The speed of light is fundamental universal constant that marks the maximum speed at which information can propagate. Its value is $299792458\frac{\mathrm{m}}{\mathrm{s}}$.

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To what fraction of the speed-of-light has any multi-atom molecule (or polyatomic ion) been accelerated?

Of course photons go 'c' in a vacuum, and seems there's data on electrons getting to 0.999999999976c and protons to 0.99999912c. For the twins paradox to be plausible, one of the twins must reach ...
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Observed speed of light [duplicate]

Suppose two very fast trains, train $A$ traveling a constant speed of $.5c$ and train $B$ traveling at a constant speed $.75c$, are on the same straight track heading straight towards one another. If ...
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57 views

What is the fastest speed that a massive object can travel at? [duplicate]

What is the fastest speed (in miles per hour) that a massive object can travel at? I have heard that an object can travel at the speed of light, but I've also heard that massive objects cannot travel ...
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Has light been used to measure relative velocity?

Here we have 2 lasers. Both are in the same frame of reference as is top box. Laser #1 sends the light directly through the hole in the top box on one side and the light eventually exits the hole ...
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What is the speed of light after it has entered a black hole?

I was just thinking about this the other day. Given Einstein's Relativity etc. assigning the cosmic "speed limit" the value of $c=299792458\:\frac{m}{s}$, we know that the event horizon is the point ...
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electrons inside nucleus and uncertainty principle [on hold]

State the assumptions of the proton-electron model of the nucleus. Show that if one uses the Heisenberg uncertainty relation to estimate the speed of an electron inside a nucleus with a diameter of ...
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48 views

Only one invariant speed in special relativity

This is taken from Rindler's Special Relativity: Any effect whose speed in vacuum is always the same could have used to derive the Lorentz Transformation, as light was used in our derivation. Only ...
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38 views

Fermi velocity $v_F$ and speed of light

Can Fermi velocity $v_F$ be equal to speed of light, $c$, for ultra-relativistic electron plasma waves, in plasma physics, by using Fermi-Dirac distribution function?
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Time in a perfect vacuum? [duplicate]

If we were able to make a perfect vacuum with no forms of energy in, including all forms of light would time still go on in that vacuum and if it doesn't how would we tell that it doesn't? Then if we ...
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29 views

At what velocity would a body need to travel at to experience noticeable (couple minutes) time distortion?

When a person experiences higher speeds, the light must travel a greater distance to reach the person whom is moving compared to that whom is staying still. Right? So therefore, light takes slightly ...
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Laws of physics in curved space-time

The speed of light is not constant everywhere in a gravitational field. Suppose there is a region of space-time which is curved due to gravity such that the speed of light or any electromagnetic ...
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Does matter become energy at the speed of light?

According to modern physics, we can't push matter to the speed of light. It would slow down (relative to its environment). But theoretically, if matter were to travel the speed of light, would it ...
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Why does light not slow down?

Clearly light bounces off of things, going really really fast. I'm curious to understand how light interacts with matter in order to bounce without: Applying force to the object Losing speed So my ...
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Can relative speed be faster than c [duplicate]

If there are two spaceships moving away from each other(in opposite directions) at a speed 0.6c, then wouldnt that make the relative speed of one from the other's frame of reference 1.2c? Does this ...
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During relativistic effects what would a person feel experiencing length contraction?

It has been determined that when accelerating a mass towards light speed it gains mass, experiences length contraction, and time dilation. During such a period of special relativity what would a ...
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Special relativity thought experiement

Say you see a spaceship moving relative to you. On this ship you see a timer. When a beam of light is emitted from one end of the ship the timer starts. When the light reaches the other end of the ...
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How can I calculate time dilation as viewed from an accelerated frame?

Imagine I am speeding past you at near the speed of light, at a constant velocity. It is very simple for me to calculate what I will see looking at you. According to the Lorentz transformations from ...
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What would we see if a camera orbiting close to light speed beamed down images of us on earth?

If a camera was sent up in a satellite, put in orbit at close to light speed, and instructed to beam down images to earth, what would we see if we watched its video feed? (Ignoring the fact that ...
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2answers
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How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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Magnet and electromagnetic wave, and speed of light

I have this practice exam question: T or F. If you hold a magnet in your hand and wave it back and forth, you will create an electromagnetic wave that moves away from your hand at the speed of ...
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63 views

What is the speed of a Photon? [duplicate]

How fast does a Photon travel through space? And is gravity able to influence a Photon's path?
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44 views

Minimum Distance for “Speed of Light Approach”

I tried to calculate the minimum distance between a planet and a test mass for the mass to attain the speed of light on colliding with the planet's surface if it were released from rest at the initial ...
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Measuring speed of an object relative to what? [duplicate]

I understand that everything in the universe is moving through spacetime and the spacetime vector is equal for all the objects. So if If something is moving at speed of light, the mass of it is zero ...
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If I am a light travel around Earth, what relativistic phenomenons do I have?

In school, or even in university, we are only taught Lorentz transformation in one direction. It is quite easy: $$\begin{align} t' &= \gamma \left( t - \frac{vx}{c^2} \right) \\ x' &= ...
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How was time defined before we knew the speed of light was constant or in classical physics? [closed]

Nowadays, we now about $c$ the universal speed of light. This lets us define the notion of distance in terms of time (despite the fact that it works the opposite way for our common units.) Before ...
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Entangled particles and travelling at speed of light

I'm sorry to bother you guys with yet another question about quantum entanglement and speed of light, but I have a scenery in mind which I couldn't find on the net, so I'm gonna describe it here and ...
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What does the phrase 'muons are brought to rest' mean?

I have a physics question in a text sheet. I am currently doing work on relativity where calculations of rest frames and laboratory frames are being completed. The formula: $t(\text{laboratory frame}) ...
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space time contraction

What could be the reason that space and time contraction increases almost exponentially at the last decimals places close to the speed of light or close to singularity gravitational fields. Does this ...
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Can photons “stop time”?

If traveling past the speed of light causes time to reverse than does traveling in time make time "stop"? If not then how do photons/mass-less particles experience time, if at all.
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Why do different wavelengths travel at different speeds through a medium? [duplicate]

Someone gave an explanation in another question: "Maxwell's equations predict that in a linear medium with permittivity ϵ and permeability μ, the speed of light in the medium will be v=1/ϵμ. When ...
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How can we show that the speed of light is really constant in all reference frames?

I had a debate with a friend who cannot believe that the speed of light is constant. He said something like: so what if in the Michelson-experiment the moving apparatus simply added a constant ...
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Why does larger permittivity of a medium cause light to propagate slower?

I was wondering about what physically happens when light is transmitted through a non-magnetic medium. Specifically, I’m trying to visualize how materials slow down light as the electromagnetic wave ...
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Does the payload of an Alcubierre drive have to be on board during the preparation phase?

I was thinking about the practical aspect of using an Alcubierre drive, assuming one existed. I'm no expert, but my understanding is that, since the destination has to be in the forward light-cone of ...
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Slower than light photons in vacuum?

This report on the BBC site suggests that optical photons have been prepared that travel slower than c in vacuum. How is this possible?
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Sending information faster than light

If I could ever send my friend any information faster than light it would violate causality. If he just guesses the information and acts on it before he could ever recieve it, everything is fine. What ...
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Does spacetime have a “preferred” speed/metric? [duplicate]

I read recently that spacetime has a preferred speed, c, and that all observers would agree on the speed of anything moving at c. In particular, there is nothing unique about light when talking about ...
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Can a Physical Quantity Change at a Pace That's a (>1) Multiple of Light Speed?

A light wave travels along the x-axis. The equation for the variation of an electric field with respect to location on the x-axis and time is as follows: $ E = E_{max} \sin( k x -kc t )$ where $k = ...
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Does light have initial velocity? [duplicate]

You are standing still in a vacuum, and you throw a ball that moves 10 m/s away from you. Now you start moving in one direction at 5 m/s, and throw the ball in the other direction, away from the ...
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Why does moving near light speed keep you young? [duplicate]

As was shown in the movie Interstellar, when you go close to a black hole or move near the speed of light in space, then your clock runs slower than a clock on Earth. In the movie, Matthew ...
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What happens when light is reflected from a surface moving in a medium with a huge refractive index?

Imagine a mirror is moving away from a light source in a substance through which the speed of light is very slow -- so slow that the speed of the mirror is close to being the same as the speed of the ...
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I want to know why light even moves at all.

Never mind in a vacuum, why and how does light even move at all? What propels it?
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The cap on massive particles's speed is below the speed of light due to Planck length?

This answer http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/8525/1991 claims that no particle can accelerate further after its de Broglie wavelength becomes Planck length. Given that speed at this point is ...
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Is it really possible to “discover” the speed of light with a microwave oven?

I've seen a number of sites/videos online that describe a method for measuring the speed of light, using a microwave oven and a chocolate bar. For example, this video on youtube. The basic idea is to ...
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Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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Michelson-Morley experiment revisited under the light of special relativity

Taking into account the composition of speeds in special relativity, lets suppose that a Michelson-Morley interferometer is moving at a speed of $\vec{v}$: the speed of Earth relative to the local ...
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What would an relativistically expanding sphere look like for an external observer?

Consider a reflecting sphere, whose radius is increasing at constant rate V close to light speed. What would the collision look like for a remote observer stationary relative to the centre of the ...
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5answers
170 views

Why is the speed of light in vacuum constant? [duplicate]

Are there any proof of the speed of light in vacuum being constant? All I hear is that light in vacuum travels at a constant speed because that's an observation and that it fits in a coherent theory ...
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Temporal properties of a photon

Naively, one can attempt to consider the (impossible) light-speed inertial frame. From there you arrive at nonsense conclusions like 'the universe is flattened in the direction of travel' which must ...
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How confident can we be that the speed of light in a medium is constant?

I have recently found this article http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/02.18/light.html it tells that physicists have been able to slow the speed of light. Is this hokum? If not how is it possible to ...