The Holy Grail of Science Fiction Plot-Lines: We have FASTER THAN LIGHT TRAVEL!

23 09 2011

Okay, okay, fine, I know. It is waaaay too early to say that, but I have always wanted to say that. Perhaps only “Lady’s and Gentlemen, I give you Artificial Intelligence” ranks higher on my hoped-for announcement list.

So a quick rundown on what has happened even though if you read this blog you likely already know. CERN (or what I like to call Euro-Disney) rammed a proton into some graphite and created a burst of neutrinos (neutrinos are low-mass, uncharged subatomic particles that rarely interact with matter). These neutrinos were then detected about 700 km away in an Italian neutrino detector. The problem, the wonder, the miracle??? The particles were detected 50-60 billionths of a second too soon!!!! It could be a detection problem, it is likely just human error, but it could be something else.

If you think that this sounds like no big deal, think again. Einstein established that the speed of light is the absolute of universal values- NOTHING, NOT EVEN LIGHT, CAN GO THE SPEED OF LIGHT! Did you hear that? Light- photons which have small but appreciable masses, cannot go the speed of light. The speed of light is just an absolute value. For anything with mass to achieve that speed (299,792,458 meters per second or over 186,000 miles per second) it would require every scrap of energy in the universe. The most important thing to my mind isn’t that we might build super-luminal ships, but that we might send information faster than light. If Einstein isn’t turned entirely upon his head, then this discovery could point to different, accessible dimensions, hell, it could point to sending message through time.

But probably not.

Still, Arthur C. Clarke once said that any story that contains faster than light travel is a fantasy story, not a science fiction story. Other than missing the “fiction” part of that linguistic equation, Clarke really denied the possibilities. Even if he ends up being correct, ain’t if fun to pretend.

The Science of Fiction

Also: Congratulations to Maggie Slater on correctly predicting the newly discovered binary star planet systems.

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2 responses

23 09 2011
maggiedot

LOL Didn’t George Lucas score on that one looooong before? 🙂

23 09 2011
silverstairs

Naaaaw. Star Wars is Fantasy!!!

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