Now, as all good citizens of the world know, nothing (even light
) can be accelerated to a speed faster than the speed of light
. (See Pseudomancer
's phenomenal Theory of Relativity
writeup for all the graphic details.) That's what light speed is, and there's no getting around it. However, I believe I have discovered a way of transmitting information over great distances instantaneous
Lets say we want to send a message to Bob, a friend who lives near Alpha Centauri. Lets keep it simple and assume the message is a basic signal, something like a single flash of light. On receiving the message, Bob will ... I don't know ... feed my goldfish, which are staying with him while my cockroach-infested house is being sprayed. Now, Bob is about 4.3 light years away, so if we point a big laser at him and send a quick flash of light, the transmission time will be 4.3 years.
By then, all the fish will be dead. Clearly we need a faster way of sending Bob a signal.
What if we had a solid rod, 4.3 light years long? We pull our end, Bob feels the tug immediately, and feeds the fish. They survive. Remarkable. Nothing is moving very fast at all, but a message is being delivered to Bob far faster then if it were made of light.
This idea overcomes all problems of communicating over long distances. I know, however, that there are a few problems with this idea. Here are a couple:
- Finding enough material to construct a rod 4.3 light years long.
- Passing spaceships might interfere with the rod.
Well, I think this idea could make me very
rich, so I want to address these two problems now, to help overcome the doubts that the press
will undoubtedly have:
- There is no need to use a thick rod. A thin one, or even a strand of strong enough material would do, so long as it was not at all elastic. Any elastic material will absorb the pull, especially over very long distances.
- This is a problem. To overcome it, I foresee information corridors, into which craft may not fly.
Once we want to transmit more than single bit messages, little thought is required to work out how this can be easily achieved. A single rod might deliver messages in Morse code
. More adventurous is the prospect of pushing and pulling combined with degrees of rotation
, which together give a large number of possible meanings for one movement. Large groups of rods, all moving together, could efficiently transmit several symbols at once.
This is how real-time intergalactic communication might become realistically achievable.