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Author Topic: Any scientists out there? Need an answer!  (Read 996 times)
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Kif

Bending Unit
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« on: 04-19-2005 15:25 »

In episode 415, The Farnsworth Parabox, they end up with the box containing their own universe... as you all know!

Can some science genius answer me: What would happen if someone stepped into the box with their own universe in? As each box leads to a different world, where would this box lead them to? Anywhere? Gotta be somewhere, it's got a universe in, right? Help!
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #1 on: 04-19-2005 16:12 »

Hmmm...seeing how the other Universe boxes work, you'd probably just pop right back out of the same box.  That's the only way I could see it working.
CyberKnight

Urban Legend
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« Reply #2 on: 04-19-2005 16:13 »
« Last Edit on: 04-19-2005 16:13 »

The way I suppose it would work is just that the person would pop back in and then back out again. The boxes seem to be both containers of and portals between universes, so what happens at the end of Parabox is simply (hah!) that the wormhole between Universe A and Universe 1 get's twisted back on itself, and severs the connection.

Or something.   tongue

EDIT: Bah, curse you, Nerdooooooooooo! *shakes fist*
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #3 on: 04-19-2005 18:31 »

The box with your universe in it may not be able to exist in your universe by definition.
So there would be no such box to enter.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #4 on: 04-19-2005 19:14 »

And yet, at the end of The Farnsworth Parabox, it does.

I stand by my explanation in the context of the show.  In fact, it's an interesting question to consider even in real life.  Here's the thing about the Universe.  By definition, it contains everything.  Who's to say it doesn't contain itself?  That's actually one of the more interesting problems in abstract mathematics; the Universal set U, by definition, has as an element everything conceivable.  This means it even has itself as an element.  But that means that U is merely a member of an even bigger set...which is also U...and here's where my head explodes as a non-Math major.
cujoe169
Starship Captain
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« Reply #5 on: 04-19-2005 19:35 »

it's not actually u, it's aleph, and aleph beta... it's the sets of infinity that exist simultaneously, similar to in calc growth rates of infinite functions can differ by a constant, but both still grow infinitely fast...
Eyedol7513

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #6 on: 04-20-2005 03:21 »

You're losing me with all this math talk. Hey, you're talking to a guy to got a 70.6% in Algebra 2 for the thrid quarter.
Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #7 on: 04-20-2005 03:37 »

That's math?  I don't see any numbers.
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #8 on: 04-20-2005 04:08 »
« Last Edit on: 04-20-2005 04:08 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Kif:
Can some science genius answer me: What would happen if someone stepped into the box with their own universe in?

Remember Farnsworth's wormhole in the table from "The 30% Iron Chef"?  It would be a lot like that.
Zoidberg227

Space Pope
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« Reply #9 on: 04-20-2005 05:37 »

I've asked that question before, I think on the Adult Swim message boards.  I think I was told to not worry about it, and it was pathetic for me to waste my time thinking about it.  What a load ... it's damn good stimulation for the mind. 

I find the whole concept of paradoxes (paradoxi?) to be fascinating.  Things like that really pique my curiosity, so I have to try and figure out how something seemingly self-contradictory is possible.

My thoughts is that if you jumped in, you'd pop back out and fall back in again repeatedly, possibly with increasing energy (so you pop out higher and higher) until someone moves the box or you alter your path somehow.  That may be a way of creating a perpetual energy source ... I'll have to remember that.

Perhaps the stresses placed upon the traveller being shoved into his own universe would destroy him, I don't know.  Or perhaps he'd somehow be dumped in a non-universe, doomed to float in nothingness for all eternity, playing D&D with Al Gore, Gary Gygax, Deep Blue, Stephen Hawking, and Nichelle Nichols.  In yet another thought, perhaps the box containing the universe (and thus containing itself), there would be some sort of inversion thing going on, and the poor subject is ejected from the box inside-out. 

Now, forgive me from talking out of my ass, but it's 2:30 in the morning, and I don't really understand the whole wormhole theory, anyway.  Feel free to pick apart my theories as much as you like.
Pikka Bird

Space Pope
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« Reply #10 on: 04-20-2005 08:33 »
« Last Edit on: 04-20-2005 08:33 »

Yeah, good idea about the perpetual energy, Z227... Wrap a coil around the box and drop a magnet into it... Now you only need to invent the actual box, but that's gotta be a minor issue.

The other observations, however ass-spokem they may be, still have good merit. Unless there's some delay between the entry and the exit (which there is in the episode, but I assume that's just to easy the cutting of scenes), you'd enter the box, then emerge inside the part of your body that hasn't made it through. Yummy.
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #11 on: 04-20-2005 09:20 »

Well, OK, it can be done but when you pop out you will be inside out. Which would be normal there but it makes it difficult to go back. Squish, ow!, squish, ow!, and so on.
Pikka Bird

Space Pope
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« Reply #12 on: 04-20-2005 09:29 »

It wouldn't be normal "there" because "there" is "here"... It is the same universe, remember. The question at hand is "what happens if you enter through the same portal as you exit from?" and "What would happen if you stepped on a box with your own universe in it?"...

The second question (which was also the first in this thread) has been answered in the episode itself: You'd squish the universe... If the box was crushed, you'd kill yourself and everyone else, and destroy all hte universe.

The other question is difficult, though.
germanfryfan

The Listmaker
Urban Legend
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« Reply #13 on: 04-20-2005 09:33 »

The question then is, whether you are even able to enter it. You could imagine it like a mirror. If you take a step into the box, your own foot would immediatelly come out of it, meaning that the sole of your own foot would press against itself.
So it could be impossible to enter it, since you block yourself, if the box has just one portal.

If we would define it like a wormhole though, meaning that you put something into it on one side and it leaves on the other one, it would be possible, I guess.
JBERGES

Urban Legend
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« Reply #14 on: 04-20-2005 09:57 »
« Last Edit on: 04-20-2005 09:57 »

One could assume that there is a delay in traveling, at least in the Futurama universe, based on the fact that when everyone jumps into the box at the end, the Professor enters feet first, but then emerges head first.  This would suggest he had time to turn around once he considered the fact that he would be ejected from the other box upside down.

However, this raises several questions about time itself.  Considering that by its nature, ‘time’ is a product of the universe it’s measured in (ie, it’s a concept local to the universe it is in), the fact that the Professor had ‘time’ to turn around doesn’t necessarily mean the same delay will occur from his entrance to his exit.
 
Each universe appears to be connected to its counterparts such that the relative time that has passed since their creation is about the same (it's why Leela B flipped her coin at about the same time before Leela A exited the box as Leela A flipped the coin before she entered the box).  The wormhole could provide two different paths from one to another. (see crappy MS paint diagram)

1)   Time at universe B is exactly the same as at entrance from universe A (red)

2)   Time at universe B is ahead of time of entrance from universe A (green)

The difference of time between entrance and exit is thereby completely independent from the time it takes to travel between the universes (‘time’ elapsed in a 5th dimension while passing along the red or green arrow)

This leads us to our main question.  If the red arrow is the true path, then jumping into the box that contains your own universe will lead to a messy situation.  You will be ejected into the part of you that has not entered the box yet.  If the green arrow is the true path, then you have whatever the fifth dimensional time (time taken to traverse the curved green arrow) is to get your entire body clear and into the box before the first part of you appears again.  In that case, you will simply exit the box at the same point in space but a slightly later point in time.




Which one of these guesses is true?  Am I just making stuff up?  Who knows. 

I need a life... one that doesn’t involve classes, which I am now late for...
Pikka Bird

Space Pope
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« Reply #15 on: 04-20-2005 10:00 »
« Last Edit on: 04-20-2005 10:00 »

I can't figure out which way you'd face when you'd emerge from the box. Keep with me here: If you put your foot into the box, then you'd also do it on the theoretical other side of the box. This would mean that they'd have to push against each other if GFF's point has some validity said, BUT if you imagine that the "portal planes" might flip the orientation of the world... I confused myself... but any given point on the portal plane would of course correspond to the same point on the theoretical other side, so if you are a slim person, you might enter the box at any way you'd like, but you'd be blocked by yourself The weird thing is that the theoretical inside (and also the "other" you) would actually be mirrored, although it'd have to be exactly alike at the same time. That's pretty far out.

Did that make sense?

 
Quote
Originally posted by JBERGES:
This leads us to our main question.  If the red arrow is the true path, then jumping into the box that contains your own universe will lead to a messy situation.  You will be ejected into the part of you that has not entered the box yet.

Yeah, this is what I was going at before, and it's prette puke-a-tronic. But according to my above ramblings, you'd actually be blocking yourself if there was no time gap.
If there was a time delay,... that's where the sticky fin begins, because then you could actually appear inside yourself if you weren't finished getting your self into the box. See, you'd already have your, say, head through, but you're a slowpoke, so if we imagine there is a three second delay and you still haden't been able to get the rest of you through, you'd have to emerge with the parts of you that had made it through. And the only place to emerge would be inside your own slow-arsed body.
The only problem is the "feet-in-first/head-out-first" dealie. I cannot figure that out. The only explanation is that the time delay would not count down before you had your entire body through on one side, and then you'd have to be transported somewhere, so you could use the time delay to rearrange your position to emerge head first...
futz
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #16 on: 04-20-2005 10:40 »

Not sure that when you change the shape of the box by sitting on it if it would be noticed inside the box. The dimesions (how ever many it contains, you've only altered two or three) in the box may respond relatively.
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #17 on: 04-20-2005 11:31 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by futz:
Not sure that when you change the shape of the box by sitting on it if it would be noticed inside the box. The dimesions (how ever many it contains, you've only altered two or three) in the box may respond relatively.

It wouldn't be noticed.  Their sensory organs and brains (and therefore their perception of the universe) would be just as squished as the universe, so it would look normal to them.
Pikka Bird

Space Pope
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« Reply #18 on: 04-20-2005 11:45 »

...and the electric impulses in their brains would be squished as well, so they'd fit to said sensory organs. That's how electricity works.
Just like a crushed Gameboy. The reason they don't work is that they don't have batteries that have been crushed in the exact same way.
Kif

Bending Unit
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« Reply #19 on: 04-20-2005 15:15 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Zoidberg227:
I've asked that question before, I think on the Adult Swim message boards.  I think I was told to not worry about it, and it was pathetic for me to waste my time thinking about it. 

Hey, I have no life to waste, so it really doesn't bother me!  big grin

But, wow! You guys do go into some detail! Pretty impressive stuff! Thanks!
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #20 on: 04-21-2005 03:04 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Pikka Bird:
...and the electric impulses in their brains would be squished as well, so they'd fit to said sensory organs. That's how electricity works.
Just like a crushed Gameboy. The reason they don't work is that they don't have batteries that have been crushed in the exact same way.

Are you agreeing with me, or being sarcastic?  I can never tell with you.
Pikka Bird

Space Pope
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« Reply #21 on: 04-21-2005 07:37 »

Of course I'm agreeing... Squishing the entire universe will undoubtedly squish all that it contains. It's just like parenting 3d objects in Maya...
Zoidberg227

Space Pope
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« Reply #22 on: 04-21-2005 18:00 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Pikka Bird:
The only problem is the "feet-in-first/head-out-first" dealie. I cannot figure that out. The only explanation is that the time delay would not count down before you had your entire body through on one side, and then you'd have to be transported somewhere, so you could use the time delay to rearrange your position to emerge head first...

I thought about that ... I think.  'Bergy suggested the idea, and a thought struck.  Herein lies yet another messy outcome, in which the portal ejects the subject in reverse direction automatically (regardless of whether the plane exists between two universes or the same universe).  I see one of three things happening here, depending on the circumstances:
1. Passage is instantaneous.  You effectively step or jump on your own head, which could be painful, injurious, or fatal.
2. Passage is also instantaneous, but the portal attempts to pass your head through as your feet pass through.  You are either cloned by time-space, or ripped to shreds.  Probably the latter.
3. Passage takes a second or two, in which the traveller merely gets a little dizzy. 

The latter of the three seems the most probable, given nothing injurious occured to the PE crew in the episode (although the box inversion could in fact cause changes in the laws under which the portals behave).

This, of course, brings up another line of discussion regarding the theory that as a subject approaches the speed of light, time slows down.  Perhaps speeds inside the portal approach, or even exceed the speed of light.  While the trip would seem instantaneous to an outside observer, to the traveler it would approach, and possibly exceed an eternity.  Unless, of course, I have it all wrong, which I probably do.

Back to passage, assuming you come out the same way you went in (i.e. feet first in --> feet first out), you would either stand on your own feet, or be looped through, much to the same effect as being run over by a steamroller.

I suggest we test out our theories in principal.  First, we must create an alternate universe, and invert the boxes with our alternate selves.  I then propose we drop various objects into the box, starting with various geometrical shapes, such as tennis balls, traffic cones, and rigid tubing.  With such hollow things, we could easily gauge what happens to them.  We should then proceed to investigate the effects on living creatures, starting with hamsters, then gerbils, and then puppies and kittens.*  Assuming no ill effects, we could then proceed to insert expendable individuals such as codefish and Nerd-o, and have them record the experience.

Note to PETA: I love puppies and kittens.  They taste just like chicken!
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #23 on: 04-22-2005 08:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Zoidberg227:
This, of course, brings up another line of discussion regarding the theory that as a subject approaches the speed of light, time slows down.

I wouldn't exactly call it a theory, seeing as experiments have been done which prove that it does happen.  You don't even need to be travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light for the effect to be measurable.
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #24 on: 04-22-2005 11:46 »

The zone between universes (if any) may not operate under the same rules as the within the universes. There's no guarantee that the two unverses would be in sync in time either since without a universe time may operate differently or not exist. You may pop in where you popped out or pop in before the solar system was created. And given the Red Shift, galactic motion, planetary system motion, orbiting, spinning, and wobble, time travel within a single universe would be very complicated itself. Something always overlooked in sci-fi time travel. You may rematerialize in a different time where you started physically but everything has moved billions of miles.
Nerd-o-rama

Urban Legend
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« Reply #25 on: 04-22-2005 13:51 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by David A:
 I wouldn't exactly call it a theory, seeing as experiments have been done which prove that it does happen.  You don't even need to be travelling at a significant fraction of the speed of light for the effect to be measurable.
Well, that still technically doesn't make it any more than a Theory.  Otherwise it wouldn't be called "the Theory of Relativity."  For it to be a Law, as I recall, you need mathematical proof, which is thus far unavailable.  Experimental evidence, even uncontradicted (and I believe Relativity actually has been contradicted under certain conditions) is not proof enough to upgrade something from theory to law.

[/pedantry]
Kif

Bending Unit
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« Reply #26 on: 04-22-2005 15:09 »

Since I'm asking questions, I may as well continue. Some more stuff is bothering me!

1) Cubert is a clone of the professor, right? Then how come in Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles, Hubert Farnsworth looks nothing like Cubert when his age is reduced?
2) In The Why Of Fry, can someone explain the ending? Fry pushes himself back into the future, but where does the future fry vanish to? Back in the Brain's dome, but in the regular universe?

Oh, it's all so confusing for someone with not much brain activity like me.
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #27 on: 04-22-2005 16:17 »
« Last Edit on: 04-22-2005 16:17 »

1) Cubert was mushed in the test tube after being cloned. At least that's was the explination for his nose.

2) It's debatable if time has only one path. An example of a multipath future would be similar to Farnworth's paraboxes, where the different universes are swapped with multiple time paths, all co-existing.

Nerd-O-Rama: Einstein's General Theory Relativity has pretty much held up to actual measurements. The Speed of Light is well documented. It can be slowed when passing through various media like gases. It may vary over time though. GTR works well until you get down to the sub-atomic level of quarks and String Theory. There you bump into things like "spooky action at a distance" and multiple dimensions. Buy the way it's String Theory that is a mathmatical exercise that may be impossible to prove by measurement of actual events. GTR is a series of mathematical proofs confirmed by measurement of events (the real proof).
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #28 on: 04-23-2005 19:42 »
« Last Edit on: 04-23-2005 19:42 »

     
Quote
Originally posted by Zoidberg227:1. Passage is instantaneous.  You effectively step or jump on your own head, which could be painful, injurious, or fatal.
2. Passage is also instantaneous, but the portal attempts to pass your head through as your feet pass through.  You are either cloned by time-space, or ripped to shreds.  Probably the latter.
3. Passage takes a second or two, in which the traveller merely gets a little dizzy. 

The latter of the three seems the most probable, given nothing injurious occured to the PE crew in the episode (although the box inversion could in fact cause changes in the laws under which the portals behave).

This, of course, brings up another line of discussion regarding the theory that as a subject approaches the speed of light, time slows down.  Perhaps speeds inside the portal approach, or even exceed the speed of light.  While the trip would seem instantaneous to an outside observer, to the traveler it would approach, and possibly exceed an eternity.  Unless, of course, I have it all wrong, which I probably do.

The speed of light can't be exceeded while travelling through space. However since you're travelling between universes you're outside of space and time (since space/time is a product of the universe you're in) and so there's no limit to the speed that you could travel in that instance! But to answer the last point the passage of time as perceived by the traveller would be absolutely no time at all because time stops as you reach the speed of light.

     
Quote
Originally posted by David A:
 It wouldn't be noticed.  Their sensory organs and brains (and therefore their perception of the universe) would be just as squished as the universe, so it would look normal to them.

Erm, thats rather illogical. The squishyness of the sensory organs wouldn't make any difference to the spatial perception of what they see. Squishing a brain wouldn't make it see the world as squished, although it might give it a severe headache!
Zoidberg227

Space Pope
****
« Reply #29 on: 04-24-2005 00:34 »

Actually, brains can't sense pain, only perceive pain signals sent from periferal nerves and manifest them as pain.  Now, the headache might come from one's skull being ripped to shreds by the extreme forces.  And that might cause some interesting perceptions of the universe in the microseconds before death.  I don't know, though, and I'm not willing to experiment on it myself. 

Actually, though, what I think David meant is as the entire universe is "squished" in more of a metaphysical sense rather than a literal sense, all the contents thereof are metaphysically squished, and effectively reproportioned in the squished nature, with no damage caused.  Thus, the eyes are equally squished, resulting in no net change.  The best analogy I can think of is all movement is relative.  If you stand by a busy street, the cars appear to be moving at a relatively high speed, given your velocity is zero.  However, if you are in another car travelling at the exact same speed, it appears the other cars are motionless, when in fact they are not.  Does that make more sense, or does it muddy it even further?  Am I thinking into this too much?  Am I too much of a nerd?

By the way, I thought I might have been backwards on the speed of light thing.  Thank you for pwning me.
David A

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #30 on: 04-24-2005 02:58 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Zoidberg227:
Actually, though, what I think David meant is as the entire universe is "squished" in more of a metaphysical sense rather than a literal sense, all the contents thereof are metaphysically squished, and effectively reproportioned in the squished nature, with no damage caused.

Exactly.  The entire universe has been squished, right down to the sub-atomic level.  In fact, it's not just the matter in the universe that's been squished, the space containing the matter has been squished as well.  This would be impossible for anyone inside the universe to notice or measure.  The box, and the universe that it contains, would only be squished relative to observers outside the box.

Also, I stand by what I posted before.  Relativity may be a theory, but time dilation is an observable fact, whether or not the theory that explains it happens to be true.

Speak softly. Drive a Sherman tank.
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #31 on: 04-24-2005 09:37 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Zoidberg227:
Actually, brains can't sense pain, only perceive pain signals sent from periferal nerves and manifest them as pain.  Now, the headache might come from one's skull being ripped to shreds by the extreme forces.  And that might cause some interesting perceptions of the universe in the microseconds before death.  I don't know, though, and I'm not willing to experiment on it myself. 

Actually, though, what I think David meant is as the entire universe is "squished" in more of a metaphysical sense rather than a literal sense, all the contents thereof are metaphysically squished, and effectively reproportioned in the squished nature, with no damage caused.  Thus, the eyes are equally squished, resulting in no net change.  The best analogy I can think of is all movement is relative.  If you stand by a busy street, the cars appear to be moving at a relatively high speed, given your velocity is zero.  However, if you are in another car travelling at the exact same speed, it appears the other cars are motionless, when in fact they are not.  Does that make more sense, or does it muddy it even further?  Am I thinking into this too much?  Am I too much of a nerd?

By the way, I thought I might have been backwards on the speed of light thing.  Thank you for pwning me.

No problem! Actually it is possible to feel pain inside the brain from the blood vessals, but thats not quite the same thing. I was thinking of the entire head rather than just the brain I guess I should have made it clearer. My bad.

Actually, with the car analogy, its not fair to say to say the car is moving once you're inside it and like you say the other cars appear stationery but they're not, because relative to you, they are stationary. Thats what Einstein meant when he coined the term "Relativity", no-one has a priveliged point of view. Its just as correct to say that the cars are stationary and the world is moving past at speed as it is to stand on the sidewalk and say that the cars are moving.

 
Quote
Originally posted by David A:
 Exactly.  The entire universe has been squished, right down to the sub-atomic level.  In fact, it's not just the matter in the universe that's been squished, the space containing the matter has been squished as well.  This would be impossible for anyone inside the universe to notice or measure.  The box, and the universe that it contains, would only be squished relative to observers outside the box.

Also, I stand by what I posted before.  Relativity may be a theory, but time dilation is an observable fact, whether or not the theory that explains it happens to be true.


Fair enough!

Yes, time dilation is an observed fact. Sub atomic particles that have a very short life before decaying radioactively can have their lives prolonged almost indefinately by speeding them up to within 99% of the speed of light in a particle accelerator.

futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #32 on: 04-24-2005 12:47 »

Sort of like I was wondering. If you could hitch a ride on a photon you'd only be aware of something happening when it was slowed down for some reason. Life or awareness would be a collection of bits of a wild ride only of the times when the photon is slowed down. A series of flashes light years apart.
Weeee!
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #33 on: 04-24-2005 14:06 »

Except that a photon can't travel at anything other than the speed of light.  smile
Krokei

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #34 on: 04-24-2005 14:55 »

unless you fitted it with brakes
futz
Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #35 on: 04-24-2005 15:35 »

Mmmm... the speed a light beam can change with certain mediums. So you're saying that there can be more than one speed of light existing at the same time?
Kif

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #36 on: 04-24-2005 16:02 »

You lot are scaring me! Your knowledge of quantum physics and space/time continuums is all too much!

But at least I've found a use for quantum physics! Working out Futurama mysteries! It all comes good in the end.
Hedonism Bot

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #37 on: 04-24-2005 16:33 »

Terry Pratchett also uses "it's probably quantum" as a kind of safety net. He can't use wizards, as they wouldn't explain anything, just bicker at cross-purposes until dinner time.

If everything is relative, why did Bender shaking the box make a difference?
Chug a Bug

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #38 on: 04-24-2005 17:04 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by futz:
Mmmm... the speed a light beam can change with certain mediums. So you're saying that there can be more than one speed of light existing at the same time?

The speed of light changes for different mediums, yes. But that doesn't affect the passage of time as perceived by the rider on a photon, i.e. there isn't any.
Zoidberg227

Space Pope
****
« Reply #39 on: 04-24-2005 19:48 »

Probably a better way to describe my car analogy is that on the sidewalk, you are an outside observer, and can perceive the motion.  Inside the car, you can't oerceive the motion of the other cars, assuming constant speed and direction.  The cars in this sense are the universe, and the person on the sidewalk is the outside observer.  And yes, Chug is right -- the outside observer appears to be the one moving.  In the same sense, if the person inside the squished universe could see the outside observer, it would appear to the person inside the universe that the observer is the one being distorted.  Am I making more or less sense now?  And are we even still on topic?
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