by Dr. Ed Berry
It was November 29, 1945, in Sacramento, California. I was ten-years old and outdoors playing ball with my friends. At 5:00 pm, it was still very light.
Suddenly, I saw a bright meteor coming from the west. I pointed to the meteor and yelled to my friends. We watched in amazement as the meteor silently streamed a bit south of over our heads. Its course was a little north of east.
I immediately went home and drew this picture with the best coloring pens I had.
The green-ball meteor was crystal clear. Behind it was a trail of flames in colors of red, yellow, and blue.
I recall the angular size of the meteor was about half the angular size of the moon, or about 1/4 degree. So if we guess its altitude, we can estimate its size.
Today, we know that meteors like this “flame out” and go dark at about 30 km or about 19 miles altitude. If we assume I saw this meteor when it was 20 miles high, then its diameter would have been about 460 feet. [Read more…]
by Ed Berry, PhD, Physics
Republished by The Daily Inter Lake, October 2, 2011. Article Image
There was a young lady named Bright,
Who could travel much faster than light.
She went traveling one day, in a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.
This poem, well-known to every physics student, represents an implication of being able to exceed the speed of light. Ever since Einstein’s remarkable breakthrough in discovering “relativity” it has been a given in physics that it is impossible for anything to travel faster than light.
It is an easy calculation in relativistic physics to show an object’s mass will increase toward infinity as the object approaches the speed of light. With such a large, increasing mass, no finite force can accelerate the object to the speed of light … or so says today’s physics. [Read more…]