What would it be like to travel faster than light?

A particle moving in a medium can exceed the speed of light because light travels more slowly in the medium than in a vacuum. In water, for example, the speed of light is only three-quarters of the speed of a vacuum.

However, the question probably refers to exceeding the vacuum speed of light. There is no observational data on this, so the answer must be considered on the basis of known theories.

Physicist Albert Einstein according to a narrow theory of relativity, a particle cannot be accelerated to the speed of light – it would require an infinite amount of energy. However, the theory does not deny that a piece could not move faster than light. The general theory of relativity allows for mathematical solutions in which space-time forms a kind of fold or bubble that moves the light of the observer inside it faster from space to place in space-time.

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The traveler inside the fold does not experience anything special or moves faster than light, but the space-time around him is shaped in a way that allows light to move from one place to another faster. The fold is like a moving train carriage where we drive a race car: the car moves at a speed higher than its own top speed relative to the track.

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Traveling faster than light could have special consequences, as it allows you to travel back in time. In that case, the order of cause and effect may change: As I began to write this answer, I received the finished text I sent myself as a pleated letter tomorrow. So I don’t have to write anything, it’s enough to send the text to myself tomorrow so that it arrives yesterday. But who strangely wrote the text or was it born from scratch?

As a defendant

Kimmo Tuominen,
physicist, University of Helsinki.

Published in Science Journal 7/2021

Source: Tiede by www.tiede.fi.

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