Speaking Of God's Power Output

My understanding is that relativity states that as soon as an object has reached the speed of light it will occupy all points in the universe (Omnipotence?).

As every individual atom is relativly related to each other in energy terms what changes will this make in said object’s enrgy relation to every atom?

It’s purely theoretical but I understand that there is provison made for formaula that could measure this.

What of the changes induced on the rest of the universe by an object actually realising light speed?
Just thinking out loud dont mind me…

Why would an object at light-speed occupy all points in the universe? From the point of view of a stationary observer, it would actually have less extension than usual (zero length in the direction of travel). From the point of view of the object itself, its extension would be unchanged. So the problem of interaction with every atom everywhere all at once wouldn’t arise.

Because if is capable of travelling at light speed it has reached a velocity at which it can exist instantaneously at any given point.

Thereby rendering it the unique property of relativly occupying all points.

My understanding in this area is a little hazy hibernicus.

Be gentle with my feeble mind as it already has to deal with a new week at work :slight_smile:

First, the standard statement that no object with mass can reach the speed of light. ok…

I don’t think that the object would actually occupy every place in the universe (otherwise every photon would be everywhere), but if you reached the speed of light, time in the rest of the universe would be stopped for you. Plus, there is the shortening of space in front of you. So you could reach any point in the universe in essentially no time. Although the outside observer would still see you travelling at 186,000 miles per second (although that observer would also see you not aging at all).

But I think we need a physics guru here to explain any further.

Okay, first off we know your mind is not feeble, as your history of intelligent posting testifies. So, being gentle,

Light speed is still a finite speed. From the point of view of the rest of the universe, the object is only in one place at a time (although moving quite fast).

Even if an object travels at infinite speed, so that it passes through all points along its trajectory at the same time, it does not occupy all points in the universe. Also the amount of time it spends “en route” is zero, so no interaction can take place.

Okay taking both of those on together.

Hazy recollections here.
An object being rendered massless by virtue of the fact that it has reached light speed is going to display some pretty unusual properties yes??

With every atom in the universe has an energy based relationship with every other one I cant accept that such a change is not going to have some serious consequence on that relationship.

“Although the outside observer would still see you travelling at 186,000 miles per second”

“Even if an object travels at infinite speed, so that it passes through all points along its trajectory at the same time”

Do you see the problem with those statements when viewed together? I can’t reconcile viewing an object travelling at that velocity with the observers viewpoint.

What “progression” would our observer see. Would not he witness ; for what of a better word : a streak ?
(Composed of the object occupying each point on its path.)

And that is presuming that our object is traveeling in one linear direction. With no time constraights it could also travel in a multitude of other “lines”.

Would our observer not then witness the object taking up space in every part of the universe.

I have a funny feeling I’m missing some small point here to push me over the conceptual leap boundary.

Go on then shove me , just this once.

Well, it requires an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with mass to c. Such an object would have an infinite mass with respect to the rest of the universe, so the entire universe would immediately travel at c toward the infinitely massive object in response to the infinite attractive gravitational force.

Nothing in the universe would experience any more time, due to relativistic time dilation, so questions about what an observer would see are moot.

Rather silly, but discussions involving infinities often are. IANAPhysicist, but I think the above follows from relativity.

As you accelerate an object it gains mass, so as it approaches light speed, its mass approaches infinity, not zero. And there is no way to tell what will happen if it does reach light speed, because our current theories of physics says it can’t happen in the first place.

I think what hibernicus meant was that different observers have different idea of what is simultaneous. What appears to one observer as an infinite speed will appear to another as a finite speed.

Well, I’m not sure how to go on from here. The normal way out of such a discussion is to say that a faster than light speeds will violate causality, so it’s either impossible, or its consequences cannot be predicted by our current theories. Any attempt to predict the outcome is nothing but speculation.

Light itself moves at the speed of light, and clearly doesn’t occupy the entire universe at once (or else I’d never be able to get to sleep).

In addition, light does have a very small mass, thus the solar wind.

If what you meant was oridnary objects moving at the speed of light, well, there ain’t no such animal. The mathematics just doesn’t allow it. And if you assume that away, then you’re not dealing with our current understanding of the universe, so you might as well then assume any old craziness you feel like. The fact is, it doesn’t happen and can’t, and it’s sorta pointless to speculate about what would happen if it could, 'cause it won’t. :slight_smile:

No idea what you’re talking about here. What is this relationship?


photons have no mass. “solar wind” is actually a “wind” of particles, not photons. Photons CAN carry momentum without having a finite rest mass.

Oddly enough, there was an article in Scientific American (circa 25 years ago) claiming that it WAS possible for photons to have a rest mass, but that Maxwell’s equations needed small “correction” terms if that were true. I never saw any more about it, and I don’t know anyone today who holds this as a possibility.

Cal, thanks for the correction on the solar wind. I’m not sure what it means to say a photon can carry momentum without having a rest mass, but whatevah – could be a long tangent to go off on.


The relationship that I refer to is the quantum energy assigned to all electrons of all atoms to each other.

To wit:

Although an electron may be a light year away from an atom it does exert a force (miniscule perhaps but a force nontheless). I am perhaps using the wrong word when I say Valance but I trust you understand what I mean.
So electron x way out past pluto does bear a relationship to atom1 here on earth.And from that one might reasonable infer that two atoms might have a relationship based on the fact that the electron “belonging” to one of them has some distant bearing/energybased relationship on the other

I am assuming that this is a purely mathematical exercise in relations and I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this. Im sure Hibernicus will be able to explain it all to me with a few beermats and matchsticks on Friday ?

No, you need to be pulled back from the edge.

Take the case of an object travelling at light-speed. From our point of view, it travels through space, taking years to travel from here to Alpha Centauri, for example. At any given moment (from our point of view) it is at a certain point between here and there. It is not at all points in the universe.

Its trajectory would not appear as a streak; in fact once it was far away it would not even appear to be moving particularly fast. Unless it was coming straight at you, in which case it would appear out of nowhere at the very moment it hit you. Hard.

A massive body would require infinite energy to reach the speed of light. This would give the body infinite mass, and stop time in the body’s reference frame, thereby allowing it to travel to all points simultaneously. These are the exact reasons why accelerating a massive body to light speed is impossible! It is not possible to supply the body with infinite energy. Therefore, arguing about what would happen in this impossible situation is like arguing about what a square circle looks like, i.e. an exercise in futility. Photons escape this dilemma by having no mass, and therefore not requiring an infinite amount of energy to reach light speed or having time stop in their reference frame.


the greatest speed you can be observed traveling is c. The greatest speed you can travel is a little diffrent.

lets say you are making a 4 lightyear trip and you can survive instant acceleration. you start at point a and are traveling to point b.
at 1/2c you will get there in 8 years, no problem. at 1c you will get there in 4 years - but because of your velocity relative to the destination being close to the SOL you will travel less distance at a lower speed due to spacial compression and time dilation. if you are traveling at effectivally 2c you will get there in 2 years the distance you will cover will only rack up 2 lightyears on your ships odometer and your speedometer will only say you are traveling at 1c (again due to spacial compression). if during yo travels you turn on your head/tail lights the light would leave you at c always.

to travel at the actual SOL you will have to accelerate to infinite c

Again, it’s pointless to speculate about travelling at c or c+ for anything that starts below c. It’s just plain impossible according to our present understanding of the universe.