What the… ?

A beam of light travels from Point A to Point B.

You, a scientist, measure its rate of progress on that journey and aren’t surprised to find that it agrees precisely with the universal standard, just as it did countless times before. But you verify it anyway because you’re diligent – and there’s always that slim but tantalising chance that you might find a cool anomaly.

And then it happens.

You glance up from your computer screen and your eyes come to rest on a poster of Einstein that one of your co-workers has crookedly taped to the wall above his workstation.

The moment passes and you look away, but something seems changed. It’s nothing you can define. Everything just ‘feels’ different. You smell your coffee to make sure the cream hasn’t gone bad. You’re slightly concerned, but decide to carry on because you’re diligent – and there’s always a chance that your boss might pop in… and you still owe him a report. Okay, so maybe you’re not that diligent, but at least you’re earnest.

So, you continue working on your report. It’s difficult to stay focused, but you doggedly persist. After 20 minutes, you stop short.

You check to make sure that no one’s around – and then you say out loud what you’ve been thinking for the past half hour:

“If time slows down as you approach c and theoretically stops there, then how do we account for light’s measured progress through our space/time-frame?”

© 2009
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2 Comments

Filed under Reason, Science

2 responses to “What the… ?

  1. I believe it would have something to do with the observer being in a position relative to light and not being light itself? Your thoughts?

    • imahd

      Cool, Brian. I like your thinking.
      If you could “ride a photon”, how fast would you be going?

      a) o cm per second
      b) ~30 billion cm per second
      c) infinite cm per second
      d) all of the above
      e) none of the above
      f) all of the above, again

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