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From: "James Wynn" 
Subject: RE: (urth) FTL Travel
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 18:14:54 -0600

Don asked:
Please explain.  Is this the usual SF take on FTL or is there a physics
explanation that makes backward time travel the most likely?  I'm pretty
ignorant on this.

Crush does his best to help:
As one moves faster and approaches the speed of light, time slows down,
exponentially, until time stops at the speed of light. I am informed by
Stephen Hawking (not personally) *that it takes* an infinite amount of time
and an infinite amount of energy to reach the speed of light.

Jerry Friedman asks facetiously:
"...that it *would* take..."?

Crush explains to Mr. Friedman:
Why no. Everyone knows that Hawkings has a FTL wheelchair. ;-)
Nit. nit. nit.

Crush goes on responding to Don's question:
It is simple mathematics that as one moves faster than the speed of light,
time moves in the opposite direction.

Jerry Friedman bristles at this bowdlerization of the theory of Relativity:
I wouldn't call it simple mathematics.

Crush responds to Jerry Friedman:
Neither would I, as my response to Hartshorn was intended to convey. But the
general concept of why a *possible* implication of FTL travel is that one
would move into his own past is one of the most straightforward concepts in
this realm. I believe Don's question was whether or not all this had the
scientific pedigree of dililthium crystals. I don't think my answer was
misleading given the context.

You have heroically attempted to clarify Hartshorn's beautiful explanation,
but I've got a dollar that says that a majority of the readers of this
list -- still - have no more than the vaguest understanding of what you are
describing or its implications (unless a majority of the people on this have
a B.A. in Physics).

Remember Kypris explaining possession to Silk?

-- Crush


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