Can we go faster than light after all?

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The arguments against faster than light travel are on shaky ground according to established physicist and YouTuber, Sabine Hossenfelder. Or put another way, we may someday be able to finally do it and Star Trek will become reality.

I think she makes a good argument. Check it out and see what you think.

Nerd level: FTL

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Crims

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I'm in the mood for physics. A2 level knowledge: Hard disagree, there's no proof of FTL. Her specialities are particularly fringe and seem to be counter wisdom. It has the reliance that the speed of light has no basis... and mass.
 
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I think her arguments are persuasive. She's not making absolute statements, but challenging current thinking.

Constantly attempting to falsify established theories with rational thinking and new facts, if possible, is the heart of good science. For example, general relativity is so strong, precisely because of the multiple attempts to falsify it which have all failed. However, scientists know for a fact that it's incomplete because it clashes with quantum physics and breaks down at the singularity of a black hole.

My own personal opinion is that the true theory of everything is vast and may not even be knowable. However, that doesn't mean that scientists shouldn't aim for it.
 

Crims

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Her arguments are detailed but circular in logic. Whenever she believes she's making a point, she moves on... like was that trying to be part of the proof?

I'm viewing it with open ears. There may, may be a particular frequency due to the higgs field narrowing the curvature of space, however the speed of light isn't actually the speed of light, it's the curvature of space. So black holes are literally the only things that have been shown to defy it. Higgs Field interactions would not affect the curvature of space unless you view it from a before the big bang perspective.

There is frequency probably in FTL, though it's likely very particularly Higgs Field influenced. This is theoretical though.
 

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I'm not sure if her reasoning is circular or not as I couldn't follow all of it, unfortunately, so perhaps it was. It's still good to debate this though as even out of flawed reasoning a deeper understanding can be achieved by scientists, as long as it was an honest effort and not some attempt to troll, which she obviously isn't.
 

Crims

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I'm not sure if her reasoning is circular or not as I couldn't follow all of it, unfortunately, so perhaps it was. It's still good to debate this though as even out of flawed reasoning a deeper understanding can be achieved by scientists, as long as it was an honest effort and not some attempt to troll, which she obviously isn't.
I'd highly recommend PBS Spacetime
 

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My personal opinion is that it probably is possible to break the light barrier, but we just don't have the knowledge yet. For example, the FTL warp drive is already an established concept based on sound science:


Building one is another matter of course, but at least it can be done in principle.

Yeah, I sub to PBS too.
 

Crims

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A good video about the constance of curvature of space.
 

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I remember viewing a video about this number some time ago. I'll watch this when I have a moment. :)
 

Crims

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Interesting. Findings that the a constant... is dipolar in nature. Ie the universe moves in the same way a jelly would, two poles.
Locally, it means that the direction of travel logarithmically, is resisted. That might actually mean FTL.

I mean... a is the measure of angular force. That means a force either outwardly or explosive.That might go into dark energy.
 
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Mars

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I think her arguments are persuasive. She's not making absolute statements, but challenging current thinking.

Constantly attempting to falsify established theories with rational thinking and new facts, if possible, is the heart of good science. For example, general relativity is so strong, precisely because of the multiple attempts to falsify it which have all failed. However, scientists know for a fact that it's incomplete because it clashes with quantum physics and breaks down at the singularity of a black hole.

My own personal opinion is that the true theory of everything is vast and may not even be knowable. However, that doesn't mean that scientists shouldn't aim for it.
I agree with that.
However, regarding FTL....let's just say we are traveling at a speed faster than light. When a particle travels at a speed faster than light, it would also move back in time.
Can you imagine the scenario: a spaceship bound from Earth to a distant star, sorry, planet, will arrive at their destination with a shipload full of....... babies?:oops:.
 

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Sabine addresses that time paradox, but be ready for your head to spin like mine did.
 

Mars

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Sabine addresses that time paradox, but be ready for your head to spin like mine did.
Ditto!
She touches on this paradox, but that's about it, just a touch, and a very light one at that.....and then she moves quickly on, like she has proven her point, which she has not.
Her arguments are detailed but circular in logic. Whenever she believes she's making a point, she moves on... like was that trying to be part of the proof?

I'm viewing it with open ears. There may, may be a particular frequency due to the higgs field narrowing the curvature of space, however the speed of light isn't actually the speed of light, it's the curvature of space. So black holes are literally the only things that have been shown to defy it. Higgs Field interactions would not affect the curvature of space unless you view it from a before the big bang perspective.

There is frequency probably in FTL, though it's likely very particularly Higgs Field influenced. This is theoretical though.
Yes, that is what I have found listening to her.
Whenever I think 'here, now she is going to explain it' she goes off on a tangent, trying to prove something else, before finishing off what she has started.
I am sure a physicist could easily counter her arguments; certainly much better then I can.
 

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Thing is Mars, she's an established physicist! She should therefore know what she's talking about.

I suspect that what's happening is that she's dumbing it down so much for the layman that she's compromising clarity and is likely aware of it. This could be why I found it so confusing to follow her explanations in this video. Others are normally much clearer.
 

Mars

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Thing is Mars, she's an established physicist! She should therefore know what she's talking about.

I suspect that what's happening is that she's dumbing it down so much for the layman that she's compromising clarity and is likely aware of it. This could be why I found it so confusing to follow her explanations in this video. Others are normally much clearer.
An established physicist she may be, and a science communicator. This however does not preclude the possibility that she may be wrong. Just because she is a scientist, her theories are not cast in stone and should not be taken as proven science. They are what they are: theories.
She also has a quirky sense of humour, which may not be to everyone's liking.

That is why my contention is, that it would take a professional physicist to counter her arguments regarding the possibility of FTL travel. We cannot do that with any degree of authority, we cannot throw equations back at her to counter her arguments. We do not have the required in-depth knowledge.

As Crims said, and I noted it as well, she hardly ever concludes any argument she puts forward, before leaving it hanging and moving on to the next one. I am not impressed by her throwing equations at us, and leaving it there. She knows damn well that most of her viewers do not take mathematical equations with their breakfast cereals.
 

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Awww damnit Mars, if I wasn't so busy today, I'd reply to you! I'm not necessarily disagreeing either, but I do have stuff to add, other angles.

Later, hopefully. :)
 

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I feel like I agree with most people in this topic, that she makes discussions towards the possibilities that we may go faster than light, but actually does not prove any of her discussions.

Personally I would not be surprised if one day human kind (assuming we are still around) manages to break our own limitation and go faster than the speed of light, however, I have a feeling that it will be more of a "loophole" than a speed increase.

But just like I doubt I'll be alive to see it, I also did not see it in her discussion on how it would be achieved.
 

Mars

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I feel like I agree with most people in this topic, that she makes discussions towards the possibilities that we may go faster than light, but actually does not prove any of her discussions.

Personally I would not be surprised if one day human kind (assuming we are still around) manages to break our own limitation and go faster than the speed of light, however, I have a feeling that it will be more of a "loophole" than a speed increase.

But just like I doubt I'll be alive to see it, I also did not see it in her discussion on how it would be achieved.
Yeah, I like the loophole idea....

The way I see it, Sabine belongs to that breed of communicators who, although being bona fide scientists, tend to come up with left field ideas, bamboozle with equations and childish animations, and then end up by saying to us 'there, now you know'. But actually?.....no, we don't know. We don't know because her discussions tend to leave loose ends dangling, and do not always stand up to scrutiny.

For me, it is always informing to read or listen to serious scientists discussing their subject, or bringing forth alternative ideas. Not being a scientist myself, I appreciate talks and demonstrations which simplify complex ideas.
At the same token, I also realise that certain ideas in science can only be simplified so far. Beyond a certain point, you would need to have some background in science, for any meaningful understanding.
However, one thing is to take a complex subject and simplify it, the other is to dumb it down: this is patronising and I do not like it.

....At the end of her presentations, she never forgets to plug some paid-for courses she would like us to subscribe to.
 

Retro

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An established physicist she may be, and a science communicator. This however does not preclude the possibility that she may be wrong. Just because she is a scientist, her theories are not cast in stone and should not be taken as proven science. They are what they are: theories.
She also has a quirky sense of humour, which may not be to everyone's liking.

That is why my contention is, that it would take a professional physicist to counter her arguments regarding the possibility of FTL travel. We cannot do that with any degree of authority, we cannot throw equations back at her to counter her arguments. We do not have the required in-depth knowledge.

As Crims said, and I noted it as well, she hardly ever concludes any argument she puts forward, before leaving it hanging and moving on to the next one. I am not impressed by her throwing equations at us, and leaving it there. She knows damn well that most of her viewers do not take mathematical equations with their breakfast cereals.

Firstly, her tagline is "science without the gobbledygook" which is why she doesn't go into the equations in depth, but does sometimes suggest the viewer look up more in-depth info to understand the subject better, including those equations. Her channel is about scientifc explanations at the concept level in short videos that most people can understand.

They are what they are: theories."

You misunderstand the word theory, but it's really important to use it correctly before we discuss this further. A theory is a hypothesis underpinned with a lot of facts verified by scientific experimentation and peer review. Einstein's Theory of General Relativity is perhaps the best known one. What you mean is hypothesis, or idea, which doesn't need any facts for it to exist and indeed, all theories start out as such until the experimental data verifies them, or they remain as such if the data disproves them. nvm, unfortunately, this misunderstanding is engrained in society which is why you had it wrong too, but it's important to use it correctly when discussing science. I did as well until I looked up the proper usage of theory some time ago.

That is why my contention is, that it would take a professional physicist to counter her arguments regarding the possibility of FTL travel.

That's probably true, or at least someone with more knowledge about this than we do. However, you can be confident that she's not BSing you due to her good reputation. It's also true that General Relativity doesn't actually preclude FTL travel. It's more like lightspeed is a barrier that must be crossed which we haven't figured out how to do yet, which she explained. I know this last fact from other sources too, so can confirm that she's correct here.

You should browse her list of videos and watch one or two more to get a better sense of what she's about. I've posted quite a few on NZ, or you can browse her channel for one you fancy watching. Please do use Brave to view them to get rid of the ads though.


btw, I really like her deadpan sense of humour.

I'd like to see what you and @Crims mean by her apparently circular arguments, but to be honest, it's too much effort to watch the video all over again and I doubt that they really are, so I'm gonna leave that as undetermined since she's not normally not one for circular reasoning.

....At the end of her presentations, she never forgets to plug some paid-for courses she would like us to subscribe to.
Nothing wrong with that. Most established channels plug some sponsor which funds them being able to make those videos and I would too if I had a YouTube channel. To her credit, she leaves it to the end, so that it doesn't interrupt the content. Most others stick it somewhere at the start or the middle so that it catches you out and have to tediously skip it. It's very respectful towards the viewer and she should be given credit for doing it this way.
 

Crims

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I'd like to see what you and @Crims mean by her apparently circular arguments, but to be honest, it's too much effort to watch the video all over again and I doubt that they really are, so I'm gonna leave that as undetermined since she's not normally not one for circular reasoning.
Nerd zone; a nerd haven ain't it?

Only joking.
 
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Retro

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Here's a couple of fascinating videos about the latest research into warp drives. While we still can't build one yet, warp drives are now firmly out of the realm of science fiction and into the realm of science fact! This is because building certain kinds* of warp drive don't require anything that violates or stretches our current understanding of physics, they're simply an immensely difficult engineering problem, one which we don't yet have the technology for.

*Did you know that different types of warp drive are possible, each with its own pros and cons? Find out all about them in these two videos.

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