out and finally used his contacts along with the Serenity aftereffects, Reavers come out in force (yes less in numbers but still charge) and continue to weaken the Alliance forces allowing enough time for the Browncoats to gain allies of security firms and other tech groups along with some greener Alliance forces that saw the horror of Miranda but not the horror of the war and used them to start the war.

Course this was my idea of the aftermath just some ideas to throw around.

Jay

Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let's annihilate them, for justice, and for... the safety of puppies... and Christmas, right? -Spike (from Doomed)

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Re: Aftermath

As and when we come to bring all our ideas together into a canon for Phoenix's Firefly sims, we'll want to be mindful of this thread, too: http://www.phoenix-rp.com/viewtopic.php … 244#p16244

Also, plenty of similar resources around the web like the one Dondi linked to.

Ash

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Re: Aftermath

I've been building in my mind since I started playing Firefly sims a history that runs fairly similar to US Reconstruction after the Civil War, specifically in the south as the Border worlds and Rim are not the most developed of societies. The Core is the industrialized North, the Border is the agrarian Southern states and the Rim is the wild west of the late 1870's. The Reavers are largely like how many US folks viewed the Indian Nations at the time. They will be dealt with in force if they prey too much on the outskirts of civilization.

The Government is forcing unification on the planets that sided with the Independents and they are largely under the heel of off-worlders trying to make a buck and display their power. The seeds for future rebellion are certainly there in the former Independent soldiers, but it is highly unlikely considering the power of the Alliance. But then my characters don't usually view the Alliance as pure evil.

Re: Aftermath

Of course, we know how Reconstruction ended in RL.

Silent

Re: Aftermath

...yeah, years of Hurricanes making a mess of things.

...what?  tongue

Maybe the Rim planets should have a Black Hole nearby such that the planets are beyond the event horizon but is near enough to cause considerable damage to them on a regular basis.

...oh wait, the existence of Black Holes is questionable now. Anybody else read about the new discovery at CERN? Goodbye 20th Century Physics Theories! Hello 21st Century Physics Theories!

~Robert

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Re: Aftermath

First no more Pluto as a planet, and now no more black holes?

FIE SCIENCE! FIE ON YOU!

I'm going back to the days of yore when science consisted of "how do I turn this lead into gold?" Dammit.

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Rhiannon

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Re: Aftermath

Link, please? I don't see any recent press release on the CERN website that proclaim that black holes don't exist.

Last edited by Jason Andersen (2011-10-14 04:55:20)

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Re: Aftermath

I also don't remember them stating anything like that. The only thing I can think of is that black holes are black holes, because they even suck up light particles. But now it may be that neutrinos travel faster than light (I still suspect it is a measurement error), so maybe they would be able to escape black holes. But that's just an uneducated guess.

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Re: Aftermath

Well the only supporting argument for Black Holes is the notion that light is massless yet still effected by them, and the notion that light is massless is supported by the notion that it approaches the maximum speed for any particle. With the maximum speed theory being knocked out, we're now seriously questioning what the mass of light is and thereby seriously questioning the notion of Black Holes.

I've proposed numerous plausible alternatives (informally, not to the science community) for blackholes and posited proof that either the speed of light cannot be the maximum speed or that Einstein's Theory of Relativity cannot be correct - you've heard of the explanation that as you approach the speed of light you gain mass? That is well and all as it explains how light can "behave" like a particle with mass, but the issue is when you apply this notion to objects with mass, their mass approaches infinity. Now even if you don't get to the speed of light, the Theory of Relativity would say that from the outside observer's perspective the object approaching the speed of light gets "heavier" whereas from the object's perspective, the Theory of Relativity says that everything else out there in the universe gets "heavier" since it is stated that form the object's perspective everything else approaches the speed of light. This is rather troubling because it means that everything in the universe is gaining mass because it's moving and other things are moving. The hairs on my head are gaining mass right now because an asteroid on the other side of the galaxy picked up velocity near a celestial body. So this is very troubling, but furthermore it's troubling to think that any speed could be a maximum since speed is by definition not a value which limits motion - I have never agreed that there should be a maximum velocity in the universe at all.

I can even demonstrate how one can achieve the speed of light without aid of any propulsion systems (in fact NASA used this very notion since its inception), which is my main concern with both the Theory of Relativity and the supposed limits suggested by light being massless and being the only thing that can achieve a maximal speed.

Here are those articles btw!

With video interview!
Without the video interview (different newspaper too)
Not an article on the work at CERN but this 12-year-old's theory about light deserves a fair shake!

~Robert

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Re: Aftermath

RLongtin wrote:

Well the only supporting argument for Black Holes is the notion that light is massless yet still effected by them, and the notion that light is massless is supported by the notion that it approaches the maximum speed for any particle. With the maximum speed theory being knocked out, we're now seriously questioning what the mass of light is and thereby seriously questioning the notion of Black Holes.

I've proposed numerous plausible alternatives (informally, not to the science community) for blackholes and posited proof that either the speed of light cannot be the maximum speed or that Einstein's Theory of Relativity cannot be correct - you've heard of the explanation that as you approach the speed of light you gain mass? That is well and all as it explains how light can "behave" like a particle with mass, but the issue is when you apply this notion to objects with mass, their mass approaches infinity. Now even if you don't get to the speed of light, the Theory of Relativity would say that from the outside observer's perspective the object approaching the speed of light gets "heavier" whereas from the object's perspective, the Theory of Relativity says that everything else out there in the universe gets "heavier" since it is stated that form the object's perspective everything else approaches the speed of light. This is rather troubling because it means that everything in the universe is gaining mass because it's moving and other things are moving. The hairs on my head are gaining mass right now because an asteroid on the other side of the galaxy picked up velocity near a celestial body. So this is very troubling, but furthermore it's troubling to think that any speed could be a maximum since speed is by definition not a value which limits motion - I have never agreed that there should be a maximum velocity in the universe at all.

I can even demonstrate how one can achieve the speed of light without aid of any propulsion systems (in fact NASA used this very notion since its inception), which is my main concern with both the Theory of Relativity and the supposed limits suggested by light being massless and being the only thing that can achieve a maximal speed.


~Robert

Okay, I have no degree in physics whatsoever and it also wasn't one of my better subjects in high school, so I am a layman, but could you try and explain how it is argued that an object increases in mass when its velocity increases? I know that mass is a form of energy (just like velocity), so that would mean that if an object's velocity increases, it's potential energy increases. Am I correct?

As for being able to travel faster than light: quantum physics already destroyed that theory (even though as far as I know it's still only a theory itself). When you have two quantum particles which are entangled, knowing the state of one particle immediately tells you the state of the other particle, regardless of where those particles are. So if you put one of those particles at the edge of the galaxy and you keep the other one on earth, and then you measure the state of the particle on earth, you immediately know the condition of the particle on the other side of the galaxy, meaning that the information of the state of the particle has traveled faster than light. It should be noted here as well that these quantum parts only 'get' a state once you measure them (at least, that's the way I understand it). I know, quantum physics are weird.



-Mischa

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Re: Aftermath

I will begin by stating that I do not have a degree in physics. I have taken a small handful of physics courses. But I am a Mathematician, and since nothing says Physics like some fun equations - I think I can stand my ground in a Physics debate.

Mischa Brendel wrote:

Okay, I have no degree in physics whatsoever and it also wasn't one of my better subjects in high school, so I am a layman, but could you try and explain how it is argued that an object increases in mass when its velocity increases? I know that mass is a form of energy (just like velocity), so that would mean that if an object's velocity increases, it's potential energy increases. Am I correct?

Actually it's pretty simple mathematically speaking (but we now know it not to be true). If an object is to accelerate to the speed of light, then there must be an amount of Force behind that object to make it accelerate to that speed. Force = mass x acceleration   (that's a times symbol in there).

This requires Newton's Laws of Motion to "justify" (but the idea of mass changing in this fashion is not Newtonian):

  1. A particle in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an external force

  2. Acceleration is parallel and directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass, aka Force = mass x acceleration (we just said that)

  3. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

Okay so if Light Speed is a maximum and if there are no forces acting on the object (other than the force pushing the object to the speed of light) then we can hold Force to be a constant and acceleration to be a constant. But acceleration must decrease somehow (or else we could accelerate to any speed we like - even a million times the speed of light), so the only other variable to manipulate in this equation is Mass.

Okay so to summarize thusfar - we have a force that is acting on an object and causing it to accelerate towards the speed of light. Since there are no other forces acting on the particle there is, by definition, nothing to slow the object down as it approaches the "supposed" maximum of the speed of light.

Since Einstein said the speed of light was the maximum speed, enter the Lagrangian which requires at least 2 years of Math (starting at Calculus) to be explained in detail. Suffice to say, Einstein's theory of relativity, utilizing the Lagrangian, demonstrated that the mass of an object approaches infinite mass as it approaches the speed of light.

Let me say that again. An object approaches infinite mass as it approaches the speed of light. Welcome to the world's most powerful black hole, and all it takes is the worlds smallest particle to disprove it (what has just happened - if Einstein were right, the entire universe would have just collapsed in on itself instantaneously when CERN managed to track a particle with mass moving faster than light...if not sooner than that).

How does this happen? Remember in grade school when your teacher told you you couldn't divide by zero? Well the equation Einstein uses in his Relativity show that as velocity approaches the speed of light, a fraction that is set equal to mass (with a constant multiplied in, so it doesn't change things) starts to have its denominator approach zero. To put it into perspective, if you were going 90% the speed of light you'd weigh more than double what you do now; if you were going 99% the speed of light you'd weigh 7 times your current weight, if you were going 99.9% the speed of light you'd weigh 22 times your current weight. 99.99% = 70 times your mass, 99.999% = 223 times, 99.9999% = 707 times, 99.99999% = 2236 times...see the trend?

I'd like to carry this out to further places but after a little while my calculator starts complaining that I'm dividing by 0. Apparently even a simple computer realized there's something weird going on here.



Layman's terms - what does that mean?

Think about a car. Imagine driving down the road and as you drive your car gets heavier...like a lot heavier, but your engine stays exactly the same. As your car gets bigger, you start to slow down because your engine is only designed to move so much weight. Your car gets bigger and bigger until it's now the size of skyscrapers - yet your engine remains the same. By this point you should have slowed to a crawl (if you're even moving at all anymore).

Basically this means that Einstein couldn't explain how else the speed of light could be a maximum speed, except to say that an object's mass increases exponentially as you get closer to the speed of light, thus reducing the acceleration of the particle to the point where the particle can never reach the speed of light simply because the speed of light is a maximum (which is the problem I have long had with Einstein's Relativity, not to mention it sounds like a "because I said so" type of thing - there was never proof that there "should" be a maximum, only conclusions drawn from incomplete data).



Mischa Brendel wrote:

As for being able to travel faster than light: quantum physics already destroyed that theory (even though as far as I know it's still only a theory itself). When you have two quantum particles which are entangled, knowing the state of one particle immediately tells you the state of the other particle, regardless of where those particles are. So if you put one of those particles at the edge of the galaxy and you keep the other one on earth, and then you measure the state of the particle on earth, you immediately know the condition of the particle on the other side of the galaxy, meaning that the information of the state of the particle has traveled faster than light. It should be noted here as well that these quantum parts only 'get' a state once you measure them (at least, that's the way I understand it). I know, quantum physics are weird.



-Mischa

What you are referring to Mischa is Quantum Entanglement. And yes, it "should" disprove faster than light travel, but as the famous saying goes (to paraphrase): Those that claim to understand Quantum Mechanics don't. It doesn't disprove anything since we don't actually understand it ourselves. Quantum Entanglement has measurable results that are completely unexplained.

I like to think of Quantum Mechanics as a Socratic admittance by Physicists that "they know nothing" because that is essentially what it stands to say.

~Robert

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Re: Aftermath

First of all: thanks for explaining, which helped to clear some things up for me (not all though, but I guess that''s why physics and mathematics are studies of their own of course).

RLongtin wrote:

Actually it's pretty simple mathematically speaking (but we now know it not to be true). If an object is to accelerate to the speed of light, then there must be an amount of Force behind that object to make it accelerate to that speed. Force = mass x acceleration   (that's a times symbol in there).

This requires Newton's Laws of Motion to "justify" (but the idea of mass changing in this fashion is not Newtonian):

  1. A particle in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by an external force

  2. Acceleration is parallel and directly proportional to the net force and inversely proportional to the mass, aka Force = mass x acceleration (we just said that)

  3. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

Okay so if Light Speed is a maximum and if there are no forces acting on the object (other than the force pushing the object to the speed of light) then we can hold Force to be a constant and acceleration to be a constant. But acceleration must decrease somehow (or else we could accelerate to any speed we like - even a million times the speed of light), so the only other variable to manipulate in this equation is Mass.

Okay so to summarize thusfar - we have a force that is acting on an object and causing it to accelerate towards the speed of light. Since there are no other forces acting on the particle there is, by definition, nothing to slow the object down as it approaches the "supposed" maximum of the speed of light.

But aren't we now confusing speed an acceleration with one another? Because if you keep accelerating something, you must keep putting energy in it. If an object approaching the speed of light approaches infinite mass, wouldn't it then also require an infinite amount of energy to get it to the speed of light?
Actually, it seems that we have to give it even more than an infinent amount of energy: speed is a form of energy. So if we keep accelerating an object, we need to keep feeding it energy. Mass is also a form of energy. So if we have an object that keeps increasing in mass (and also in velocity) we need to keep feeding it energy. So the object would need enough energy both to get up to light speed and to get an infinite amount of mass.

RLongtin wrote:

Since Einstein said the speed of light was the maximum speed, enter the Lagrangian which requires at least 2 years of Math (starting at Calculus) to be explained in detail. Suffice to say, Einstein's theory of relativity, utilizing the Lagrangian, demonstrated that the mass of an object approaches infinite mass as it approaches the speed of light.

Let me say that again. An object approaches infinite mass as it approaches the speed of light. Welcome to the world's most powerful black hole, and all it takes is the worlds smallest particle to disprove it (what has just happened - if Einstein were right, the entire universe would have just collapsed in on itself instantaneously when CERN managed to track a particle with mass moving faster than light...if not sooner than that).

Well, it's still not proven (although of course also not disproven) yet. But I am very interested to find out what the results will be if they try to replicate the experiment.

RLongtin wrote:

How does this happen? Remember in grade school when your teacher told you you couldn't divide by zero? Well the equation Einstein uses in his Relativity show that as velocity approaches the speed of light, a fraction that is set equal to mass (with a constant multiplied in, so it doesn't change things) starts to have its denominator approach zero. To put it into perspective, if you were going 90% the speed of light you'd weigh more than double what you do now; if you were going 99% the speed of light you'd weigh 7 times your current weight, if you were going 99.9% the speed of light you'd weigh 22 times your current weight. 99.99% = 70 times your mass, 99.999% = 223 times, 99.9999% = 707 times, 99.99999% = 2236 times...see the trend?

Very interesting. I never knew this.


RLongtin wrote:
Mischa Brendel wrote:

As for being able to travel faster than light: quantum physics already destroyed that theory (even though as far as I know it's still only a theory itself). When you have two quantum particles which are entangled, knowing the state of one particle immediately tells you the state of the other particle, regardless of where those particles are. So if you put one of those particles at the edge of the galaxy and you keep the other one on earth, and then you measure the state of the particle on earth, you immediately know the condition of the particle on the other side of the galaxy, meaning that the information of the state of the particle has traveled faster than light. It should be noted here as well that these quantum parts only 'get' a state once you measure them (at least, that's the way I understand it). I know, quantum physics are weird.



-Mischa

What you are referring to Mischa is Quantum Entanglement. And yes, it "should" disprove faster than light travel, but as the famous saying goes (to paraphrase): Those that claim to understand Quantum Mechanics don't. It doesn't disprove anything since we don't actually understand it ourselves. Quantum Entanglement has measurable results that are completely unexplained.

I like to think of Quantum Mechanics as a Socratic admittance by Physicists that "they know nothing" because that is essentially what it stands to say.

~Robert

That is certainly true. Because quantum entanglement should also in theory make it possible for a person to suddenly appear anywhere in the universe. But the chance of that is so small that we can neglect its possibility. Nevertheless, some interesting advancements are being made with quantum entanglement and these particles have already been created.

I love the example of Schrödinger's Cat, which Schrödinger originally came up with to demonstrate how ridiculous the theories of quantum mechanics would work in our own macro world. And that he didn't understand a great deal of it either.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a program on TV where they tackled the 'problem' of the neutrino going faster than light very nicely:

"At CERN scientists have measured a neutrino going faster than the speed of light. What does this mean for you? Absolutely nothing, since you don't understand quantum physics in the first place."



Edit: Just to show that the discussion whether the neutrino actually did travel faster than light or not is far from over:
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/77470/verkee … trino.html (it's Dutch, but you can throw it through a translator)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1110.2685 (the article which is being discussed in the first link)

According to this man, they made a mistake in their calculations, not correcting for the movement of the GPS satellite which measured the location of the neutrino. I am not saying that he is right; I just want to show that there will be some discussion yet before people are going to accept a definite answer, one way or the other.



-Mischa

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Re: Aftermath

Mischa Brendel wrote:

But aren't we now confusing speed an acceleration with one another?

Not at all - and yes to the infinite energy. We actually have a very nice source of this in the universe called Gravity, another mysterious thing we don't quite understand yet. However you don't need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a particle to the speed of light...unless you take into consideration what Einstein says about an object approaching the speed of light (it gains infinite mass). Otherwise you do not need an infinite amount of energy (although gravity is a real ringer for an unlimited energy source).

But this is very cryptic, so here it is in a different light. If you think about acceleration as the slope of a graph at any point (here comes the Calculus now), and the graph representing velocity, then here's the idea - Einstein says that as velocity increases, it increases at a decreasing rate so that it will never reach the speed of light. This means that acceleration is positive but decreasing as you approach the speed of light. So where the mix-up might be (it's perfectly clear in my mind, just trying to make sure you have it) is that both velocity and acceleration are positive. But velocity is continuing to increase while acceleration is decreasing; velocity approaches but never reaches the speed of light, acceleration approaches but never reaches 0 m/(s^2).

Velocity isn't actually a form of energy by itself, but velocity in combination with mass is called Kinetic Energy. Effectively what you are doing is building up the particle/object's kinetic energy.

Mass itself is not energy, but it does store energy - kind of like how a cup isn't water but it stores water. The two are quite different things, though they are not so different we cannot comprehend how one interacts with the other.

But as you observed, if a particle approaches infinite mass, then it will require infinite energy which is said not to exist. This would thus prove Einstein in the notion that a particle with mass cannot achieve the speed of light - because you cannot acquire enough energy to achieve this. That is why it is argued a particle gains mass as it approaches the speed of light, because then it can never reach the speed of light, thus maintaining the notion that light is a maximum speed.

So to clarify - adding energy doesn't add mass to something. Also remember that you can add energy to something in different ways (i.e. heat, potential energy - which btw is also a source of unlimited energy) and not see a change in mass.

So the idea is if you keep accelerating something (adding Kinetic Energy - saying it accelerates is the same as saying you increase Kinetic Energy), you either will never reach or will surpass the speed of light and the question is which is right. Einstein argues you will never reach the speed of light and justifies it by saying that you approach infinite mass which requires infinite energy to accelerate so you can't reach the speed of light. I say that there are plenty of unlimited sources of energy that can theoretically be used to accomplish faster-than-light travel, or more practically be used to disprove the notion that the speed of light is a maximum velocity.



And to add - if you checked my articles, CERN said they were calling out to others to check their data since CERN checked, double checked, triple checked, quadruple checked... and couldn't find anything wrong. So no, nothing is set in stone yet as is stated by CERN, but I think we have reason to be hopeful (or worried for you infinite-mass beings out there).  big_smile

~Robert

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