811: Starlight

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Starlight
Don't worry! From the light's point of view, home and your eye are in the same place, and the journey takes no time at all! Relativity saves the day again.
Title text: Don't worry! From the light's point of view, home and your eye are in the same place, and the journey takes no time at all! Relativity saves the day again.

[edit] Explanation

Megan talks with Beret Guy about the journey of light through the universe from its source to our eyes. In Megan's opinion, it is very sad that this journey is pointless - light's travel ends only with us seeing "pretty dots" - stars in the sky. Beret Guy then tries to return light to its birthplace by using a mirror, which reflects light back to its source. It's also possible that it's a canvas, and beret guy is trying to capture the pretty dots so their journey isn't pointless.

The title text is a reference to special relativity, which states that from the point of view of a light particle, the distance is zero because it is moving at the speed of light, so it takes no time to go anywhere.

[edit] Transcript

[The comic consist of six black panels with white drawings. There are stars above the characters in all panels.]
[Megan and Beret Guy stares at a starlit sky. The text is written above the stars and the sentence continues into the next frame. First here it becomes apparent that it is Megan who speaks the entire comment.]
Megan: The starlight falls on our eyes after a journey across trillions of miles-
[Zoom in on Megan and Beret Guy. The continued text is shown to come from Megan via a speech line.]
Megan: dying here at last, so far from home, all so we can see some pretty dots.
[Beret Guy think for a moment]
[Beret Guy runs away]
[Beret Guy comes back with a mirror under his arm, the starry sky can also be seen in the mirror.]
[Beret Guy reached Megan, and holds it up above his head pointing it towards the stars.]


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Discussion

I thought that was a picture frame, a mirror makes more sense. 184.66.160.91 08:40, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

From the light's point of view, EVERYTHING is in the same place. The whole universe in one point. {{unsigned ip|108.162.238.114}}

Actually, I think that the universe would be a solitary plane. Since light moves only in one straight line. 173.245.54.204 02:14, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I still think it's a picture frame. 108.162.215.118 00:50, 6 August 2014 (UTC)

It's a mirror, you can see the reflection of his arms. 141.101.75.77 18:35, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I am still of the opinion, sort of, that it is a picture frame. It seems like beret guy to make art of things we consider simple, because of the actually extraordinary circumstances that happened to make it so. The Goyim (talk) 23:35, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

This is pushing into areas beyond my expertise, but I question the validity of the assertion that the light particle will experience no time between departing the star and arriving at the planet. From what I understand, One of the pillars of relativity is that from ALL reference frames the speed of light is constant. So when we discuss things "from the point of view of a light particle" most of what we say is basically conjecture. It is impossible to have a valid reference frame moving along with a photon. To say that from the photon's point of view no time passes is to assume a reference point where the speed of light is no longer constant, but instead photons have the ability to be stationary. A stationary photon can never be observed in any valid reference frame. It is fair to say that a particle traveling at a speed infinitesimally less than the speed of light will experience almost no time between locations, but time dilation follows a curve that is only valid for speeds approaching but not including the speed of light.
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