This is an unlikely thread I found on the WCReplays forums and it got me thinking. Disregarding the amount of energy required to move it, would it be possible to place a pole so that the endpoints are thousands of lightyears from each other and move it back and forth to send some kind of intelligible code and hence enable faster-than-light communication?
Last edited by Toast (2006-12-31 11:42:59)
Interesting idea. I think the flaw is that it wouldn't actually be instantaneous. If instead of a pole, you had a slinky, then it would take some time for any movement on one side of it to be detected at the other.
The pole is made up of a bunch of atoms and when you move one end, the atoms you push push the atoms next to them, which in turn push the atoms next to them and so on, creating the net effect of the pole moving. In effect, the pole is the same as the slinky, but the chain reaction process happens considerably faster. In most circumstances, it would seem that the pole's movement would be instantaneous, but when you have a pole that spans the universe like that, then it would take time for the information to be transmitted.
That's all just me thinking though, I don't have enough scientific knowledge to back it up.
Even if there was no flaw in the thinking though, it would be ridiculously impractical to actually implement. You'd need an enormous amount of energy to move this pole, and it would be constantly under threat by meteors, etc.
Why did the vector cross the road?
It wanted to be normal.