In our daily mundane lives, we are oblivious to much of the Universes grand weirdnesses. Our neurology has evolved to react to and manipulate its environment. To survive. Our minds and our intellect are forever separate and silent witness to the Universe. Many of science’s grandest and profound discoveries go against all those billions of years of evolutionary programming. On the surface, they do not make colloquial sense. Our sense which is a product of a long line of evolutionary winners, the ones that managed to survive to breeding age. Each and every one of us is the product of a very long unbroken line of winners.
The Universe has no obligation to make sense. The advanced science of the last century began to shed light on some of the more intriguing and profoundly bizarre physical characteristics of the Cosmos. It is one of these counter-intuitive bizarre physical characteristics that can if not destroy the old argument that the “Universe is too big for extraterrestrials to get here” it will put a huge kink in it.
We all have heard about light speed. It is an old staple in TV and Movies. The true implications of Special Relativity on what happens at light speed are not usually discussed with any actual substance on TV shows or documentaries. For some people, my explanation and supposition will be a new interpretation.
We must consider several aspects of Albert Einstein’s magnum opus “Special Relativity”.
Note: The following is an import part to understand to follow my suppositions later on.
One of the bizarre characteristics is what is called “Time Dilation”. A good example that some people have heard of is called the “Twin Paradox”. Embracing the twin paradox is an important first step as you dip your toe into the nonintuitive world of special relativity. If you dig a little deeper into the links given here (and show a little determination), hopefully, you’ll begin to be more comfortable that Einstein really was right.
One must be very careful. The “relativity” in the theory’s name comes from the absolute core premise of Einstein’s idea, which is that nothing is absolute. If you are standing on a train platform and a train whizzes by, you would say that a person on the train is moving. On the other hand, a person sitting on the train would say that he is stationary and that you are moving. Relativity says that both of you are right. Who is moving and who is stationary is just a matter of perspective, and the laws of physics must work equally well for both people.
But this raises a conundrum when applied to the question of moving clocks. How can moving clocks tick more slowly than stationary ones if the question of who is moving is a matter of opinion? If I can say you are moving and your clock is slow, and if you can say I am moving and my clock is slow, something is inconsistent.
This longstanding question about special relativity is called the twin paradox. Suppose one in a set of twins sets off in a spaceship, travels to a distant star and then returns. On both legs of the trip, he accelerates to high velocity and then coasts for most of the journey. According to the “moving clocks tick slower” premise, the twin who stays on Earth will have experienced one duration, while the travelling twin will have experienced another, slower duration. The spacefaring twin will return to Earth younger than his homebody brother.
“But wait,” says the travelling twin, “according to my definition, I was just sitting there on my stationary spaceship while the Earth zoomed away from me and then zoomed back. By all rights, Earth twin should be younger!”
The solution to this seeming paradox has to do with the idea of a reference frame, which is central to special relativity. “Reference frame” is just a fancy term that means “the world according to me,” putting each person at the centre of his or her universe. All “inertial” observers — those who don’t experience any acceleration — will agree that the homebody never changed his reference frame. He just sat there. Similarly, all observers will agree that the traveller lived in two reference frames, one moving away from Earth and one returning. Any third observer coasting through space will see that the homebody’s velocity doesn’t change while the traveller’s velocity does.
The law of relativity takes the traveller’s two reference frames into account. Thus the so-called paradox isn’t really a paradox. While the question of who is moving is a matter of opinion, the question of who has experienced two reference frames is not.
This is not just unfounded claims, it has been proven way back in 1971. In 1971, American physicists Joseph Hafele and Richard Keating verified time dilation at low relative velocities by flying extremely accurate atomic clocks around the Earth on commercial aircraft. They measured elapsed time to an accuracy of a few nanoseconds and compared it with the time measured by clocks left behind. Hafele and Keating’s results were within experimental uncertainties of the predictions of relativity.
If in the “Twins Paradox” one twin zooms off in a rocket at 90% of the speed of light. Time on the spaceship would be running 44% as fast as his twins on Earth. If the spaceship kicked it into overdrive and travelled at 99.9% of light, the brother’s clock on the spaceship would be running at 4.5% as fast as the Earthbound one now. What this means is if the twin (from his reference frame) went on a trip for 5 years at 99.9% speed of light, he would age 5 years. But his brother would have aged 110 years on Earth. This is a fact.
That is interesting but not my point. Using the laws that we know to be true. It is what happens when 100% light speed is achieved. Only one thing that I am aware of travels at light speed and that is a photon. If time slows down as we approach the speed of light the equations tell us that at the speed of light time stops. That means that if you were a photon time does not pass for it at all. That has some freaky consequences and is the crux of my assertion.
What this means is that at the instant that a photon is emitted anywhere in the Universe, typically they come out of atoms or get sent out by a star. The instant it gets emitted it gets absorbed at its destination. If you are the photon. For the rest of us, we observe it trundle through the Universe at light speed. But, for the photon time does not elapse. Hundreds of millions or billions of years of our time are zero time for the photon. From its unique point of view, the Universe goes by in an instant. From the point of view of the photon distance as we know it does not matter. It can traverse a googolplex squared in zero time. It can be everywhere, from its reference frame. For the rest of us, we bask in the time it takes to get to its destination. If time is the fire in which we burn, we burn incredibly slow. With this built-in transit ability in our Universe, is it so unfathomable that someone has figured out how to utilize it? The power of infinity is a strong pull.
Think about that for awhile…
Now hypothesize about a highly advanced alien civilization that has solved the light speed barrier and can traverse space at the speed of light. They have mastered an ocean of unimaginable technology. Not the least of which is Mass cancellation.
What they would have to have figured out is how to cancel Mass. We do not have any clue at all at this time in our scientific pursuits how to do that. But who knows if an intelligence that is a million or a billion of years advanced has not figured this stumbling block out. If they can make their ships or crafts massless they could be everywhere and I mean everywhere at will at any time. Shades of Douglas Adams “Infinite Improbability Drive”. It is only us primitives that think distance is an issue, a showstopper for alien visitations. But that is not the case.
This alien race could act like the photon. Instantaneous Universal transport. Zero time for them to cross from one side of the Universe to the other. As soon as they turn on the light drive they are already at their destination. This, of course, would require some amazingly high and unfathomable abilities in which we have no human analogue. The reason that mass is an important factor in this hypothesis is that it is integral to the properties of light speed. Nothing with mass can travel at the speed of light.
No need for such human contrived nonsense such as warp drive. No need for such things if they could cancel the physical property of Mass (there are other issues as well to consider which are beyond this article). As soon as the turn on the light drive they are already at their destination no matter where it is in the Universe. This, of course, would require some amazingly high and unfathomable abilities in which we have not discovered so far.
The aliens that were left at home would age as we do but their emissaries on the craft are timeless. For a civilization such as this, I would hypothesize that they bring their entire culture with them on civilization ships. Otherwise, the forces of relativity would disjoint the two factions of the civilization severely. Makes sense to bring them all with you to keep the temporal differential to an absolute minimum.
It must be noted that us primitive humans have already begun the quest towards Mass cancellation. It is startling to ponder that we newcomers to the pantheon of galactic intelligence’s have already had an inkling, a beginning success, a baby step, a beachhead in our sciences. Our cutting-edge scientific frontiers have identified and have been able to quantitatively gather information on what is referred to as the “Higgs Boson”. This tiny elusive subatomic particle is believed to a high degree of certainty to be the harbinger of all Mass in the Universe. It and its corresponding “Higgs Field” is the reason and method the Universe uses to create the phenomena of Mass. We can see it using billions of dollars of technology in infinitesimally small slices of time. We are nowhere anywhere near being hands-on with it at all. But if we hairy primates even can fathom it, it must not be that difficult in the grand scheme of things.
I get tired of the same old rhetoric that spouts such unfounded certainty in UFOlogy. We must open our minds to unconventional thoughts. No one knows what is possible in the Universe. Our knowledge is woefully incomplete. I do not know of course if any of this supposition is true or not. We must have this type of intelligent dialogue or UFOlogy will fall stagnant and be taken over by the UFO lunatic fringe. I wish that part of the human condition that is in each and every one of us contained the drive towards logical truths. It has manifested in many, many of us but not nearly enough. The real and verifiable Universe is more fascinating, wondrous, and awe-inspiring than we can handle. No need to play make believe with UFOlogy.
“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.” ~ Albert Einstein (The World As I See It, 1930)
Science is the language of the Universe… Learn how to play.
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