| | Re: Explanation of the fact that if you reached a certain speed you'd go back in time
It doesn't work that way. As you accelerate towards the speed of light (c) several things happen - time slows down, the apparent mass of the moving object increases, the object's dimensions change, and a bunch of other weird stuff.
All of these factors change by a set amount, called "gamma" (actually, the greek symbol for gamma), which is 1/(sqrt(1-(v^2/c^2)), where
-sqrt = square root
-v^2 = the objects speed squared
-c^2 = the speed of light squared
As you get closer and closer to the speed of light, the value of gamma increases exponentially. For example, at 99.999999995% the speed of light, gamma is 100,000. Meaning the mass of your spaceship (or whatever) will be 100,000 times heavier than at rest. Meaning you need 100,000 times more energy to maintain acceleration. At the speed of light, gamma becomes infinite, meaning you ship will have infinite mass, and require infinite energy to accelerate past c.
Since there isn't a infinite amount of energy available, you cannot exceed c.
Last edited by Warthaug; 10-20-2009 at 02:46 PM.
Reason: bad grammar