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Begin the Adventure : How to Break the Light Barrier

By Florentin Smarandache

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Book Id: WPLBN0002097042
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.7 MB
Reproduction Date: 8/31/2011

Title: Begin the Adventure : How to Break the Light Barrier  
Author: Florentin Smarandache
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Mathematics, Smarandache Collections
Collections: Science, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Critical Thinking, Electromagnetism, Special Collection Mathematics, Mathematical Statistics, Logic, Probability Theory, Physics, Authors Community, Astronomy, Math, Recreation, Statistics, Literature, Most Popular Books in China, Favorites in India
Publication Date:
Publisher: Homer B. Tilton
Member Page: PG Reading Room


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Smarandache, B. F. (n.d.). Begin the Adventure : How to Break the Light Barrier. Retrieved from

For most of the 20th century, both relativity and star travel fascinated this writer. The reasons Albert Einstein concluded there is an absolute barrier at the speed of light seemed at first clear, then later not so clear upon closer examination. "The speed of light relative to what?" I often asked anyone who would listen. The common response was, "Light needs no specification of that kind; its speed is the same no matter who measures it." "That's true." I would respond; "That's just the second postulate of special relativity which is not in doubt; but that postulate applies to light, and we're talking about rocketships here." However it seemed that no one understood what I was saying. By referring to the universal constant c= 299.792 458 megameters per second as "the speed of light," we paint ourselves into a logical corner in which light is automatically taken as the subject of discussion even when it is not. The careful reader will know not to immediately think "light" when he hears or reads "the speed of light." But it is better to have a neutral name for that universal constant. It has been called the Lorentz speed; Ignazio Ciufolini & John Archibald Wheeler (1995) called it the characteristic speed of space, and they were then able to apply it to all "primordial forces" whether electromagnetic or gravitational or other (what other, C&W did not say).

One's reach should exceed one's grasp. Thus we reach for Alpha Centauri with a round-trip manned and womanned mission as the proposed overarching goal under a clear plan of exploration - a grand experiment described in later chapters. Whether or not we succeed in grasping the goal under this or under any plan is not as important as it is to set a definite plan and work towards its goal. The plan outlined here is in two phases: Phase one has a high probability of success, given the required propulsion system; the chances of phase two working will be indicated by results obtained from phase one. A fundamental problem is the one of propulsion. It is important to the working of this plan, a highly optimistic one, that the engine be capable of a sustained acceleration of ΒΌ G in phase one and 1G in phase two. (1G = 9.80665 m/s2) Such an engine is within the reach of present ideas.

Table of Contents
Prefaces. 6 -- Ch.1. Introduction . 11 -- Ch.2. The Human Barrier. 14 -- Ch.3. An Overview. 18 -- Ch.4. Acceleration Due to Light Pressure. 21 -- Ch.5. Light Sailing is Not All There Is. 27 -- Ch.6. Einstein's Light Barrier. 32 -- Ch.7. The Phase One Experiment: The First Starship. 37 -- Ch.8. The Phase Two Experiment: Alpha Centauri or Bust!. 45 -- Ch.9. Voyage to the Center of the Galaxy. 50 -- Ch.10. An Hypothesis: There is no Speed Barrier in the Universe. 52 --


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