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Physics/Speed of Light


Sorry if I'm bothering you with this. It may well be a situation where I'm too scientifically illiterate to understand your answers, and if that's the case I'm sorry. But how would you, if riding on the claw, pass any galaxies if you're not exceeding the speed of light? I've seen simulations of what travelling at light speed would possibly look like and it's not really relevant to what I'm curious about. Nor do I care whether or not Dragon Ball is adhering to physics. Clearly, what's being depicted in Dragon Ball is pure fantasy, which goes without saying. Disregard anime entirely, I'm just wondering if any living organism were to be hypothetically that large, how the limit of light speed would apply to it if it's big enough to move through space at a faster rate than light is able to.

Forget the galactic behemoth dragon and imagine if I was just floating in space and I was a colossal giant. What if the sun was the relative size of a pen tip next to a normal person for me, the sun is right in front of my nose, and I was able to reach out and touch Earth. I've heard that light takes a matter of minutes to reach Earth, however if you were that large, you could reach out and touch it in 2 seconds. This is what I'm confused about. It seems like if such a thing were still unable to exceed light speed, (which I'm not trying to say is possible or act like I'm onto something) it would be stuck in perpetual slow motion because it wouldn't be able to blink an eyelid or move a finger at a faster rate than 186k mps.

So something like that, or the dragon, if it were to physically exist at that size, scientifically speaking, it shouldn't be able to make any perceptible movements right? Like it wouldn't be able to touch it's nose without it taking a vast amount of time?

Yes.  In a fantasy world where a solid object could be that large, it would not be able to make movements like you think of them because none of its parts could move faster than the speed of light.  If your nose were at the Sun and your hand was on the Earth, it would take vast amounts of energy just to get you to touch your nose in any reasonable (tens of minutes to hours) time span.


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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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