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Excursions at the Speed of Light

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the nice-bike dept.

Space 360

D4C5CE writes "S/F fans can finally find out what you really get to see at relativistic velocity, and tourists are one step closer to "doing Europe in a day" in these amazing Space Time Travel simulations of the Theoretical Astrophysics & Computational Physics department at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics Tübingen. They put you in a driver's seat that both Armstrong the Astronaut and Armstrong the Cyclist would equally enjoy, in simulators built to ride a bike at the speed of light."

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First Post (1)

FosterKanig (645454) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539261)

in the name of George Bush, our leader!!!

Re:First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539314)


You Do Not Fail it! Praise our Glorious Leader!

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539355)

Should never underestimate the power of the Darkside..

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539264)

fp

Good Further reading.... (3, Interesting)

MrByte420 (554317) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539270)

I'm presently ingrossed in Brian Greene's new book called "The Fabric of the Cosmos" and does a wonderful job at creating lively understandable analogies while sticking to alot of interesting science. He covers the history and philospophy of how problems involving realtivity, time, and space have evolved - stronly reccomend it...

Hey! Write a review for Slashdot! (-1, Offtopic)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539401)

This is OFFTOPIC!
Write a review for /. we'd love to read it.

Caution: Chinese Weaponization of Space (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539409)

We must proceed with caution by ceasing these speed-of-light simulations. The Chinese would surely use them to advance their space-weaponization program [phrusa.org] .

Note that the Chinese space program is completely under the auspices of the Chinese department of war. By contrast, in the USA, NASA is an entirely civilian effort.

Re:Caution: Chinese Weaponization of Space (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539453)

We must proceed with caution by ceasing these speed-of-light simulations. The Chinese would surely use them to advance their space-weaponization program.

Why does this troll keep showing up? The Chinese don't have the resources to compete with the US. They've attempted manned space travel several times (even outright copying the Dynasoar design) and every time have had to cut it because of the cost. For now, I wouldn't worry too much about the Chinese one-upping the US on their own technology. Start worrying when they launch an Orion (not bloody likely).

Note that the Chinese space program is completely under the auspices of the Chinese department of war. By contrast, in the USA, NASA is an entirely civilian effort.

This is a GOOD thing. Remember what happened when the space program was under the United States department of war? (Specifically the Air Force?) That's right, some good engineering was done, but we didn't GET anywhere. It wasn't until NASA was formed that the US actually got into the race.

Re:Caution: Chinese Weaponization of Space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539570)

Why are you trying to demonize the Chinese? Which government is warmongering?

Re:Good Further reading.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539462)

I assume you have also read Steven Hawkings, A Brief History of Time, if so, how does it compare? I only ask as that book is the only one I've read in that field and I found it very interesting. I'm looking for similar.

G forces (2, Interesting)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539271)

What about the G forces at the speed of light? Does it just rip peoples skin off?

Re:G forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539283)

Think liquification....

Re:G forces (1)

Fussen (753791) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539595)

Instantaniously? It might be a fine mist of human vapor.


PEW!

Re:G forces (2, Informative)

gandalphthegreen (751209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539285)

Well, there aren't any G forces at the speed of light. Just getting to it and back down...

Re:G forces (5, Informative)

3.1415926535 (243140) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539288)

G-force is caused by acceleration. Assuming you accelerate slowly enough, you can get up to $VERY_FAST without dying.

Re:G forces (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539331)

Except for the problem of the air pushing against you at that speed.

Re:G forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539525)

I cast fire shield!

Re:G forces (3, Interesting)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539338)

"G-force" is caused by your resistance to acceleration. I would assume that by the time we can travel at the speed of light, we would have solved the whole g-force problem as well..

Re:G forces (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539341)

It's a little sad that most people still don't understand the difference between speed and acceleration. When I first read about the Scientific Revolution as a kid, the writer spent a lot of time sneering at medieval scholars who stubornly stuck to Aristotle's physics [answers.com] despite all the experimental evidence showing that it was wrong. But as far as most people are concerned (including the script writers on Star Trek) Aristotle has never been debunked.

Re:G forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539367)

The G forces might not be bad, but the tidal forces surely would be.

Re:G forces (1)

Matt Edd (884107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539549)

Tidal forces are do to gradients in gravity... completely irrelevant to this topic.

Re:G forces (5, Informative)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539576)

A human being can tolerate up to 5 G (fighter pilots can go to 9 G, but only for short periods of time). That is an acceleration of about 50 m/s^2. If you were able to sustain this acceleration all the way to light speed (which you wouldn't because near light speed the amount of energy needed to accelerate tends to infinity) you would have to keep accelerating for

300000000/50 = 6000000 seconds, or about 70 days.

Deceleration would require the same amount of time. So the Tübingen experience would be a 140-day-not-very-pleasent-5-G bike ride :)

Re:G forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539294)

What about the G forces at the speed of light? Does it just rip peoples skin off?

Ahhh, no. If you are not accelerating or decelerating, there is no G force.

Re:G forces (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539349)

How do you get to light speed without accelerating?

Re:G forces (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539362)

Infinite energy.

Re:G forces (1)

Various Assortments (781521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539372)

You don't, but you can get there by accelerating at 1 g or less if you want.

Re:G forces (5, Funny)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539396)

Stand still, and let the rest of the universe move.

Re:G forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539543)

come into existence already doing c? (like when a photon is emitted)

Re:G forces (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539311)

G force is dependent on acceleration, not velocity. If one were to be accelerated too quickly to the speed of light, you would likely not survive. But if one were to accelerate to the speed of light under livable circumstances, it would not rip your skin off. Once traveling at the speed of light, you will feel just like you feel when traveling in an airplane

Re:G forces (4, Funny)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539438)

Thats one long block! The movie is 3 or 4 seconds long, so that is a 1,200,000 km street block.

Re:G forces (1)

deansfurniture5 (884292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539465)

not quite. if you watch the bottom of the screen, it's not going at the speed of light the whole time.

Apples and oranges (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539455)

G Force is a quality of excelloration not speed. If you could excellorate at half a G you'd eventually achieve the speed of light and feel very little excelloration. There are real problems like the mass and the fact even tiny objects can strike with the force of an atomic blast. Achieving light speed is a kind of sucker bet. As you near the speed of light the energy required to continue to excellorate increases. No source of energy known can overcome it's own mass to reach the speed of light. There was a proposal to build an enitre ship out of bags of hydrogen ice so the mass would be reduced as you excellorated and there'd be little wasted mass. Even then I think it was unlikely to hit better than half the speed of light. Antimatter is a good option but still couldn't overcome the mass energy issue. In normal space it's unlikely that speed of light will ever be achieved let alone passed.

Re:G forces (1)

Karl Tacheron (841799) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539586)

Human beings have neither the aural nor the psychological capacity to withstand the awesome power of traveling at light speed. Were you to go that fast, your mind would cave in and your heart would explode within your chest. We went through five guys before we figured that out.

Not insightful (1)

MAdMaxOr (834679) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539599)

Besides the misnomer, "G forces" are proportional to acceleration, not velocity.

Well (1)

TheShadowzero (884085) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539277)

I'd be interested to know how expensive this was... Anyways, I would DEFINATELY love to try this.

Re:Well (1)

fredrikj (629833) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539316)

Try Fisheye Quake [fov120.com]

Beyond cool! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539284)

it has always been difficult to me to understand modern physics since they generally aren't so full of 'seeable' stuff like classical physics. this is a dream come true for a computer guy who wants to know more about the rules of the world around him.

Re:Beyond cool! (1)

wahsapa (767922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539496)

not to mention this would be a total trip with some lsd

My brother can beat that... (1)

whitetiger0990 (852580) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539292)

He can run through that city faster then that.

Does this mean that the people who travel daily live longer in relitive to everything else?

Re:My brother can beat that... (1)

deansfurniture5 (884292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539494)

Does this mean that the people who travel daily live longer in relitive to everything else? Time for them passes slower, but it is by such a miniscule amount that it doesn't really affect anything.

YEAH (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539298)

Gay NIGGERS forever.... GNAA [www.gnaa.us]
will own slashdot....!

Sounds like a wonderful experience... (1, Insightful)

booyabazooka (833351) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539300)

What it's like to ride a bike at the speed of light. I'd imagine, then, you would just sit down on the bike, and then get off, since to you, the trip would be instantaneous.

Re:Sounds like a wonderful experience... (5, Insightful)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539410)

That's wrong...Time would pass normally for you. You would think at a slower speed (the same speed you're moving) so you wouldn't notice a difference. When you got off the bike, however, much more time would have passed for everyone else than you.

All this is, of course, assuming Einstein was right (and I think some experiment somewhere proved these effects to be correct)

Re:Sounds like a wonderful experience... (1)

deansfurniture5 (884292) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539483)

They have proven that space and time are one--I'm having trouble finding a source on that at the moment, but I know they used highly sensitive clocks and put them in the space shuttle and showed that, since they are moving faster relative to earth, the time for them is slower.

Re:Sounds like a wonderful experience... (1)

wahsapa (767922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539517)

I remember this too. It also had something along the lines of satellites helping to prove the space-time thing too... didn't it?

Re:Sounds like a wonderful experience... (1)

tyagiUK (625047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539578)

Ssshhh already. Us geeks won't be able to use the "but I have no time for exercise in my busy work schedule" any more.

Don't get it (1)

Lingur (881943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539307)

I don't get it... If you were travelling at the speed of light wouldn't you pass through an entire city in milliseconds? or nanoseconds even? How can you see the buildings?

Re:Don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539313)

Maybe the buildings are moving at the speed of light too. Then it'd look just like any time...

Re:Don't get it (1)

Lingur (881943) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539329)

But then you would see the buildings as standing still. Which you don't in those videos.

Re:Don't get it (1)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539384)

Yeah yeah, the point is that these are simulations of the images that would be taken by a pinhole camera, apparently one with an extremely short exposure time.

videos (4, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539385)

All this does is attempt to simulate the visual distortion that one would perceive when traveling that fast. The videos look like you could be going 100 mph or whatever in terms of speed, but the distortion of the buildings seems to be what they're trying to get across here. The idea that you could have a long enough street lined with similar enough buildings to even perceive this distortion is beyond fantastical, so there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of point to this other than illustrating the notion that there is visual distortion. But I imagine what you would actually see would be much more of a blur.

Re:videos (3, Informative)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539589)

I think what that video shows is what you see if you travelled at near the speed of light, and recorded the whole thing with a high speed camera, and then played the recording back.

Either that or the buildings and roads are so many thousands of times bigger than real life, in which case you would again see what the video shows.

Alternatively, you could set the speed of light very slow, and you would see the same effect even if you travelled at only 100mph and with normal sized buildings and roads.

I only wish they did the anim at 60fps instead of 30 frames per second. It'd look even nicer. "Oooh movies are at 30fps, so I must copy them".

Only one problem... (-1, Flamebait)

UncertainOrigin (884256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539320)

The graphics are great and all, but the work 'theory' is in there for a reason. Until we have some solid proof I fail to see the point in "simulating" something that may end up being completely and utterly wrong.

Re:Only one problem... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539332)

Gravity is also a theory.

Re:Only one problem... (1)

sound+vision (884283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539342)

Evolution is also a theory. Let the flames begin.

Re:Only one problem... (2, Funny)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539398)

And most of the alternatives are conjectures.

Scientists use words like chess masters use pawns; saying something's "just a theory" tends to have roughly the same effect on their mental state as kicking the board over.

MOD PARENT IGNORANT (2, Informative)

rdwald (831442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539379)

All of science is a "theory." Do you think that's air you're breathing now? Or are you a brain in a jar? My theory says the former, but it could be completely and utterly wrong.

Re:MOD PARENT IGNORANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539547)

He must come from Kansas.

The nerds have already seen (5, Informative)

kernel_dan (850552) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539326)

Lightspeed [sourceforge.net] is a simulator for velocities at c and below. Screenshots [sourceforge.net] are available.

Re:The nerds have already seen (1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539454)

Does anyone know of a simulator for velocities above c? I'd like to see someone do that.

Re:The nerds have already seen (1)

biglig2 (89374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539529)

Well, since you can't go faster than c, it's kinda hard to simulate.

Tübingen project got the colors wrong (4, Informative)

Bubblehead (35003) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539489)

Very cool project - the screenshots [sourceforge.net] posted by the parent comment show nicely that the Tübingen Project forgot to adjust the colors - due to the Doppler effect, colors change dramatically.

Apply Theory of Relativity to the Slashdot Effect (2, Funny)

tyagiUK (625047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539333)

I wonder what a website (and associated server/network tin) looks like when it's Slashdotted at the speed of light?

What? (2, Funny)

Devar (312672) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539335)

Reduce the speed of light to 30 kilometres per hour! Then you too can ride at the speed of light!! Easier if you have a motor bike.

Re:What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539511)

I've had my GSX-R 1000 up to 300 km/hr (186 mph), does that count for anything? Of course I did not feel to comfortable above ~220 km/hr so I'll never get any closer to c then that again, well at least on two wheels.

No way. (4, Funny)

diesel66 (254283) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539361)

Look, I've been through Tübingen at the speed of light, and it doesn't look anything like that!

Re:No way. (2, Funny)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539470)

Try harder drinks at the pub next time. You'll see it.

Not that new.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539381)

The idea, while cool, is not that new (although doing it interactively might be). There's always the Relativistic Raytracer [anu.edu.au] (more movies [anu.edu.au] ), which has been available since 1997.

Black hole simulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539390)

This has been done before.

And, unfortunately, the simulations of the view while falling into a black hole are really, really wrong.

Length contraction? (2, Interesting)

Futonchild (875487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539407)

I always understood that distances lying on lines parallel to your path (e.g. the length of a passing storefront) got shorter as you approached c. In the video it looks like the storefronts remain a constant length, or maybe even expand, as the speed increases. Am I missing something?

Re:Length contraction? (3, Interesting)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539461)

They're simulating the *visual* effect which is much different than just the Lorentz transformation because of the differing light travel times from various parts of the object to your eyes. For example, a body actually appears *rotated* instead of just Lorentz contracted.

Re:Length contraction? (1)

Futonchild (875487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539530)

Just to clarify, do you mean: (a) The storefronts would not appear to be shorter as you go faster, though they would appear to be rotated, or (b) The storefronts would appear to be shorter as well as appearing to be rotated ?

Re:Length contraction? (1)

6800 (643075) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539544)

If I correctly recall, special relativity and the
Lorenz contraction say that the observer would
acutually contract.


So, I suppose, because they dropped the speed of
light to 30 kmh, the simulation is valid as it
only
has to deal with the relative position of the camera
to the photons, providing you ignore doppler.


If they were to simulate the camera moving at 95%
of c, the camera would actually contract, along
with all rulers an observer moving with the
camera might use to measure.


Does this sound correct? If so how does this
physical contraction change the ray tracing of
the simulation?

Re:Length contraction? (1)

Futonchild (875487) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539583)

All this sounds correct to me, though I don't know what "ray tracing" is. In any event, as several posters have noted, the whole idea of accurately representing what it would look like to travel at light speed is fraught with conceptual difficulties.

How long? (2, Insightful)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539425)

Those curved buildings are kinda cool, but how long would those buildings even be in your field of vision if you were blasting past them at the speed of light? I don't think your brain would get a chance to process that kind of detail before it blurred into the image from the next microsecond, which would probably be completely different. I'd say it'd all be a messy blur.

Looking backwards would be kinda sweet though, if it didn't blind you immediately.

Re:How long? (2, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539463)

Blind you? The photons rate entering your eyes looking backward would be much less, so it'll be pretty dark. You wouldnt feel a thing if the velocity is constant.

Looking forward.. now thats a different story.

Re:How long? (1)

OverflowingBitBucket (464177) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539552)

Blind you? The photons rate entering your eyes looking backward would be much less, so it'll be pretty dark. You wouldnt feel a thing if the velocity is constant.

Looking forward.. now thats a different story.


I was thinking at near but below light-speed, basically a very large number of sources in the distance having their light reach you all at roughly the same time. Like a sonic boom, but with light. In the last couple of minutes I've swung from agreeing with you to disagreeing, and retyped this comment quite a few times. Truth is I'm not an expert on the matter, not having traveled lightspeed, so it's all speculation on my part anyway.

Random (1)

Monkeman (827301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539427)

I was just thinking, light waves might not cause much of a fuss at the speed of light, but what would happen if, say, an elephant moved at the speed of light? I kinda imagine the videos of buildings and such being toppled near atomic bombs, except exponentially stronger.

oblig. Red Dwarf! (5, Funny)

Johnny Mnobflaps (662730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539431)

HOLLY: Look, we're travelling faster than the speed of light. That means, by the time we see something, we've already passed through it. Even with an IQ of 6000, it's still brown trousers time.

or maybe that's brown bike shorts.

eww.

Anyone got an idea what's going on here? (1)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539446)

I've heard that when you're travelling near lightspeed, things behind you (say, 120 degrees from the forward direction) appear to be in front of you. Can anyone give the Relativity for Dummies version of why this happens?

Re:Anyone got an idea what's going on here? (3, Informative)

anthony_dipierro (543308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539476)

It's in the this explanation [spacetimetravel.org] . There's a diagram at the bottom which explains it much better than I can in words.

Re:Anyone got an idea what's going on here? (3, Interesting)

mnmn (145599) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539505)

Sure.

See light travels at the speed of light. You cant travel faster, or even AT the speed of light.

But if youre zipping by an object that emits light, and its light doesnt travel in the same direction as you, its speed component in that direction is also slower than the speed of light, and you can catch up and see the object after you're past it.

Lets try that again.

Imagine youre on a bike, zipping past a lamppost. The light the lamppost emits travels in all directions. Now take the photos that are emitted in the same direction youre going, at the same time that youre just crossing the lamppost... now youre travelling parallel to that photon, although it beats you in speed.

However, if the lamppost was say 10m away from you when you zipped past, the photon you'd see is the photon the lamp emits not in the same direction youre travelling, but slightly towards you. If youre travelling north, the photon is travelling northwest, towards you. After youve crossed the lamppost, some distance later, the photon reaches you, because it had to travel a bigger distance, going in your travel direction (north) as well as towards you (west), and we all know the hypotenuse is longer than the base or height.If you travelled faster than the photon's north speed component, you'll see greater than 180 degrees around you... but never 360.

I Have Seen This (3, Funny)

ArchAngel21x (678202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539458)

This is what I see when I sprint to an all you can eat buffet after someone else has offered to pay. I have been called many things, but late for dinner is not one of them.

Light speed? (3, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539464)

I prefer Ludicrous speed [boxofficeprophets.com] !

Uh, what about the Dopler effect? (2, Insightful)

CrowScape (659629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539468)

Wouldn't the blueshift when traveling at such speeds push everything out the visible spectrum? So you wouldn't actually see anything, you'd just get a nasty dose of Gamma waves... or worse?

Re:Uh, what about the Dopler effect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12539519)

See: your sig.

Re:Uh, what about the Dopler effect? (1)

CrowScape (659629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539551)

This would be why I'm asking, instead of stating it as fact. I really want to know the answer here, and an explanation for why not.

Re:Uh, what about the Dopler effect? (3, Interesting)

Asterixian (806481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539601)

At forward viewing angles, yes, the images would be blue-shifted, but this doesn't mean everything goes dark. Visible becomes UV, and infrared becomes visible. But this is angle-dependent. Light arriving from behind you is actually red-shifted.

And yes, pushing several hundred watts per square meter of visible light into the UV range would result in a terrible sunburn.

Traffic Lights.. (2, Insightful)

medgooroo (884060) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539477)

if, ignoring science and all that hoohah stuff, you could ride a bike at the speed of light around the place, would there be any need for traffic regulation or do collisions just become so hideously unlikely that it doesnt matter? /ot

Tubingen? (3, Funny)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539482)

I showed my wife the videos cause they were cool, but she got all misty-eyed about seeing Tubingen again, so I'm in for a long night of hearing about how much fun she had at university there. Sigh. Why can't more people appreciate the value of astrophysics for astrophysics' sake?

No blueshift (5, Interesting)

Vilim (615798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539506)

They are missing the blueshift you would encounter at that speed. However I guess they couldn't be accurate because wouldn't the frequency would shift to far above the ultraviolet quite quickly?

question? (1)

MistabewM (17044) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539513)

When traveling at the speed of light, would you experience time subjectivly so it would feel as if minutes had passed in seconds? Would you not need some sort of theoretic device / field, that would allow you to stay together and keep your molocules from travelling at different speeds?

Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland (3, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539537)

There should, I think, have been at least a nod given to George Gamow whose 1947 book, "Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland," attempted to explain relativity and quantum mechanics by putting Mr. Tompkins into situations like this. If I remember correctly, one of the episodes literally did involve his riding a bicycle in a Wonderland in which c was something like twenty miles an hour.

You Idiots (1)

Gogogoch (663730) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539538)

To all of you saying "but wouldnt the journey be through in a nanosecond, and your brain couldnt process it in time". THINK! There are two possible explanations:

1. It is all an experiment in rendering the type of optical distortion created by near light speed for the purposes of imagining travel at that speed, and for the sheer hell of it, and thrill of achievement. And the trip through a nice German town is just an approximate illustration in which we have to suspend our disbelief for a moment and enjoy the visual effects that we have never seen accurately portraited before.

or

2. It is a very, very large town. Since we're travelling a 99% light speed, why did you assume we were still on Earth, and not in some freaky alien German-town-mock-up of astronomic proportions? Why do you think there were no PEOPLE?!!!

But, but.. (4, Funny)

xchino (591175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539556)

"They put you in a driver's seat that both Armstrong the Astronaut and Armstrong the Cyclist would equally enjoy"

But what about Armstrong the overly stretchy action figure?

Re:But, but.. (1)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539593)

But what about Armstrong the overly stretchy action figure?

In Stretch Armstrong's frame of reference, it's everyone else who's stretching madly!

That Flash You Just Saw? (1)

nxtr (813179) | more than 9 years ago | (#12539568)

That was your tour. That'll be $1000 please.
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