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How To Communicate Faster-Than-Light

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the tiny-wormholes-of-course dept.

Communications 265

higuita writes "With faster technologies showing up everyday, people need to prepare in advance the problems of faster-than-light communication. The main problem is that packages will arrive to the destination before they are sent, forcing a huge redesign of most protocols. Read here the first draft RFC. Any network expert is free to help fine tune this draft."

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265 comments

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April fools again? (5, Funny)

donscarletti (569232) | about a year ago | (#43334497)

Is there some tradition in some parts of the world to make an ass of oneself on the second of April too?

Re:April fools again? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334517)

It's still 1/4 in the states.

Re:April fools again? (5, Insightful)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#43334569)

It's still 1/4 in the states.

Well, no. In the states it's 4/1.

All of Europe should be on 2/4 by now though.

Re:April fools again? (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43334869)

It's still 1/4 in the states.

Well, no. In the states it's 4/1.

All of Europe should be on 2/4 by now though.

See, if the US switched to metric, we wouldn't have these miscommunications...

Re:April fools again? (5, Funny)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43334897)

It's still 1/4 in the states.

Well, no. In the states it's 4/1.

All of Europe should be on 2/4 by now though.

See, if the US switched to metric, we wouldn't have these miscommunications...

I can believe FTL communication, even FTL travel, but the US moving to metric? April fools are meant to be believable.

Re:April fools again? (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year ago | (#43334967)

maybe europe should switch to imperial / US customary units? how come the world is always telling US to change?

Re:April fools again? (1, Insightful)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#43335007)

You know damn well that the answer has to do with basing everything around tens so you can *huh* do things in your head. Also memorizing 400 conversion factors...I need that brain power for other shit.

Re:April fools again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334969)

Posted by Unknown Lamer on Tuesday April 02, @10:03AM

Lame.

Re:April fools again? (1)

ap7 (963070) | about a year ago | (#43335099)

It looks like we already have FTL communications, much faster in fact. Anything sent on 4/1 in the US arrives in Europe on 2/4!

Re:April fools again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334519)

In some parts of the world it's still April 1st.

Re:April fools again? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334549)

In some parts of the world it's still April 1st.

like the entire USA. which basically is the world.

Re: April fools again? (5, Funny)

Nodsnarb (2851527) | about a year ago | (#43334605)

There's a world outside the United States? Do they have Baconaise too?

Re: April fools again? (2)

mellon (7048) | about a year ago | (#43334647)

You have no idea. They even have bacon flavored chocolate.

Re: April fools again? (4, Funny)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about a year ago | (#43334677)

And chocolate flavored pigs. Yes, the holy grail of genetics

Bacon flavored (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334879)

....mouthwash?

Re: April fools again? (1)

sl3xd (111641) | about a year ago | (#43335093)

Bacon flavored chocolate. Pfah.

I'll eat your bacon flavored chocolate, and raise you... um... http://baconlube.com/ [baconlube.com]

(And though it's still April 1st where I post, this is no joke...)

Also: It's April Fool's day for another 5.5 hours in American Samoa.

Re: April fools again? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year ago | (#43335133)

Who told you about baconnaise? That's supposed to be top secret.

Re:April fools again? (0, Flamebait)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#43334823)

In some parts of the world it's still April 1st.

At the time this story was posted, there was no place on earth were it was still April 1st, and also the morning of April 1st. Both are requirements for an April fool's prank to be considered as such.

Re:April fools again? (1)

blackholepcs (773728) | about a year ago | (#43334833)

Well, actually It is 11:15 pm, April 1st 2013 as I type this (Central Time Zone, USA.) So, you are incorrect.

Re:April fools again? (2, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#43335071)

Well, actually It is 11:15 pm, April 1st 2013 as I type this (Central Time Zone, USA.) So, you are incorrect.

Emphasis mine. Since both you and the person who modded me down don't seem to understand, I'll explain, and then repeat myself: am is before noon, pm is after noon.

April fool's pranks must be performed before noon on April 1st to be considered as such. It was not before noon on April 1 in any timezone when that story was posted.

So it is no longer an April fool's prank.

Re:April fools again? (2, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year ago | (#43335167)

Perhaps you play by this "has to happen before noon" rule, but this year is the first I have ever heard of that, in 30 years of living in this country and fucking with people's head on April 1st. I'd say this is a stupid and not widely-followed rule for this pseudo-holiday. I don't even go in to work until noon: How am I going to offend and torment my coworkers if I can't prank them during our normal office hours?

Failure. That's what your post and arrogant attitude reek of. Stay home and practice, and perhaps you can have something interesting to prank people with next year instead of crying over timing and being butthurt about AM vs PM(which nobody on Slashdot has trouble understanding, despite your condescending snarkyballs comment).

Re:April fools again? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | about a year ago | (#43334681)

No, but it is tradition that some doofus will point out that their particular location has moved on and it's an outrage to still see April fools content.

Unfortunately for you, this site doesn't operate on your time.

Re:April fools again? (4, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#43334765)

Note to the editors. The fun in april fool is to make ONE silly joke and try to pass it as genuine. Becoming the onion all day is not. Also, nice try with the ROT13 stuff, did not work very well.

Re:April fools again? (5, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43334777)

Quite frankly I'm surprised Slashdot is able to get April Fools articles out at all.

I come here every year expecting to hear about {insert Google joke of the year} on April 3rd after every other news outlet had published it, and then again a dupe on April 5th.

Re:April fools again? (2)

bidule (173941) | about a year ago | (#43334907)

Quite frankly I'm surprised Slashdot is able to get April Fools articles out at all.

They're a year late. Easier than you'd think.

Re:April fools again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335069)

No surprise here. It was written this coming Wednesday, but it came FTL.

Re:April fools again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335081)

If you're referring to yourself, then yes.

(Timezones are the shit.)

Re:April fools again? (1)

sl3xd (111641) | about a year ago | (#43335097)

Is there some part of the world so stupid they don't realize that it'll still be April 1st in American Samoa for another 5.5 hours (At time of posting)?

Just roll with it.

april fools sucks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334503)

SUCKS! seriously, these are all really lame

Wake me up, when September (April) ends.. (1)

SubGhandi (231617) | about a year ago | (#43334509)

A double dose of April Fools?
Please Shoot Me In The Face Now! Several Times.

Re:Wake me up, when September (April) ends.. (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year ago | (#43335181)

If I could figure out a way to reach through the internet and face-blast you, trust me, I would.

I would also then be the inventor of the most popular feature the world has ever seen: if there is someone out there who wouldn't like to reach through the tubes and punch someone, they're not using the internet.

Back to the Future ... or Past ... or Something (2)

resistant (221968) | about a year ago | (#43334511)

That's pretty cool. Of course, I knew about this post yesterday, before you'd even thought about writing it up on Slashdot. I'm not exactly how that worked, but thinking too hard on it makes my head hurt. I think I'll go lie down for a while and hope the future catches up with the past or something weird like that.

Might be fast but (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334523)

While you might contemplate that something can be sent with a nearly infinite speed, no speed will be so great that the time since transmission is a negative number.

Re:Might be fast but (4, Informative)

CrashPoint (564165) | about a year ago | (#43334561)

While you might contemplate that something can be sent with a nearly infinite speed, no speed will be so great that the time since transmission is a negative number.

It's perfectly obvious that this is true. However, it actually isn't true at all. [askamathematician.com]

Relativity is a mind fuck.

Re:Might be fast but (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43334695)

hey, Thanks! That's a really great link, and I like the illustrations about the "relative now" diagonal lines for each frame of reference.

Re:Might be fast but (3, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#43334705)

Relativity is a mind fuck.

I think ...

you're holding it wrong.

Re:Might be fast but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334729)

No you got it wrong, relativity is just a sales gimic talk for a version of a programming language called "mind fuck" ?

This reminds me of a limick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334741)

This reminds me of a limick about faster than light travel...

There once was a man named Dwight,
who could travel faster than light.
He left one day...
In a very relative way...
and he came back the preceding night!

Re:Might be fast but (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43334749)

Okay, smarty. One quantum particle occupies 2 places in space at the same time (aka quantum entangled). You move them a lightyear apart then spin one. What happens to the "other" particle and when?
There is no causality when it's actually the same particle. The cause and effect are both that it is the same particle.

Re:Might be fast but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334821)

Okay, dummy. Read up about superluminal lorentz transformation, and we shall talk again.

Re:Might be fast but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334841)

Wake me up when this shit can be measured. Until then you are all talking out your collective asses.

Re:Might be fast but (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | about a year ago | (#43334903)

Even if quantum entanglement worked that way (it doesn't; that's just the most palatable way to present a concept that's too weird to understand without years of intense study), that doesn't change the facts. Relativity still means FTL communications would violate causality if they were possible.

Re:Might be fast but (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about a year ago | (#43334849)

From your link

Getting a message after it was sent is no biggie. I mean; write yourself a letter if you want to see that in action. But getting a message before it was sent causes issues (see for example; practically every sci-fi franchise). What those issues are exactly depends on how time travel works (e.g., "Timecop" or "Back to the Future" rules?), and thatâ(TM)s wide open to debate.

Flash forward 250 years to a physics class.

"So as we've learned in 2100 scientists discovered it was possible to communicated instantaneously"

"But Miss, doesn't that mean causality violations?"

"No of course not, as I mentioned we now know the multiverse works according to the 'Sliders' rules "

Re:Might be fast but (2)

bidule (173941) | about a year ago | (#43334993)

It's perfectly obvious that this is true. However, it actually isn't true at all. [askamathematician.com]

Relativity is a mind fuck.

Maybe I'm punting the brain fuck, but this makes time a weakly-ordered sequence. For instance, a 100ms ping means that "now" lasts 100ms. If I get an answer after 50ms, we say that it has travelled back in time.

Or maybe it's the theory of relativity that says that, in the same way that a binomial equation might have a negative impossible solution. Now is that theory valid outside its scope? Was Newton's?

If we manage to get 10c FTL, then our definition of "now" will become 10x shorter and nothing more will come off it. If we manage to get -1c FTL, our definition of "now" becomes a recursive "always" and we'll get some Steins;Gate snafu.

tl;dr

Instantaneous communication can means different things because "now" has a duration. For your martian pal, "now" means 10 minutes ago, but "now" also means 10 minutes in the future. You can play games with those extremes.

Re:Might be fast but (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about a year ago | (#43335191)

I can explain dimensions 4 through 10(or even 11...maybe) to people, but I can't understand those diagrams. Didn't anyone ever teach that scientist to label his axes? Jeez.

Great RFC! LMAO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334535)

and I've read a few of them...

I feel stupid (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | about a year ago | (#43334537)

But I read this article first on Slashdot today and I thought that this might actually be somewhat based on real theory, until I read the article.

Maybe I'm too much into Star Trek, but I have to think there's a way to cheat(or at least bend) the speed-of-light limitations. I was interested in how they would deal with potential clock issues.. but bah.. April 1 got me. :(

Re:I feel stupid (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43334617)

Unless the last 200 years of science were all some incredible mistake, we will never find a way to violate the speed of light.

Re:I feel stupid (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43334675)

In a word... Tachyons! We will learn to communicate through tachyons and will know about the end of the world just in time to kiss our collective asses goodbye! And a tip of the hat to you Dr. Manhattan!

Re:I feel stupid (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | about a year ago | (#43334707)

In a word... Tachyons!

You mean those hypothetical particles that modern physics generally does not support as actually existing?

Charliemopps was talking science. If you're going to go science fiction, might as well invoke something like Andromeda's Slipstream.

Why (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334555)

OK, I know it's April fools, but why would a packet traveling faster than the speed of light necessarily arrive before it is sent? Do bullets shot faster than the speed of sound arrive before the gun makes a sound? No, it just arrives before the sound does.

Re:Why (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year ago | (#43334655)

This is (almost certainly) probably wrong, but...

As I understood it, a message travelling at FTL will experience exotic negative time, since it is travelling faster than light. (At exactly c, it experiences 0 time) the sender and reciever do not experience this exotic time. However, the message itself acheives its apparent FTL by going backward in time as measured by the conversationalists respectively.

Combining normal time reference frames with imaginary negative time reference frames results in strange voodoo though. I would conjecture that because we don't see oddball neutrinos with antimass traveling at ftl velocities in particle collisions, that this kind of communication is not really possible. The closest thing the time reversed data transmission I can think of is the "charlie sends photons to alice and bob, they later compre notes" experiment:

http://www.gizmag.com/quantum-entanglement-speed-10000-faster-light/26587/ [gizmag.com]

And the "charlie predicts if alice and bob entangled their photons" experiment:

http://www.livescience.com/19975-spooky-quantum-entanglement.html [livescience.com]

I am not sufficiently educated to sanely discuss these findings, but others here are.

Re:Why (1)

higuita (129722) | about a year ago | (#43334667)

Do bullets shot faster than the speed of sound arrive before the gun makes a sound?
are you serious?!

super-sonic bullets do arrive first, then the sound...that is why they are super-sonic
Higher-than-light speeds are needed to to back in time, as Einstein proved (mathematically) ... but he also proved that you would need a infinity amount of energy to just reach the light speed and that impossible in the reality to go beyond that

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334721)

Did you actually read the comment? The bullet arrives before the sound arrives at the destination, but it does not arrive before the sound was actually generated.

Re:Why (1)

frozentier (1542099) | about a year ago | (#43334743)

but he also proved that you would need a infinity amount of energy to just reach the light speed and that impossible in the reality to go beyond that

But photons don't have infinite amounts of energy.

Re:Why (1, Informative)

C18H27NO3 (1282172) | about a year ago | (#43334819)

Photons also don't have rest mass so infinite energy isn't required.

Re:Why (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334691)

It wouldn't. It would only appear to the observer on the receiving end to arrive before it was sent. If you don't know about the difference between the speed of sound and the speed of light, never noticed that phenomenon, and someone stands on the far side of an open field from you, and shouts something, you hear it when you hear it. If you are a simple person (by which I don't mean stupid, just not sophisticated, or hip to the jive of the light/sound speed dif,) you might well assume that the moment you heard it was the moment he called it out to you, which is a common occurrence over SHORT distances.

Then he takes a pair or empty, metal fuel cans, and bashes them together over his head, and chucks them to the ground. The moment the cans banged together, you hear only silence, or perhaps the chirping of nearby small birds. It's eerie. It sure looked like he banged the hell out of those cans. A couple seconds drag by then you hear CLANG!!! How'd THAT happen? He seems to have banged them together BEFORE he banged them together. (If you assume the auditory report of the collision is the MOMENT at which it happened.)

In fact, the banging together of the cans occurred NOT ONLY before you HEARD it, it happened before you SAW it.

If the sun winked out into darkness, (but retained its mass) we would not know it for about 8 minutes, because that's how far away the sun is. At the colossal speed of LIGHT, that gulf of space is crossed by light in about that time. To us on Earth, we see the sun shining at noon, noon plus 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3... 7 minutes, then right about at 8, WHOOSH, the sun goes out. Humanity instantly panics of course, but we don't care about the little peon ants that shoot guns at the demon eating the sun, to drive it away as they do whenever there's a lunar eclipse...

But the sun vanishes despite their heroic efforts. We know from our understanding of astrophysics that the sun actually vanished 8 minutes or thereabouts BEFORE we observed it vanishing, which is of course strange and counter-to-reason, but it's what we now understand as a rule of the universe. Some physicists/astronomers/etc. might insist that since we can't get anywhere faster than light, for all intents it IS now when the light from an event arrives, but that's as silly as imagining a letter sent last week was actually sent this morning because you GOT it your mailbox THIS morning. Any argument to the contrary not based on an EXPERIMENT, is sophistic and specious, especially when you consider a message between sender and its intended recipient who are traveling (if at all) in the same direction, with the same speed, acceleration, etc., in other words, have the same relativistic frame of reference.

If I'm on a planet that is moving just as Earth does, and neither toward nor away from it, 1 light year distant, if you sent a radio signal January 1st, 2013, I would receive it on January 1st, 2014. If I had no idea how far away you were, or thought you were just over the horizon, I might think you sent it January 1st, 2014, but you sent it a year earlier. The day I receive the message, it is on YOUR planet, 2014. If I immediately reply, you will receive the response January 1st, 2015.

The only known exception to this phenomenon is if you have a spaceship that is propelled, as it were, by an Infinite Improbability Drive, in which case you can not only be at any arbitrary point in the universe at any time you so choose, (provided you know EXACTLY how improbable your ship being at that location IS, and have a fresh, really HOT cup of tea...) but in fact you can end up in any TIME if you're not careful. You could, for instance, narrowly escape death by jumping a vast gulf of TIME rather than space, and end up at Milliways.

If you do, you must try the quadruped; he insists that he's tender, juicy and delicious!

Of course, the story we're discussing is an April Moron's joke, (I hold that the teller of such tales is the fool, but what do I know?) Still, it's still an interesting topic, so I have chimed in.

Re:Why (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about a year ago | (#43334845)

Very nice reply. I wish I had mod points for you.

I've seen so many B movie plots because people don't understand this simple principle. FTL is exactly like light moving faster than sound. It doesn't matter what reference frame you're in, or the speed of time in your reference frame.

Re:Why (1)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year ago | (#43334767)

"OK, I know it's April fools, but why would a packet traveling faster than the speed of light necessarily arrive before it is sent?"

Most likely because they set the TTL to be a negative number.

Re:Why (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43334769)

It's simple (not really, lol). It's not a true "before." This was thoroughly explained years ago in a slashdot story about the quantum funhouse mirror effect. They slowed down light to almost a dead stop and sent it down a path. They noticed that under some circumstances, the light appears to be coming back from the end towards the source at the same time that it was being sent. But, since it was traveling away from the ending, it could never be "received" because receiving it would instantly stop it from being transmitted by simultaneously blocking the source. However, they did determine that the data existed at the target instantly before the photon got there. It's at the same time the photon was generated but before it was received. So that's what they mean by "before." It's not really "before," it's actually an absolute "now," but it appears to be "before" because of the transmission time.

If your mind isn't blown enough, they could read certain data about the pretend photons at the target location using quantum...I dunno, magic or something, but hadn't developed a method to basically turn it into 0's and 1's. They did partially prove it was possible though.

Re:Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334961)

I'm going to skim over the irrelevant stuff about the speed of sound: the bullet arrives before the sound does, but not before the sound is made; you have to shoot the bullet faster than light to do that.

  It's all to do with relativity and time dilation effects. All movement causes your local notion of spacetime to bend; it's not noticeable however, unless you get up to a decent fraction of c. This bend causes time dilation, which means that time will pass more slowly for you than for someone travelling at a lower speed. (This is not only proven, it's used everyday in the GPS system) The faster you go, the greater the effect. If you could manage, by some miraulous event, to attain 1.0c, time will stop for you, your field of spacetime will have flattened into a two dimensional plane, and if you can figure out how to stop when you have no time in which to hit the brakes, you may find that many millenia have passed in less than the blink of an eye for you.

  This is all just fine and dandy from the universe's perspective. It doesn't start to get really weird until you try to go faster than light. At this point the rate at which time passes for you would drop below zero and go backwards, only to straighten out as you decelerated. What this would mean is the sort of thing I wouldn't try to think about without a good bong-load first. Whatever it's like on board, this bending of spacetime frames seriously snarls up the order of events in the universe. Below the speed of light, two people in different reference frames might disagree about the order in which two unrelated events happened, but they'll both agree that the causes preceded their effects; add FTL into the mix, and that's out the window.
  Add in the fact that there is no universal time reference to keep things straight, and your time's all out of whack.

  Now here's the gist of it, and most SF tries to handwave this away to keep Pandora's Box of Plot Problems closed: If you leave point A and then arrive at point B faster than the light you gave off at A, you will arrive before you left according to some frames of reference. (This hangs up a lot of people into thinking it's just a "trick," as if it were some kind of illusion, but wait!) Now, if you turn around, and go back to point A in the same FTL manner, you will arrive before you left according to all reference frames everywhere, including your own. You'd be able to wave goodbye to yourself as you left. What would happen if you told yourself not to go, and succeeded? It makes my head hurt.

Here's a nice webpage with pretty graphs showing how all this stuff works. [theculture.org]

already covered (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334559)

Stephen Baxter-Exultant

Use FTL to request the RFC... (4, Funny)

tokencode (1952944) | about a year ago | (#43334567)

I think we should just use FTL to request the RFC in its future state.

I know that you're trying to be cute (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334635)

But that's not actually how it would work.

Re:I know that you're trying to be cute (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43334983)

But that's not actually how it would work.

Yeah, I don't get the part about it arriving before its sent. After all, we've been able to send things faster than light today [wikipedia.org] .

And really, faster than light doesn't mean violating causality. E.g., if we have something separated one light-second apart, if we send it at twice light speed, it arrives in half a second instead of a second. The fastest we'll get is instantaneous transmission where the packet arrives the moment it's sent...

Re:Use FTL to request the RFC... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year ago | (#43334889)

IMO FTL is NIH, so the RFC is a POS and we should MOO FTW!! LOL.

Re:Use FTL to request the RFC... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335193)

Wouldn't it be a RRFC then?

Unrelated question: Can I change my PIN number at the ATM machine?

Maybe April's fool but... (1)

dbarrera (2884731) | about a year ago | (#43334589)

Hacker Evoution (http://www.hackerevolutionduality.com/) game.. anyone?

Re:Maybe April's fool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334599)

Interesting, looks like it'd pass for a sequel to Uplink [introversion.co.uk] .

God says NO (0)

AndyKron (937105) | about a year ago | (#43334597)

God would never let this happen

Re:God says NO (1)

Genda (560240) | about a year ago | (#43334679)

God would never let this happen

He let George Bush Jr. happen. He let Carrot Top Happen. He let Paris Hilton happen... you my friend are buggered!

Re:God says NO (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43334771)

You do know people have free will, right? We can make choices and stuff.

Re:God says NO (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year ago | (#43334867)

You do know people have free will, right? We can make choices and stuff.

One choice you simply don't have is to communicate information faster than light. Who or why that is the case may be due to God, which is sort of the point being made by the GP. There is no negative proof of this idea, but there isn't a positive proof either. Stephen Hawking has spent some time discussing what God may or may not have done in terms of setting up the universe as we know it, but there certainly seems at the moment to be some arbitrariness to some aspects of the universe as we see it. One of those is how the speed of light was established and why that particular speed is what we see it to be. Ditto for the Plank constant and a few other interesting aspects of the universe.

Re: God says NO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335031)

Free will?

This is debatable.

Ine could argue that we are nothing but extremely complicated machines. Given the input (experiences) we received we produce an output (reaction).

If the universe happened again exactly the same way and can you argue that you would react differently? Probably not.

How is the free will then if I do exactly what I am programmed to do?

the infamous "bad news" protocol (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#43334603)

nothing faster, light can't hold a photon next to it.

FTL (1)

slater86 (1154729) | about a year ago | (#43334613)

It seems that the video game has appeared in the Steam Online store before a method has been devised to download it.
http://store.steampowered.com/app/212680

Just how recursive is this issue?

Silly (1)

chris.evans (969548) | about a year ago | (#43334623)

The info will arrive close to or near instantaneous the faster it travels

Re:Silly (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43334739)

I'm pretty sure exactly the opposite is true, lol. The faster it travels, the more "time" it experiences so to the outside world, it appears you're moving quite slowly. Remember, if you take off for 1 year a 99.9999% the speed of light, like 1000 years will have passed or something so it actually would appear that you're traveling the speed of light divided by 1000 to outside observers.

But let's see if someone with a brain is reading comments. One quantum particle occupies 2 places in space at the same time (aka quantum entangled). You move them a lightyear appart then spin one. What happens to the other?

Answer: it spins instantly. Everyone (except slashdot commenters apparently) knows that.

Wrong day (2)

ignavus (213578) | about a year ago | (#43334669)

(looks at calendar) It's halfway through 2 April here.

We're WAY over the April Fool's thing.

In fact you will need to get your packets arriving before they are sent if you want April Fool's jokes to arrive here on time.

Re:Wrong day (1)

frozentier (1542099) | about a year ago | (#43334759)

12 minutes left to April 2nd here, and that's only on the east coast.

Re:Wrong day (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year ago | (#43334783)

In fact you will need to get your packets arriving before they are sent if you want April Fool's jokes to arrive here on time.

Doesn't this apply to all of Slashdot's 4 day old "news"?

Never mind the fact that this will be duped again next week just incase you missed it the first time.

i don't get it. (3, Funny)

milkmage (795746) | about a year ago | (#43334689)

we all know you arrive in the states before you leave Japan... and we've had subspace communication since the 60's (I saw it on TV). don't skip drones pretty much make this moot anyway?

what's the problem?

Please explain ... (4, Interesting)

frootcakeuk (638517) | about a year ago | (#43334693)

... how this is still an april fool's joke without having to click thru the poxy ROT-whatever 'encryption'

still... (0, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43334727)

Last time I started mentioning proven scientific fact, demonstrated in laboratories, and taught in universities, a bunch of dumbasses modded me down, saying that it's impossible. Well welcome to 2013. Guess what, it's not. Even if this is a joke, it i s true. There have been experiments where data from some sort of quantum photon path thing basically did a funhouse mirror trick where the light existed at the end just as it was leaving then . It was a story on Slashdot. You cannot possibly have missed it! It was even titled something like "light arrives at target before leaving."

Also, I'm still 99.99999999999999999% sure that there have been entire Discover Channel specials about quantum entanglement that state, word for word, that quantum entanglement will solve the overseas reporter audio delay issue. Modifications to one particle happen instantaneously to the other since the data doesn't have to "travel," as the two particles are actually the same particle. There is no mass or radiation that has to move from point to point. It's just basically one particle in two places in space at the same time. Via the laws of physics, modifications to one HAVE TO happen to the other in realtime. They even said that a Mars rover with a quantum chip would be able to be driven in realtime by a remote control because of the zero delay. The biggest problem lately, as stated in MANY slashdot stories, is how far they can get the particles away from each other before the entanglement collapses. Every time a new record for distance is set, it's a slashdot story. So stop spouting off outdated crap from your high school physics class 10 years ago and saying I'm wrong.

Re:still... (1)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | about a year ago | (#43334787)

The overseas reporter delay shouldn't even really be happening anymore. I routinely make voice and video calls spanning 8 time zones with no noticeable delay.

Re:still... (1)

Teancum (67324) | about a year ago | (#43334901)

There still is a delay of some sort, even if you aren't noticing it. The deal with the "delay" was usually due to sending signals to geosynchronous orbit satellites. At 35,000 kilometers, the time to send a signal to those satellites and have it return is sufficient that somebody with a stopwatch controlled by people is enough to even measure.

In fact a really interesting experiment used to be performed where you could take something like a State of the Union address, and for those stations that used satellite transmission could be compared to stations that used microwave relay stations, and the time interval from when something was seen on one station compared to the other (assuming no tape delay issues) could be used to measure the speed of light.

What you are noticing here is that the digital traffic signals and even phone conversations don't use satellite links any more, but rather fiber optic cables that are either buried or placed at the bottom of oceans. Either way, signals only going a couple megameters as opposed to over 70 megameters in distance adds up to a significant change in perception of delay due to the speed of light.

Re:still... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year ago | (#43334797)

Too bad you can't actually communicate with quantum entanglement, huh?

The most basic variant of quantum entanglement is two particles have opposite states (they could be photons with different polarizations, for instance) which are entangled. When one particle takes a state, the other particle takes the opposite state instantaneously.

The problem's that in order to make a particle "take" a state, we have to measure it. Measuring the particle will collapse the particle's wavefunction into one of its two possible states, but we can't select which. Hence, the particle will randomly take one state, and its paired particle the other. Since the selection is random, no information is gained.

Now, you say, we could just look for a state change in the particle! How? "Looking" for a state change involves measuring the particle, which collapses it, thus destroying the entanglement. We can't have a before/after check. Again, no information is gained.

With that said, entanglement still allows some pretty spiffy stuff, just not general purpose communication. One such example is called "quantum pseudo-telepathy", and it's one of the closest things to FTL communications we know of, allowing impressively high success rates at certain games for two players unable to communicate with one another in traditional ways. Note however that this doesn't allow to communicate so much as it allows for certain probabilistic events to be skewed.

Re:still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334977)

Last time I started mentioning proven scientific fact, demonstrated in laboratories, and taught in universities, a bunch of dumbasses modded me down, saying that it's impossible

You are describing events that took place in your imagination. You desperately want to be seen as the vindicated, persecuted martyr, but you are not and you never will be.

YOU FAIL IT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334757)

can no longer be to This. For

Carrier Pigeon/Wave (1)

Mystakaphoros (2664209) | about a year ago | (#43334779)

Okay, I see a lot of people focusing on photons being used. But what about an FTL carrier pigeon? Or a carrier pigeon released from an FTL craft? I refer you to RFC 1149.

Re:Carrier Pigeon/Wave (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43334837)

Is the pigeon African or European?

Aside from April Fools. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about a year ago | (#43334899)

If we at least consider that current theories do have the speed of light in vacuum as a limit it is still possible to exceed the speed of light in other materials like glass and water.

But even if you exceed the speed of light it doesn't mean that the event is observed before it happens. It just means that you get notified about the event faster than expected.

There are also some phenomena that are a bit on the border of being tricky to explain given the theories of today, but they are usually on a small scale involving quantum mechanics - like teleportation of particles. And even the current theories offers "loopholes" for exceeding the speed of light - like spacetime warping and wormholes.

Not to worry, I will have written the protocols (4, Funny)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#43335011)

When we have FTL communication in which packets arrive before they are sent, I will have written the needed protocols in 2010. I'll start them in 2016, complete them in 2010, and finish compatibilty testing in 2009. That'll let Microsoft implement them in 2057.

First, totally ignorant of the subject (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about a year ago | (#43335055)

Ignorance admitted to...

I would argue that all the theories proposing this time reversal have also stated that you can't send the information faster then light. So... assuming we are sending the information faster then light, why would we think the rules that say we can't still apply?

The only way you get FTL communication is if we find some loophole in the laws that lets us slip information IGNORING the very law that supposedly would cause things to time travel.

That being the case, we can't really assume how the information will travel. Possibly it would be instantaneous communication. That is, information arriving WHEN it is sent not before or after.. but precisely WHEN it is sent.

That said, so far as I understand we have no means of FTL anything. Apparently even gravity moves at the speed of light which is sort of depressing. I read a fair amount of science fiction and it was assumed in much of it that gravity "waves" could be used to communicate FTL... well, according to some scientific publications I skim they go at the speed of light. What goes faster then light? I don't know... tachyons? Again, I think I've learned everything I know about tachyons from "fiction"... so I don't really know anything about them besides that they're supposedly unable to travel slower then light and time travel and possibly some other fun stuff.

Whatever... have fun with any of the above systems because they all look equally fruitless.

I'd love FTL communication. We do need it or something like it especially as we try to manage our legions of drones exploring the solar system. But until we have such a system I see no point in theory crafting the protocol it would use. You might as well pick out the sofa coffee table arrangement for your working model of the starship enterprise... complete with teleporter and holodeck... which will be used exclusively for naked orgies with holo-porn... because that's what you do with holodecks.

Anyway, I have no idea what I'm talking about but I suspect everyone is talking out of their asses on this one so at least I'm not alone on it.

communicate faster than light by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335083)

...throwing a lit torch.

After applying ROT-13 decoding to the summary... (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about a year ago | (#43335125)

... the result still looks like gibberish.

What gives?

April 1st problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335127)

Why do I even bother commenting on this?
Faster than light does not imply faster than time.
Instantanious aka immediately is also faster than light. As in quantum effect you get with entangling sub-atomic particles. Which has already been demonstrated.

But if someone could send information with tachyons then we maíght have an issue mentioned in this topic.

Teleportation (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43335135)

It can be done anywhere in the universe. My guess is in the future when we master an electron moving in a carrier wave entangled to another electron we will have instant communication.

Been there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335147)

"rqhpngvbany onpxtebhaq, gung gvccrq gur fpnyrf va gur Qbpgbe'f snibe, zrzoref bs gur pbzzvggrr fnvq. Guvf qrfcvgr gur snpg gung abar bs gur zrzoref pbhyq qrgrezvar jvgu nal "

Get used of this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43335157)

Anything posted in April 1 on any American website is fake. This news too.

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