02 Jul '15 11:314 edits

Math says if we get up to 0,999c our spacecraft will be running about 20 times the speed of light, so says you inside the spacecraft. Of course the outside world knows if you are going say, 20 light years, you will still be taking 20 years to get there, Earth time.

But here is something interesting:

If you are going 0.999c you and everything on the craft will be shortened also by that same factor, 20 or so. So if your spaceship is 2000 meters long, it would now be about 100 meters long. Here is the interesting part:

Say you have a 2 meter ruler in your hand. If you point it in the direction of motion, it is now 100 mm long. But if you point it sideways, it resumes being 2 meters long.

Anyone find fault in that analysis? It seems you should be able to see that quite clearly AND if that is the case, all you need is two two meter rulers at 90 degrees apart, one pointing to the ceiling and floor the other to the sides of the craft and you should be able to measure your velocity by just seeing the difference in the two lengths now presented.

It seems to me from the POV of the traveler, you know you are 2 meters tall so the ruler if pointed up and down would be your height. But move it 90 degrees to horizontal, it looks to me like the traveler would think it had grown to 40 meters long!

So it looks like you would have a ruler speedometer!

One thing: how would it be like for people to actually live in a condition like that, where they would KNOW left and right is way off in distance from up and down?

I was thinking about the way information flows in the brain and here on Earth there would be no measurable difference in the time it takes for information to flow up and down in your brain V left and right.

It seems therefore at 0.999c there would be a 20 to one speed difference in information going left and right (perpendicular to the direction of travel) V information flow in the direction of travel.

would there be cognitive consequences for such a scenario?

But here is something interesting:

If you are going 0.999c you and everything on the craft will be shortened also by that same factor, 20 or so. So if your spaceship is 2000 meters long, it would now be about 100 meters long. Here is the interesting part:

Say you have a 2 meter ruler in your hand. If you point it in the direction of motion, it is now 100 mm long. But if you point it sideways, it resumes being 2 meters long.

Anyone find fault in that analysis? It seems you should be able to see that quite clearly AND if that is the case, all you need is two two meter rulers at 90 degrees apart, one pointing to the ceiling and floor the other to the sides of the craft and you should be able to measure your velocity by just seeing the difference in the two lengths now presented.

It seems to me from the POV of the traveler, you know you are 2 meters tall so the ruler if pointed up and down would be your height. But move it 90 degrees to horizontal, it looks to me like the traveler would think it had grown to 40 meters long!

So it looks like you would have a ruler speedometer!

One thing: how would it be like for people to actually live in a condition like that, where they would KNOW left and right is way off in distance from up and down?

I was thinking about the way information flows in the brain and here on Earth there would be no measurable difference in the time it takes for information to flow up and down in your brain V left and right.

It seems therefore at 0.999c there would be a 20 to one speed difference in information going left and right (perpendicular to the direction of travel) V information flow in the direction of travel.

would there be cognitive consequences for such a scenario?