Mushroom Catalog

How realistic is traditional FTL?

4 posts in this topic

I was talking with a friend who writes his own stories (they are actually pretty good) and he was talking about FTL(faster than light) travel. We were not talking about speed bubbles and stuff because he has resisted my multiple attempts to convert him to Sanderson books and instead we were talking about FTL like star wars, where they just turn on boosters and zoom.

Anyways, I was in an archery class ( I suck) and we were talking about how even being 1 degree off at 20 feet ends up being about a foot off target ( i don't remember exact numbers). This got me thinking about light speed accuracy. So, for FTL travel, they are going millions of miles a second. They have no time to redirect their course. Say they travel for 1 second at light speed. That is 186000 miles. In one second. They would not be able to correct their course. Now say they are one degree off- a generous amount for something like a super huge giant spaceship that is manually controlled. Uh... cosine, sine, hypotenuse, geometry and stuff, gives us 2932.116 miles apart for 1 degree of accuracy. For reference, our planet is 7,917.5 miles wide. For 1 degree, they would have almost gone around the other side of our planet. This is at light speed, not even faster than that. At faster, it would be more inaccurate. 

Also, not just side to side, but left and right/up and down. Going for 1/100 of a second longer would be 1680 miles extra. They would collide with the planet. Kaboom! Planet is gone. Who needs a death star, just build a few suicide bombers.

Well, that was fun. Basically, don't build light speed unless computers control it.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Traditional FTL is not realistic at all. there are several physical principles that forbid it.

one way of looking at it is that according to relativity, something moving faster has more mass, and any object would have infinite mass at the speed of light. As it takes infinite energy to accelerate something with infinite mass, the energy in the whole universe wouldn't be able to accelerate to light speed a single atom.

another way of looking at it is that everything in the universe actually moves at the same speed in the space-time. things that are faster in space are moving slower in time, and viceversa. An object being perfectly still is moving in time at the maximum speed, while an object being perfectly still in time moves at the maximum speed in space, and that is the speed of light. and you can't go faster than that, no more than you could speed up your time by being slower than immobile.

those are just layman ways of conveying concepts that would actually require pages of equations and years of studies to comprehend. all those effects of bending space and time only become apparent when moving close to light speed, which is why we don't see it in our lives.

those are the reason most sci-fi tries to justify ftl travel by some way of warp, alternate dimension, or other trick. those haven't been completely ruled out by modern physics.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, king of nowhere said:

those are the reason most sci-fi tries to justify ftl travel by some way of warp, alternate dimension, or other trick. those haven't been completely ruled out by modern physics.

I mean, Star wars didn't do this. They just went with it :) 

16 hours ago, I am a stick!!!!!!!!!!!!!! said:
  Hide contents

Cytonics

 

I can't wait for Starsight :( 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.