Friday, December 21, 2012

Physics Phriday - It is a Time Machine

From Jack van Ryswyck:
You know it's funny you should mention that. The other day I suddenly saw Mike vanish before my very eyes, desk chair and all. Left in his place was a box shaped area of seemingly totally empty space, filled with absolutely nothing but some strange looking radiation.

Two seconds later Mike suddenly reappeared, looking very normal. In fact, looking rather exactly like he had at the moment he vanished. He then looked at me as if I had done something totally strange.

He told me that he had not seen anything vanish at all, but to him it looked like I instantaneously had shifted position and facial expression, as if I were an old time movie that had skipped a few frames. We then noticed that the atomic clocks that we had coincidentally been carrying were inexplicably off by 2 seconds. We had just synchronized them earlier that morning, but now his was 2 seconds behind mine.

Some time later a very similar thing happened, but this time a part of his desk chair stayed behind when Mike and the rest of his chair vanished. The remaining part of his chair just got cut clean off and fell to the floor. Mike and the rest of the chair reappeared two seconds later, though the chair did not reassemble. He said that he saw part of his chair suddenly teleported to the floor instantly.

Then the other day Josh and I were passing juggling balls when the same thing happened again. Suddenly everything in the box shaped area vanished, and many copies of a juggle ball appeared, all moving in a parallel direction. I then found myself tossing a juggle ball into the box. Oddly enough it happened to have the same colour as all the copies, and by some mysterious coincidence it was moving in just the same direction. Two seconds later all but one of the balls disappeared, and everything else reappeared. At the far side of the box, one juggle ball flew off. The net effect was just as if I had thrown the ball across the box incredibly fast. Impossibly fast really.

The next time it happened I saw the empty box appear filled with many copies of about one-third of a juggle ball. All but one of them were moving in a parallel direction away from me, but the nearest copy seemed to be moving towards me. In self defense I grabbed the juggle ball nearest to me, which happened to be the same colour, and as a makeshift missile defense system I threw it against the partial juggle ball that was moving menacingly towards me. They collided. The partial ball got knocked into a trajectory parallel to all the others. My defense missile ball got nudged back towards me. Then all the partial balls disappeared, except one that flew off at the far side. My defense missile ball was suddenly missing about a third of it. The remainder fell to the floor. The part that fell to the floor on the other side of the box seemed to fit it exactly.


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