Faster-than-light travel: Could humans ever become pure energy (with our personalities intact)

Ok I was thinking (with no mathematical or scientific background besides pop cultural articles on low-grade newspaper websites, so don’t get your theoretical hopes up too much) about faster-than-light travel.

I think it would be a great idea to open a “tours of a past” agency where you could visit past cultures, like watching Narma unite Egypt, Cicero orate against that devil’s dog Cataline, see Augustus rout Antony, and so on.

Problem is (according to posts on here) it violates Einsteinian physics for matter to get to the speed of light (or at least to exceed it, which would be necessary to go back into the past).

Ok, so I give up: What about becoming pure energy? Like in that star trek episode where the Klingons and Federation are on a neutral planet and threaten those stoic-philosopher looking older men who smile all the time, and it turns out they are pure energy and beyond even federation technology.

Could this be done without violating the known laws of physics?

Supposing it could be done [for a theoretical discussion, even if it doesn’t jibe yet with current physics], and it would keep our personalities intact (I’m not talking about flying into the sun and calling that turning into energy), and there we are as pure energy. Could we then surf on light waves until we went to the future or past in anyplace in the universe (or say to watch the debates at Barebone’s parliament)? Could we interact with the physical mortals?

Cmon Space cadets! Help a brother-light-beam out here.

Light beams can’t travel faster than light. They travel at–wait for it–the speed of light.

First, define “humans”, in such a way that something composed of “pure energy” could be one. Then, define “pure energy”, in such a way as (presumably) to exclude what we’re currently made of. Then, define “personality”, in such a way as to make it clear what it means for one to be intact. Once you’ve got all that out of the way, then we can start making some headway on the question itself.

No, there is nothing in known science to support any of that. It may be possible to create extremely powerul computers which combined with some sort of direct neural interface which would create the illusion that the user was traveling back in time and interacting with historical figures. However unlikely you think that is you must admit it’s a hell of alot more feasible that backwards time travel.

Theoretically it could be possible to have tours viewing/ perfectly simulating the past, since that just involves passing information from the past forward in time. What you can’t do is actually change anything in the past, since that would involve passing information (the fact that you went back) backwards in time, which leads to paradoxs.

As far as humans converting to energy, since you can use light beams to encode information, it might be theoretically possible to encode the information enclosed in a particular consciousness in a light beam and send that from one place to another at the speed of light, but not faster than light.

‘Beings composed of pure energy’, often depicted as a luminous, pulsating nebula of some sort, are quite common in Science Fiction, but the detail of how such a being could exist is never really explored.

‘Pure energy’, assuming it means radiation of some sort (which seems to be the case) doesn’t really just hang around in clouds - it radiates. Furthermore, it doesn’t really have the same sort of rich interaction with itself as matter does.

So immediately after assembling this ‘being of pure energy’, its component parts fly in different directions, having hardly interacted with each other, and unable to interact with each other any more. Doesn’t sound life-sustaining.

Charlie Sheen?

Science fiction has a lot to answer for, doesn’t it?

As Chronos alludes to, matter is just energy.

You can think of it like light. Visible light is just a narrow slice of all electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves and x-rays. Humans are built to register that narrow slice as something tangible, whereas we don’t recognize any of the rest. It’s invisible.

Matter is a small slice of atomic reactions which we are attuned to recognize as solid and tangible, but that’s not the full spectrum. The rest is invisible to us. The region that we don’t perceive is what we call electricity.

Well, you could maybe, possibly, have appropriately rich self-interactions with gluons, which might qualify as what the OP is thinking of as “pure energy”. One expects, though, that if a bound state composed entirely of gluons were possible, we’d probably have found it by now (especially if there were a stable bound state, which would probably be a good idea).

Could humans transform into pure energy?

It’s a stretch, but possible.

As for their personalities remaining intact, this is unfortunately not possible. Following the transformation, you just know they’d get all cocky on you.