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Old July 1 2010, 05:54 PM   #26
Crazy Eddie
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Re: battles at warp speed

Brandonv wrote: View Post
The problem I have with that is this: Imagine that you have a radio transmitter at point A and a receiver one light-year distant at point B. Lets say that as soon as the transmitter emits a radio signal, a ship at point A goes to warp and travels toward point B. Since you say that even a ship at warp will observe light outside the warp bubble as traveling at C, this means that even if the ship is traveling, say, warp 9, the ship will not catch up with the radio signal. So how long does it then take the ship to travel from A to B?
The thing is, the ship is no longer in the same reference frame that it was when it made the transmission. So if you send the signal, wait a few minutes and then punch it into warp nine, you will indeed receive your own radio signal (in reverse, of course, and ridiculously blue-shifted) as you pass through it again.

The confusing part is what happens if you transmit WHILE at warp. YOU perceive the radio signal moving away from you at the speed of light. Your destination perceives it moving TOWARDS him at the speed of light. Under the conventional rules of special relativity--that is to say, mathematically-- BOTH of you would be correct; even more confusing is the fact that you would perceive your target recieving the signal just before you arrive and your target would perceive the signal arriving AFTER you arrive, and again--mathematically speaking--both of you would be correct.

The REALLY confusing part is that, five minutes later, when the transmitting ship drops out of warp just prior to arriving, he suddenly re-enters his target's reference frame and then gets to witness his radio signal reaching the target AGAIN, this time from the target's reference frame.

I'd have to break this down into stages for you to see it:
Stage 1
- Starship goes to warp at Point A, sends a signal towards Point B
Stage 2
- Ship's frame: Signal moves away from the ship at Lightspeed.
- Target frame: Signal moves towards B at Lightspeed.
Stage 3
- Ship's frame: Signal arrives at B.
- Target frame: Signal still moving towards B at lightspeed
Stage 4
- Ship's frame: Ship drops out of warp
- Target frame: Ship drops out of warp
Stage 5
- Ship's frame: Signal arrives at B
- Target frame: Signal arrives at B

Now wrap your brain around THIS: if the ship never drops out of warp, then it only perceives B recieving the signal once. That the ship's perception of reality and the target's perception of reality contradict each other doesn't matter at all, because both of them are still in different reference frames and are both mathematically correct with respect to the laws of physics vis a vis their own frames. It is only when the ship DROPS OUT OF WARP--or even when the target GOES to warp--that this condition changes and both enter each other's reference frames.

In a way, it's true that travel at warp is to travel through a slightly different universe. This is only because the presence of a warp field is fucking with the laws of physics around your ship so that those laws are different for you than they are for everyone else in the galaxy. That's why you can't change the gravitational constant of the universe, but you CAN change the gravitational constant of, say, a large asteroid you're trying to push out of your way.
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