Light Limits Us To The Speed Of Light: Part 1 by Laurel Botsford

Einstein said nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

I definitely am no Einstein.

And neither am I mathematician. But I possess a reasoning mind and, I ponder, a lot.

Just imagine with me for a moment… What if, indeed, something could or does travel faster than the speed of light?

Laurel BotsfordLet’s first define clearly that ‘light’ means not only the narrow band of wavelengths of visible light our human eye is able to detect but the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including the various wavelengths of radio and microwave, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-ray and finally gamma. Then consider, if Something could or does travel faster than the speed of light, doesn’t it stand to reason that due to the absence of ‘light’, which must catch up with our Something, that same would be invisible? What proof is there that Something in an environment lacking ‘light’ also lacks existence, if that is indeed what is implied by the word ‘travels’? Does Einstein mean that nothing can exist in a ‘realm of faster than the speed of light’, meaning that there is no such realm? I wonder. It is true, Einstein’s theories are worthy whilst living in a universe based on and ruled by ‘light’.

We have our Cosmic Speed Limit. 186,000 miles per second. Within our Cosmic Speed Limit we can see, detect, hear, measure the presence of by its very absence, and observe evidence of many things in our world, things like electrons and solar winds, Madame Currie’s radon and the gravitational warping of space. We can calculate distances between celestial objects. We can tell how fast we ourselves, on our home planet, are travelling through the Cosmos. We receive mysterious signals from distant sources intriguing to us, prompting us to unravel their identities and contained mysteries. All of this, and more, is extremely wonderful. Yet I feel that another quality of this Cosmic Speed Limit is to limit this world, our world, to only what we perceive, as humans, within the light spectrum. Light, in this way then, limits us to the speed of light.

But is that all there is? Is there scope within Einstein’s brilliant theories for phenomena outside of light? “The Sky’s the Limit!” some say. I say, “Why limit yourself to the Sky?” After all, the sky is only our atmosphere, an immensely tiny limit on the cosmic scale, as we all know. There is so much more out there, beyond. The more one reads, the more the mind boggles. But the more one reads, the more one reflects on what is not yet written. Exactly what happens when acceleration attains the limit of the speed of light, and then keeps accelerating? I know Mr. Einstein says nothing can, but… bear with me. Do we know this without a single shred of doubt? Can we describe with absolute certainty the event, or events, that occur at this critical instant, point, time of existence or level of consciousness ?

We are just at the dawn of proposing what we think happens, allowing for this and that mathematical calculation. We are proving, for example, the existence of black holes and postulating on what we think happens on their intense gravity thresholds. We are trying to unravel the mystery of ‘dark energy’, that repulsive form of gravity Einstein dubbed the ‘cosmological constant’ to explain the acceleration of the expansion of space which would bring balance to the universe without which would gravitationally collapse upon itself.

Black Walnut Tree - Photograph by Dena VentrudoLikewise, we humans (The Planetary Society) have begun to collect and count grains of interstellar dust with hopes of verifying quantities of universal mass. Will the universe continue expanding forever into oblivion or will it have enough total mass to eventually gravitationally collapse upon itself, down to zero, to rebirth, then expansion, collapse and again rebirth in unending cycles of Big Bangs? Hindu mythology says cycles upon unending cycles. Many theories, many mysteries. Like these other mysteries, perhaps, the speed of light speed limit has mysterious and wondrous qualities yet to be discovered. Such a quality as perhaps this: Anything, whilst accelerating up to and travelling at the speed of light, transforms, at the instant of breaching the speed limit of light, into…. Is the speed limit of light the trigger point of a transformation into (1) a hitherto unknown altered energy state, (2) another level of existence, (3) another universe, (4) a greater consciousness, (5) into all of these simultaneously or an infinity more of combinations and possibilities?

Einstein’s Nothing is a broad subject. It is obviously more than the familiar ‘physical’ of existence; even in our universe we cannot touch a radio wave for example. But does his Nothing cover all what we experience? Perhaps this Something that has somehow surpassed maximum acceleration is still in existence speeding away at greater than the speed of light but simply invisible to us in our own light based, light filled knowingness.

There are plenty of things of our light world we have yet to explain. You enter a crowded auditorium and look around for your seat. Settling down for an enjoyable evening you begin to browse through the programme in your hands. Then for no apparent reason, in a single motion, you lift your head and look over your shoulder, straight into the eyes of someone, often a stranger, who happens to be looking at you, oftentimes without them being conscious of their stare. They then see you looking at them, become conscious of their own stare and he or she quickly looks away, or perhaps smiles from across the room. We have all had this experience at least once and I dare say on a regular basis for the most part.

What made you look straight into his or her eyes without first scanning the crowd? What force pulled your consciousness in that person’s precise direction? Without conscious awareness your brain has picked up on the energy of the thought wave, conscious or unconscious, of the person looking at you. Have you ever thought about why, just when you are thinking about a friend that you haven’t heard of for some time, suddenly the phone rings with her on the line. Or, you suddenly find yourself thinking about a certain actor whose work you’ve enjoyed a few years ago, then you turn the street corner and see for the first time a poster advertising his next film. Or you ponder that you haven’t seen your aunt and uncle for years when suddenly a letter arrives from them with all their news?

Photograph by Dena VentrudoLike the radio wave that we know exists because we have developed equipment able to receive its vibration and translate it, which in turn sends it out to your ear, which receives it and sends it for its final translation by our brain, the vibration of a thought wave is received by the brain directly, from across the room or across the ocean, and translated into action, you receive the theatre goer’s thought and you lift your head, your aunt receives your thought and writes a letter. Think of the whimsical question, “Does the falling tree in the forest make a sound if no one is there?” It makes a sound only if there is a listening device near enough to pick up on and interpret the sound waves sent out. If there is no listening device, no ear and no recorder, then it makes no sound.

There is motion of energy but a sound wave remains in the energy state until it is interpreted. It becomes sound only for whatever or whoever is within hearing range and properly equipped to interpret the wave. In that way, yes, it makes a sound for the animals and for the recorder you have left in the forest, all of which hear it, but it makes no sound to the woman in her living room listening to her favourite music, and visa versa. The difference between the radio wave and the thought wave is that we have understood the mechanism to interpret the first but have not yet fully understood the mechanism of the second.

Check back for Parts 2 & 3!

Laurel Botsford, Dr Ac

45/7 Jaya Mawatha


Sri Lanka

April 2007 — update July 2008

Science Podcasts

Science/Quantum Physics

by Laurel Botsford
Laurel Botsford is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin  Madison, Wisconsin, USA with studies at LUniversiti dAix-en-Provence, France majoring in languages, has been Master Scuba Diver Trainer teaching others the wonders of one non-human world and is Dr. of Acupuncture, Shiatsu Therapy Practitioner and Universal Energy Healer. She is an amateur astronomer, ever interested in space and all it holds and a member of The Planetary Society, keeping abreast of up-to-date astrophysics knowledge and space exploration progress just for the enjoyment of reaching out.