Denial ain't just a river in Egypt. -Mark Twain
Question #89052 posted on 02/26/2017 9:25 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

How likely is it that humans will someday find a way to travel at (or faster than) light speed?

-Not Kepler


Dear I Guess You Must Be Brahe Then,

Based on our current understanding of Physics, it's impossible to achieve faster-than-light travel. Light travels so fast because it has no mass; we have mass and therefore cannot move as quickly.

As far as fast-as-light travel, it's still pretty darn unlikely, so much so that I want to call it impossible as well. My one caveat here is some sort of teleportation device: it would scan your entire body (and I mean entire, down to individual atoms and such), then somehow convert all of your mass into energy and beam all of it (as well as the plans made from its scan) to some other teleportation station somewhere else. In this sense, you could technically claim to be traveling at the speed of light.

However, this brings up all sorts of logical and philosophical conundrums: would the "you" that arrived at the second station really be you, or just an identical copy more akin to a clone? And what about the time while you're being transmitted from one station to another? Do you technically even exist in that period?

There are other problems with this proposed teleportation device, but I'll leave it at that. I think I'll stick to speeds much slower than light, thanks.

-Frère Rubik


Dear person,

Well, assuming humans can really be exalted according to LDS theology, then I'll go out on a limb and say 100% likely.



Dear Kepler,

I'm not going to guess how likely it is, but Brandon Sanderson wrote a fantastic short story about this scenario. You can read it on his site.


posted on 02/26/2017 6:38 p.m.
Dear Not Kepler,

Frère Rubik is correct, but there are ways around the universal speed limit. So, while we may not ever technically go faster than speed of light, we probably will be able to get to far off places faster than light that left the same point at the same time. To learn more about one of the options to achieve this, watch this video about the Alcubierre Drive.