(urth) Future Echoes: Hut in the Jungle +

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 20 10:53:48 PDT 2009

--- On Fri, 3/20/09, John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dorcas thinks that the Claw works by reversing time. 
> I've always thought
> that that was wrong-headed--that it just works because
> it's divine power--magic.
> Now that I read this passage, however, I'm starting to
> come around to
> Dorcas's view.  My knowledge of physics is pretty
> minimal, but I have this
> vague idea that time slows down as one speeds up and would
> actually go
> backwards if one could exceed the speed of light, which of
> course is impossible.

In Special Relativity, exceeding the speed of light would
not make time go backwards.  Formally, it would make time
an imaginary number (one reason to think exceeding the speed
of light is impossible).

However, still in SR, if you could exceed the speed of light,
you could go backwards in time in a roundabout way.  Like
the lady named Bright, you could go from point A at a
certain time to point B at a similar time (whether before
or after depends on your reference frame) and back to
point A at an earlier time than when you set out (another
reason to think exceeding the speed of light is

As I recall, there are suggestions of SR in the Sun books,
but I don't see them as "hard science" based on it.  They're
much more speculative.

I too enjoy Jordon's idea that the goblet once held wine.

By the way, I annoyed Michael Andre-Driussi on this list
by arguing with him about relativity (I think) and not
mentioning till after he continued arguing that I teach
physics.  So to avoid that--trust me, I'm a physicist
(sort of).

Jerry Friedman


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