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Physics/Not faster than Light


magine a peice of wood one light year long. I'm at one end and you're at the other.
If I 'shove' OR PUSH the wood towards you, does it take well over a year for you to recieve the 'shove' at your end? Or, if it takes less than a year, are you receiving the 'shove'(or information) faster than light?


No, it would be far, far slower than that!  The speed of sound in the wood would determine how long it took to receive the shove at the end of some ridiculously long piece of wood like that.  That speed is really high for any solid material, but even in something light and yet strong like titanium it would be *far* below the speed of light because you're dealing with the physical acceleration of massive atoms.  The transfer of force in a material requires the polarization of molecules, meaning they have to physically move for that to happen.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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