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Old 05-14-2012, 06:46 PM #17
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

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Originally Posted by Sigurthr View Post
It's quite amazing how if you know the name of something, all the information you could ever want is just a few seconds away, but if you don't know what it is called and don't have access to a learning institution you are SOL.
Just FYI, I didn't know it was called "Superluminal Motion" until I'd found my link. Although I did recall some vague memory that the effect was able to be seen in Astronomy, and while I wasn't 100% sure, I was pretty certain that Quasars, radio galaxies, and supermassive black holes were the things powerful enough to make "Beams" that long. So I was able to plug a few good-guess keywords into Google to find the Wiki for the topic.

"Jet, faster than light, astronomy" was what brought it up for me.



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Old 07-28-2012, 06:40 PM #18
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

Let's 'slow' things down. Go to your backyard, grab your hose and attachment and set it to jet or stream. Now essentially think of the beam of water your laser. Slowed down. Now move your jet across the yard. That's exactly the same thing that happens. Light is not as instintanious as you think. Just really fast.
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:32 PM #19
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

The same thing is happening if you are pointing at a wall 50 feet away or pointing at Saturn.

The speed of light is the speed of light or it would not be called the speed of light.

Even if you could move your wrist faster than the speed of light all that would happen is the beam/dot would pulse.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:38 PM #20
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

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Originally Posted by Encap View Post
The same thing is happening if you are pointing at a wall 50 feet away or pointing at Saturn.

The speed of light is the speed of light or it would not be called the speed of light.

Even if you could move your wrist faster than the speed of light all that would happen is the beam/dot would pulse.
If you could move your wrist faster than the speed of light, just flicking it would compress the air around it to plasma, create secondary fusion events in the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen from the trace water vapor in the air, create lots of X and gamma rays, and it would be similar to the detonation of a nuclear device.

LOL.

Good thing for Kansas that young Superman was careful when spankin' it, thinking about Lana Lane as a boy...
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:03 AM #21
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

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Originally Posted by flare09 View Post
Let's 'slow' things down. Go to your backyard, grab your hose and attachment and set it to jet or stream. Now essentially think of the beam of water your laser. Slowed down. Now move your jet across the yard. That's exactly the same thing that happens. Light is not as instantaneous as you think. Just really fast.
This. Think of the light as packets and nothing strange happens. If you change direction of your wrist you aren't bending the existing beam, you have to send new photons again from the source and create a new beam. The dot would move faster than the speed of light in the sense that you could send a photon in the -x direction and the next photon in the +x direction, wait a year, and then say that your laser dot jumped two light years instantaneously!

I believe the astronomical superluminal motion results because there is luminous matter being ejected at near light speeds, so the jet is actually approaching you and continuing to emit at the same time, unlike the case of our laser pointer simply being twisted. Since new radiation is being emitted closer than the older radiation, it gets there faster and causes the illusion of superluminal travel.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:22 AM #22
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?

Sorry for ressing this thread, but I wanted to share a youtube channel that I think is great and everyone should check out.

He does a great job of explaining this here


video is broken for me, here is the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR4tJ...7&feature=plcp
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:17 PM #23
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Default Re: Laser pointer travelling faster than the speed of light?



to put a video in a post just have the video ID in the youtube tags, so (YT)lR4tJr7sMPM(/YT)

And I agree, it's explained well here.
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