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

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Would we see the past if we look to a mirror 1 light year away? [duplicate]

What would we see if we place a mirror 1 light year away? Would we see the present or the past?
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Why doesn't light, which travels faster than sound, produce a sonic boom?

I know that when an object exceeds the speed of sound ($340$ m/s) a sonic boom is produced. Light which travels at $300,000,000$ m/s, much more than the speed of sound but doesn't produce a sonic ...
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Photon: speed and mass

Is it correct to think that the speed of light does not depend on the speed of light source because photons have no mass, so they have no the kind of inertia that is associated with mass, so they can ...
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29 views

What is the speed of gravity? [duplicate]

Hypothetically, let`s say that one day our Sun is suddenly removed from the galaxy. For us, on earth, would take up to 8.3 minutes to notice that the sun was removed, since the distance from the earth ...
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22 views

Relative speed and time [duplicate]

There is a notion that travelling at the speed of light is impossible for a matter. But what if the there are 2 objects that are coming towards each other with half the speed of light. Thus relatively ...
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31 views

Is there an area of the universe observable from earth that is newer than the rest [on hold]

If the big bang theory and expansion theory is correct, if we look from earth to the sky will we observe in a specific area newer galaxies than the galaxies we see in the rest of the observable sky? ...
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123 views

Special Relativity - Distance Not Increased?

I just watched the movie Interstellar and the question was asked of why/how high-speed travel would slow time within an area. Curious as I am, I watched several YouTube videos to quickly 'educate' ...
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29 views

Speed of light in a medium as superposition of dipole radiation

Studying electromagnetism I know that the speed of light in a medium is $v = c/\eta$ and that it's possible to derive this from the Maxwell equations in the medium. But I wanted to find a microscopic ...
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159 views

How can light travel at a speed greater than the speed of light

I was reading John Rennie's answer here, Can light travel faster? I now know that the sentence ''the speed of light is always constant in vacuum'' is just an oversimplification, for example light ...
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63 views

Is there a horizontal event horizon on a spinning black hole?

It seems that most of the information one reads about black holes theorises that they are not spinning. The theories then describe all matter approaching a black hole as being absorbed by it. Wouldn't ...
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Speed of light yes or no? [closed]

First off I am not a physics student: I am more of a science enthusiast. My question pertains to time and the speed of light: According to Einstein, no mass can travel at the speed of light. Now, ...
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59 views

Would light from the Sun necessarily reach Earth after 8 minutes if the Sun was switched off?

Would light from the Sun still reach Earth if there was a hypothetical event that shut off the Sun? The time taken by light to travel from the Sun to the Earth is 8 minutes. Couldn't a catastrophe in ...
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Why does red light travel faster than blue light?

I know that light of all frequencies travel at the same speed in vacuum. But I wonder why their speed differ in any other medium, why does red light travel faster if it has less energy than blue ...
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27 views

Would you be able to see yourself in a mirror in front of you as you two are in a room traveling at the speed of light? [duplicate]

Veritasium talked about this in one video. If you are in a room or a train, plane, car or whatever just a closed space traveling at the speed of light and you put a mirror in front of you, could you ...
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78 views

Is the speed of light affected by all mediums it travels in?

An EM particle-wave propagates in a vacuum at a constant speed c, independent of the source/receiver. It is still dependent on the medium it "moves" through, which will determine the speed it can move ...
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Propagation speed of photons when taking higher-order QFT corrections into account

In our group of experimental physicist who have nothing to do with and know very little about quantum field theory, we recently had a question concerning the propagation speed of photons in vacuum: ...
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35 views

How does the photon differentiate between events?

As far as I know for a photon that's moving at the speed of light (obviously) time comes to a halt and space contracts to a point, making all travels instant from its perspective. Now this is the part ...
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Why are the proper time and the proper length not defined in the same frame of reference?

I've just read this interesting Wikipedia article about time dilation and length contraction in special relativity. . Derivation of time dilation Applying the above postulates, consider the ...
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Could gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves/light be the same thing? [duplicate]

They travel at the same speed, why? Maybe they are the same thing, but seen from different perspectives.
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Given the quantum Zeno effect, won't continual observations of a photon stop/slow down light?

The quantum Zeno effect states that continual observations will prevent motion. Therefore, won't continual observations of a photon(s) reduce the speed of light? Is my reasoning flawed?
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Is there a formula that gives the position of an object depending on the time, but which doesn't allow the object to surpass the speed of light?

I have found these two formulas: $v = at + v_0$ $x = \frac{1}{2}at^2 + v_0t + x_0$ a is the acceleration v is the velocity x is the position t is the time $v_0$ is the initial velocity $x_0$ is ...
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Top speed for a human

What is the fastest that a human being of average weight could possibly travel, and what is the most widely held theory for how this might be achieved (assuming this person is impervious to all forms ...
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Velocity of light

Velocity of light decreases as it enters a more optically denser medium. So how far can the velocity of light be reduced? Which object has the highest refractive index?
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Acceleration to lightspeed using gravity

Suppose we have a very advanced spaceship that (aside from colliding with planets or entering a blackhole) is indestructable, and can go very fast, but is incapable of moving at lightspeed on it's ...
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2answers
87 views

How to visualize the world while travelling near the speed of light? [closed]

I have been having some trouble with this for a while. I think in terms of vivid , moving images and i haven't been able to visualize this completely. I wondered if a person, like the Flash from the ...
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25 views

Unit definition concerning light and metre [closed]

A stupid question. I see metre is officially defined based on the speed of light: The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1 / 299 792 458 of ...
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Will an object always fall at an infinite speed in a black hole?

Most of you if not everybody will agree that the stronger the gravitational pull, the faster an object will fall. For example, on a planet with 50 times the gravity of Earth, any object will hit the ...
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Can a point in empty space be motionless with respect to light?

Being that the speed of light is constant throughout the universe, can a point in empty space be motionless with respect to light?
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Has anyone tried Michaelson-Morley in an accelerated frame?

After doing much more digging than I thought I had to do, I found out that the speed of light is NOT invariant in an accelerated reference frame. Has anyone done any experiments to confirm this? In ...
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71 views

Is gravity instantaneous? [duplicate]

I want to know if (hypothetically) a star appears out of nowhere at a certain distance (say 20 light seconds) away from me, how long will it take for me to get the feel of it's gravity? Will I know it ...
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122 views

Speed of light constant for all observers [duplicate]

General relativity has been proven many times over to be correct. In my meager understanding of things, they are all premised on the fact that the speed of light is constant to all observers. I would ...
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2answers
44 views

Is the influence of gravity greater than light? [duplicate]

As the influence of gravity is infinite throughout the universe.is the influence of its force on a body very far away faster than the speed of light.suppose a star dies...is the influence of its ...
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Gravity and the Speed of Light

Let's assume that I am on an airplane that is at about 4,000 altitude and now let's also assume that I am standing on one of the wings with a light torch, if I point the light torch below to the ...
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Travelling at the speed of light [closed]

more of a philosophical questions normally if you are travelling at some speed and you bump into some object, you generally would get slowed down and the force from your acceleration would be ...
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4answers
382 views

What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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43 views

Light speed measured by observing Jupiter moons [duplicate]

The famous discovery that the light has speed measures the times of the immersion and emergence of Io, one of Jupiter's moons. However, I still can't comprehend this. Even when the Earth is further ...
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2answers
171 views

Can gravitational waves escape from inside of black holes? [duplicate]

I understand that light cannot escape from inside of an event horizon because the spacetime curvature is too warped for photons to escape. On the other hand, gravitational waves are ripples of ...
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1answer
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Does the speed of light vary depending on what it travels through? [duplicate]

The title is pretty much self explanatory. Does the speed of light vary depending on what it is traveling through? The speed of light through vacuum is 299792458 meters per second but does it change ...
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3answers
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How long ago did the Universe end? (Or, how much warning will we get when it does?)

Only partly kidding... Let's suppose that a thousand, or a million, years ago there was an explosion of some gigantic star (or other celestial object) that was strong enough to destroy Earth and Life ...
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Frequency dependence of the speed of light in air

According to this link, the speed of light of different colors in a medium should be different. But if the refractive index of light in air is 1 then this means that the speed of light in air and ...
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58 views

Does the strength of a beam of light determine how much distance it can travel?

If I point a light torch to a cloudless, crystal clear and an absolutely pristine sky, will the light beam exit the planet and travel forever in the vacuum of space? (assuming it doesn't get perturbed ...
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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 ...
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80 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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41 views

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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67 views

electrons inside nucleus and uncertainty principle [closed]

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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1answer
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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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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65 views

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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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 ...