On Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 01:20:35AM -0800, Edgar L. Owen wrote:
> Jason,
> That's a totally off the wall answer. When the two shake hands it's not 
> just photons that are interacting, it's the electrons, protons and neutrons 
> of the matter of their hands which don't travel at the speed of light.
> Goodness gracious!
> Edgar

Jason is correct - electron-electron and electron-proton interactions
are mediated by photons. Only nucleon-nucleon interactions are
mediated by different stuff (gluons in that case), but for all
practical purposes, the strong force is irrelevant to the phenomenon
of handshaking.

Which gets us to the more important point. You idealise a handshake as
instantaneous as a demonstration of your "present moment", but in fact
those interactions Jason was alluding to are smeared out over a
temporal duration of the order of a few picoseconds (a duration well
measurable by current day technology - my laptop's CPU clock cycles on
a sub-picosecond timescale, for example). 

This doesn't matter much for human affairs, but becomes quite
significant when extrapolating over cosmological scales.


Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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