High speed travel.

If you could travel at 99.9999999% light-speed, how far would you get in 50 years ? I would have thought the distance would be 49.9999999 light years, but according to a book I'm reading, you can travel 3 million light-years in this time. How is this possible ???
Here's the quote (from "Why does E=mc[squared]?" by Brian Cox): "If we managed to travel at 99.999999999 percent of light speed, then we could travel out of the Milky way and all the way to the neighbouring Andromeda galaxy, almost 3 million light-years away, in a mere fifty years."
This passage is on page 55, and if I simply do not understand it. Any ideas ?
14:53 Sat 23rd Oct 2010
 
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mibn2cweus
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FAO, those of you who still retain an interest in the topic of this thread:

The variability of time in different reference frames in relative motion to one another is not intuitive in as much as such inconsistency is not readily apparent within the scope of common everyday experience. It is only with respect to speeds approaching that of the propagation...
06:01 Fri 29th Oct 2010 Go To Best Answer

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The faster you go, the slower time runs.
Hi vagrant- does that apply to light too? Are you saying light travels more than a light year in a year?
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50 years for you 3,000,000years for anyone who missed the bus
50 years for you onboard, 3 million years for a stationary onlooker...
Distance obtainable with one g acceleration - http://www.daviddarli...one-g_spacecraft.html
f30 - No, light travels at light speed - however, from their point of view, the photons don't experience the passage of time.
. . . being a photon must be no fun at all. :o(
Question Author
I regret posting this question and wish I could delete it. The whole point of chapter 3 of this book is to explain how motion distorts time. I completely lost the plot. Apologies and thanks to all who responded. David.
I'm new to this so please understand if I've typed this in the wrong box.

Anyway, I'm standing with my arms by my side and the fingers curved into hooks. Someone puts a heavy weight, say a barbell, in each hand. I have to expend energy to remain standing there supporting the weights, and eventually I'll have to put them down. Now replace me with a lifesize statue standing in exactly the same manner, and place the barbells in the statue's hands. It will stand there for more or less forever, and obviously it won't expend any energy. How come?
Because you're a living organism requiring energy to exist and the statue is an inert object requiring no energy.
FAO, those of you who still retain an interest in the topic of this thread:

The variability of time in different reference frames in relative motion to one another is not intuitive in as much as such inconsistency is not readily apparent within the scope of common everyday experience. It is only with respect to speeds approaching that of the propagation of light that it becomes apparent that the increments of the passage of time are not an entity onto themselves but are dependent on and related to the existence of that which they measure, the periodic changes in matter due to the effects of energy which is itself independent of time. It is only in relation to mass and momentum that the concept of time acquires any substantive meaning, a meaning which can only be derived by the impact it has on the existence of cognitive beings to the extent such an impact can be perceived and appreciated.

In attempting to grasp the relative nature of time perhaps it would be helpful to examine the history of the development of our understanding of the relationship of time to that which it measures. It is in that light I offer for your consideration the following overviews on the evolution of that understanding . . .

http://www-groups.dcs...ecial_relativity.html

http://www.cnn.com/AL...12/27/relativity.html

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