Life at the Speed of Sound

//Life at the Speed of Sound

Life at the Speed of Sound

  So you’ve probably heard the old mind game puzzle of “If you had a length of wood the distance of the solar system and you pushed on your end of the wood, would you push whatever is on the other side at a speed greater than the speed of light?”

  I’m sure it was told different to you but at least for me this seemed like a profound point. Could data be transmitted faster than the speed of light? What’s interesting about this problem is that not only would the entire stick not move in such a way that you break the light speed barrier, but you’d actually be slower than light.

  The force you impart onto the wood would move as fast as sound traveling through that medium. It would take an astounding amount of time for that energy to reach the other side and actually push what ever was on the other side.

  Unintuitive, but interesting. The reason we think that pushing a table, or a chair, or a cat, is instant is because the time it takes for sound to travel that distance is basically instant to our perceptions. It’s all a matter of scale and perspective.

STICKATTACK!

By | 2013-02-18T22:32:15+00:00 February 18th, 2013|Journal|Comments Off on Life at the Speed of Sound