Going into infinity is the same as being still

November 21, 2015, 10:09 pm

Agree18 Disagree8


The debate "Going into infinity is the same as being still" was started by thecries on November 21, 2015, 10:09 pm. 18 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 8 people are on the disagree side. People are starting to choose their side. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

PsychDave posted 3 arguments, Sosocratese posted 1 argument to the agreers part.
Sosocratese posted 4 arguments to the disagreers part.

thecries, Sosocratese, PsychDave, DannyknowsItAll, lawyer_to_be, WaspToxin, lexham, Gandalf, Regalgeek and 9 visitors agree.
RationalAtheist, Sally and 6 visitors disagree.

Alright, I'll have to concede that if light speed was possible, you'd be standing still while traveling to infinity.

4 years, 7 months ago


Distance contraction is actually a separate consequence of high speed travel. While you are right that it would only contract the space in the direction of travel, at the speed of light that would be every point along that axis, which is infinite in itself.

4 years, 7 months ago

Relatively is such a mind f**k

4 years, 7 months ago

It is my understanding that from the perspective of a photon, it occupies the the entire distance of its travel at once. Meaning that it simultaneously exists at each point along it's journey. Doesn't, however occupy all of space. This is due to the time dilation effect. So time stands still from the perspective of the traveling object.

Since it's impossible for any object with mass to travel at the speed of light, time can never actually stand still. Thus with the passing of time, there is a passing of space.

4 years, 7 months ago

I had it backwards in my mind due to not reading about it in a while. As you approach the speed of light, distances contract. At 0.98c the 4.2 light-years to alpha centauri appears to be around 0.8 light-years due to this effect. As you get closer to c this effect gets closer to infinite contraction of distance, meaning at c you are theoretically passing through all points simultaneously. Obviously an impossibility, but an interesting one nonetheless.

I may still be rusty since I don't have time to go through my notes from University, but that is the gist of what I remember after a quick Google brush up on it.

4 years, 7 months ago
replied to...

When approaching the speed of light you don't increase in size. You increase in mass making the energy requirements to accelerate exponentially larger. You don't occupy more space, you simply increase in mass.

4 years, 7 months ago

As I laid out my interpretation of the topic I clarified it in my own mind. It is not set in stone, but I will agree with the topic.

4 years, 7 months ago

I am on the fence about this since "going into infinity" could be interpreted different ways. If you were traveling at the speed of light, theoretically you become infinitely large and pass through every point simultaneously, meaning that you have literally gone into infinity. This also means that there is nowhere to go as you occupy every space. Another effect of traveling at this velocity would be time dilation which, at the speed of light, would stop time altogether. With time in effect suspended, you are standing still in the truest sense as not a single atom would be moving. Thus by going into infinity you are standing still.

4 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely not. Since time and space are interchangeable, any passage of time is also a passage of space. Therefore we are never "being still"

4 years, 7 months ago
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