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# Paul Davies speculates that light is slowing

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Yes, I found this very interesting. If his hypothesis is correct, this could solve a lot of problems, such as the Grand Unified Theory, but could also create more questions. I do not think it will completely put Einstein's theory away. Like when Einstein came up with his theory, it proved Newton was partially wrong, but did not do away with Newtons ideas.

Noah

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Would it really affect the principle of relativity?

From what i know about the principle of relativity (which is very limited), it merely states that natural laws must be in the same form in any co-ordinate system (objects moving relative to each other).

Although the speed of light is (or may be) decreasing over time, its speed will still be constant for all observers of a certain event. Meaning that c is still constant for all observers (still obeys relativity) but it is just decreasing with time for all observers.

Does this make any sense? Or have i gotten relativity all wrong?

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No, you are right about the observation part, I believe (not that I am an authority on relativity).

But consider this: if the speed of light was the same throughout the history of the Universe, then we can safely argue that the age of the Universe is as old as the oldest objects we can see, and then some (because according to the big bang theory there was quite some time before the hot soup of the big bang became cool enough for constituents to organize into lumps and then a couple of millions of years before the first suns started to shine).

So, say, if the speed of light was constant, we can measure the age of the universe by looking ever further away and see how old the oldest stars we see are. Right now the figure is around 14 billion years.

Now consider the alternative. The speed of light has slowed down as the Universe expands. What does this tell us about the age of the Universe? Perhaps a few things.

1: The Universe may be much younger than we think (because the light of the farthest stars has not taken 14 billion years to reach us, after all).

2: If the speed of light is the ultimate speed limit in the Universe, then everything must be slowing down, also at the quantum level where the speed of light becomes extremely important. That is the level at which e=mc2. So everything which moves at the speed of light, now moves slower.

3: If the speed of light slows down over time, what does this say about the future of the Universe? Will the speed of light keep slowing down? Will it keep slowing down _forever_? Does this mean that the Universe will slowly grind to a halt and freeze (speculations, of course)?

4: It is postulated in Einstein's theory of relativity that nothing can move faster than light. If you read David Bodanis' E=mc2 (which we've discussed before, I think) you'll understand (no, I really mean, "vaguely get an idea about" ) why mass is equal to energy at the squared speed of light. Now, if the speed of light is slowing down, does this mean that it is easier to convert energy to mass (and vice versa) now than at the beginning of time?

5: If the speed of light is slowing down, is everything else slowing down in exact relation to it? If not, will there ever be another entity or particle that will actually move faster than light? What impact will this have on the cosmos?

These are of course simple speculations thrown off the top of my head. But I think they show that the discovery that the speed of light may have changed with time is an extremely fundamental issue to cosmology. Whether we are in a certain observational frame has nothing to do with it at all: observation requires observers, and the "observational frame" thinking is (in my mind) just a way to explain why the speed of light always seem the same

to the observers - but it does not imply that the speed of light never changes physically. Get it?

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Ahh yes tormod, but I never doubted the importance of this discovery, i was just asking if it really had an effect on Einstein's relativity.

Hmm....does this mean light cones are now bent?? As we go back in time, the lines will bend outwards opening the base of the cone (as the speed of light increases). And in the future part of the cone, the lines will be bent inwards (speed of light slows). I'm tryin to think what implications that will have, but my brain seems 2 refuse and lock . Here's what ive come up with so far. It would me that more events in the past can affect us (more events can be in our past liight cone) and less events will be a affect by our actions (less events in the future light cone). But what significance does this have on physics, esp theories like quantum gravity.

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• 3 months later...

Light is not slowing. Light is formed as the warp release of a positron slows down to the the percievable speed of light. You say...huh? I say check out my posting for Warp Mechaics it will explain this mal-interpreted babble. You can't mess with my math! Hoogh-heh-ooh, can.. you.. feel... that... cap..tain com..post!?

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• 2 months later...

On a surface where gravity is most dominant the shortest distance between two points is a straight line and in space it is a curved line. If one where to place a marble on a flat, strait plain how would one proceed in applying a force to accelerate the marble. I my self would use the energy necessary to incline the plain and allow the marble to accelerate under natural law.

Think about that in the sense of the curved line of spacetime. If one were to impliment the facts that the plain of space is already curved and the absence of gravity is dominant with the additive of an inclination of the curved spacetime then one could see that acceleration will increase as long as gravity is absent. This would create a funneling action in the fabric of spacetime but to the marble it is simply constantly moving forward at a steadily increasing rate.

Light will maintain its speed because it's traveling at the speed of its existance. If light slows down it ceases to exist. But that would mean light wasn't constant,right? With the above point alone perhaps. What if light was a particle that travled through space like a skipped rock across the surface of a body of water. Space is the medium in which light travels. Say that space is made up of centers and the centers are the medium change in atmosphere like the rock popping up and diving back down evenly between air and water. To the one skipping the rock it would appear that the rock was hopping across the surface of the water. If the same observer were to witness the event of the "skipping" light particle one would only see a wave. Occasionally one would witness the particle form of light if the path of acceleration is met with an obstacle of deflection, reflection or absorption.

There is only one thing I can think of that naturally breaks the speed of light and is a form energy. A center is composed of positive resistance due to the fact that the center of a sphere is equal to the 360 degree cubed architecture of the sphere itself. Meaning that any center is equal to this and not just simply nothing at all. A center is self sustaining and existant non-existant at the same point int time. The centers structure is purely positive resistance.

Now think about traveling faster then the speed of light. One would be traveling so fast he appears to be motionless. If kinetic energy is the energy of motion then potential energy must be the energy of motionlessness. To travel so fast it appears to an observer that you are motionless is what I call Warp speed. To combine this concept with the function and existance of energy particles, other than a photon, one begins to percieve the strucure and behavior of matter. One particle would become another until the atomic structure is balanced equally with the positive resistance of the centers that make up the substance of space. The occurances between transactions of energy dispersment I call Warp Displacement account for all pheonomenon in nature. For more details check out my posting in the general discussion forum. It is titled Warp Mechanics, Apathetic Conflux and Universal Structure...

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• 3 weeks later...

Do ya realy thing that you can go back in time ????????? because im haveing hard time beliveing this

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• 1 month later...

I've just come across this thread headed 'Paul Davies speculates that light is slowing'. Well, he wasn't the first to so speculate. On 20 January 1984, writing from his ship in Capetown, my father - a marine chief engineer, not a scientist - posed a number of questions and theories about time and space. The first question was 'Is the speed of light absolute and immutable, or, might it be a function of our universe's age and size?' He further went on to say 'Could it be possible that the speed of light was very much higher in earlier times? If this was the case, quasars could be very much larger than is supposed and, consequently, their luminosity more credible, their speed of recession less, and their distance less remote.'

Who was my father writing to? The letter is addressed to Professor P W C Davies, Department of Theoretical Physics, School of Physics, The University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU.

Professor Davies was good enough to reply on 16 February 1984 - oddly enough, as he was also about to depart for Capetown. Regrettably he shot down my father's theory with the statement 'The speed of light is absolutely fixed. If it did vary with the age of the universe we could simply interpret that as a variation in the rate of all clocks, and hence in the strengths of the forces which drive those clocks.'

All too technical for me, I'm afraid - I'm not as smart as my father. But the fact remains that if Paul Davies started to speculate about a slowing in the speed of light in 2002, my father gave him 18 years to think about it. My father's name is Jack Hanson May - perhaps he should be given some credit.

I have copies of my father's six page letter, which suggests some very interesting theories in regard to light, space, antimatter, black holes and an alternative cosmos, and of Professor Davies' two page reply. I am sure my father would not object if this correspondence was made available to interested parties, and in this regard I can be contacted at [email protected].

Just setting the record straight.

Tony Barker-May

Perth, Western Australia

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Thanks, Tony, that is very interesting stuff. I've sent you an e-mail.

Just to avoid confusion: Paul Davies was not the first to speculate that the speed of light may be varying (even Newton thought that different colored light moved at different speeds, a theory which is actually being vindicated by some cosmologists).

Davies himself has been part of many research groups working on this (toghether with, for example, British cosmologist John Barrow). Nobody claims that Davies was the first to think about this (least of all himself). The news feature in New Scientist also suggests that this work has taken a long time.

Just for the sake of it, here is a list of publications by Paul Davies.

It would of course be very interesting to see what your father has written and I would be happy to publish the letters at Hypography, and also ask Paul Davies if he can remember the incident.

With regards,

Tormod

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• 2 weeks later...

u know what...i didn't understand what sharky said, but it sure sounded interesting

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• 5 months later...

can any one tell me what happens to the length of an object when it travels at the spped of light?

please help me!!!!

help me ppl!

help me

help me

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you seem to know what you are talking about, please can you help me to understand what happens to an object when it travels at the speed of light. my email is : [email protected]

thankyou so much!!

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Firstly...an object cannot reach the speed of light, only very close. That is because an object would require an infinite amount of energy to make it go and at the speed of light. the explaination is rather lengthy so i won't go in that far.

but let's say an object DID hit the speed of light, then it would have been converted to pure energy...tough luck

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Dear CNfuZD - you might want to read this stuff:

http://www.astronomycafe.net/qadir/aphyrel.html

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Remember the old theory about light traveling through the universal either. Just like sound waves traveling through air. What if the amount of either is fixed. As the universe expands the either becomes thinner. Then just like sound, the maximum speed is a function of the density of the medium it travels through. Hmm......

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