Light speed apparently does not look like George Lucas would have had us believe when Han Solo took the Millennium Falcon to light speed. He wasn’t trying to deceive us intentionally, it is just that until now no human had ever seen light speed and lived to tell the tale. They still haven’t managed to send an actual human at light speed, but using math and known laws of the universe they have been able to describe what the human eye would see if approaching the speed of light. For me this paper is just another affirmation of my belief that ‘science fiction’ is only the next technological step forward away from becoming actual science.
Now I don’t pretend to understand science, or math, or the universe – so I won’t attempt to translate what the exact findings were. I will just copy the Abstract from the paper:
The famous 1970s motion picture Star Wars depicts the stars as stretched beams of light passing the view of the Millennium Falcon as it nears the speed of light. Investigations are undertaken into what an interstellar traveller would observe during their journey due to relativistic optics. It is concluded that the traveller would observe a central disc of aberrated radiation, whereby the frequencies are all blue-shifted; the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation peaks in intensity at λ∼530nm, and visible light from stars peaks in the X-ray range (0.20 – 0.35nm).
Argyle, J., Dexter, K. & Scoular, C. (2012) Journal of Physics Special Topics: P1_3 Relativistic Optics. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH.
The first thing I thought of when I saw this was not disappointment that light speed wouldn’t look as awesome as Star War’s did, but rather the implications for a scientific marriage with spirituality when it comes to ‘near death’ experiences.
Stay with me on this one…
From what I have seen and heard about many people who have near death experiences they almost always talk about a bright “white or blueish” light that they are drawn to. I am guessing, it would appear like a tunnel or a disc; or that is how we would most likely describe what this paper says approaching light speed would look like. Could this be an implication that maybe, we actually have an energy source (soul) that leaves our bodies at light speed and for a brief moment our brains are still active enough to actually see it? That if Doctors or miracles bring us back from the brink of death, that we are actually describing something that actually happened that can be scientifically validated?
It is a fascinating possibility.