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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
0answers
17 views

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface? [duplicate]

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface like mirror, we know that light changes path when it meets a surface like mirror.If light changes path,even if travelling at c,this means light has ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Light photon direction in movement

I recently watched a couple science videos on YouTube and left me with a doubt. If a spaceship goes to a really fast speed in the (horizontal) $x$-direction, what would happen if it shoots a light ...
-1
votes
2answers
40 views

Does light ever experiences acceleration? [duplicate]

Till now I have learned that light has fastest speed. But I have also noticed that wherever it travels it only experiences retardation. So I wanted to know if light ever felt acceleration naturally in ...
0
votes
3answers
82 views

Why is this method valid in special relativity

Here is the question Two clocks are positioned at the ends of train of proper length $L$. They are synchronised in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out that if ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How does a world line of an Alcubierre drive look like?

In my recent question ”Speed of light and warp drives in general relativity” I asked exactly how an Alcubierre drive worked and exactly what "FTL travel" meant. One of the comments I got stated that: ...
-5
votes
0answers
46 views

Concerning infinite energy and the speed of light [on hold]

From Wikipedia: "Under the special theory of relativity, a particle (that has rest mass) with subluminal velocity needs infinite energy to accelerate to the speed of light, to accelerate beyond the ...
33
votes
6answers
8k views

Why can't we see light travelling from point A to B?

Let's say we have a cloud of dust which is a lightyear across and someone shoots a beam of light from point A to B , why it is not possible for an observer far far away to see the light while it ...
0
votes
2answers
102 views

“If the astronaut found that light slowed down relative to his motion, he would have detected the very ether wind that Michelson failed to detect”?

The following extract is from Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner (Amazon link): Consider an astronaut in a spaceship that is racing alongside a light beam. The ship is traveling with ...
-2
votes
0answers
11 views

The velocity of the image if both the mirror and the object start moving [closed]

Suppose a vertical plane mirror and a object which is placed at a distance of 4 m from the mirror. If we start moving the mirror with a velocity of 2m/s and also start moving the object at 3m/s. Then ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How to explain the homogeneity of the universe through a physic model [duplicate]

If in general, two objects homogenize themself by combining it's parts, why the horizon effect, based on a big bang model, excludes such an important physical interaction process? I wonder if this ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Constancy of speed of light $c$ with perpendicular motion [duplicate]

Suppose light is travelling in a straight line parallel to $y$-axis takes time $t$ to reach from $y_1$ to $y_2$ in a reference frame $S$. Let there be another frame, $S'$, which is travelling parallel ...
3
votes
1answer
123 views

How can the orbit of Jupiter's moons be used to calculate the speed of light? [duplicate]

How can the orbit of Jupiter's moons be used to calculate the speed of light? It seems this was one of the first methods and goes back to 1656.
1
vote
3answers
102 views

Inertia on relativistic mass when particle is near speed of light

Inertia is directly proportional to mass but what happens when something travel to speed near to light. Its relativistic mass tends to infinity but that is false mass so I want to know if inertia is ...
5
votes
3answers
175 views

Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is the speed of light in vacuum always the same value?

The escape velocity of different planets and stars vary. If they vary, the velocities of bodies escaping from the respective stars or planets should also vary. Like, if I want a ball to reach 10 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Are we all moving at $c$? [duplicate]

Is it true to say that all matter in the universe is travelling with velocity c through spacetime, but that for baryonic matter most of that velocity is through the time dimensions rather than the XYZ ...
-1
votes
2answers
60 views

Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

How is it that the voltage wave along a circuit is a tenth of the speed of light?

I have heard that the voltage wave (pushing the electrons) along a circuit is a tenth of the speed of light. Can someone please explain with an illustration how it is possible?
-2
votes
0answers
36 views

The movement with the speed of light [duplicate]

Light moves at $3\times 10^8$ m/s, but is this speed always so?, imagine if I am in a dark room that is $1$ light year long and I am standing at one extreme end of the room, and there is a powerful ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

How do we know that fundamental constants don't slowly change in time? [duplicate]

Let me get one thing straight first. I am not saying that fundamental constants like the speed of light don't have the value that we know they have today. What I am asking is whether the value of a ...
0
votes
3answers
81 views

Would a giant see our year as a second? [closed]

If there were an enormous being whose arm span is one light year across, how would that being perceive time? Wouldn't what we perceive as a year be virtually nothing to that being? Explanation: ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

Forces and the light

Do external forces can affect the light? Can any external force make the light accelerate? And if it can, will it accumulate mass? (according to the second Newton's law of motion $m = F/a$ ) We know ...
-2
votes
2answers
92 views

Newton's laws and the maximum speed

According to Newton's second law of motion : $F = ma$ In an certain occasion, we exert 2 forces (the magnitudes of the forces are the same) on 2 different objects, Object A and Object B, in the same ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Light travels in a medium

According to Snell's law : $${n_1 \over n_2} = {v_2 \over v_1}$$ $v_2 = v_1 n_1 / n_2$ Assuming that $n_1$ is vacuum , we will find the following equation: $$v = c / n$$ (We may find the same ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Do you encounter more photons (per unit time) when moving forwards at a constant velocity?

Let's say you have rain hitting you evenly on all sides (not very realistic, I know). If you were to move forwards at a constant speed, there would be more droplets of rain hitting you per second on ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Why can't we increase the speed of sound in a constant Temperature-pressure condition?

We know the speed depends on the kinetic energy. Imagine that we have 3 iron balls equally spaced and kept in space (zero gravity condition). If i push the first ball slowly it would travel slowly ...
0
votes
2answers
38 views

Relative Velocity Problem: Light? [duplicate]

Assume 2 rockets coming towards each other at each other at 99% of speed of light, and so as they pass each other the relative velocity between 2 rockets would be 198% of Speed of Light and so what ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

How do I sum up speed though space and time to obtain c (in terms of units)?

I'm still learning SR and only recently I could scratch the surface of such beautiful, complex and deep topic. This post here was really enlightening, and even though it is somewhat basic, it helped ...
70
votes
11answers
12k views

If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?

I've often heard that Einstein shattered the notion of absolute motion (i.e. all things move relative to one another) and that he established the speed of light as being absolute. That sounds ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

Relativistic deceleration and energy

It's common knowledge that due to relativistic effects, accelerating from 0.8c to 0.9c takes a lot more energy than accelerating from 0.1c to 0.2c. However, what's the case with deceleration? Does it ...
0
votes
3answers
109 views

The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How is light slowing down in a medium thought of in the photon picture? [duplicate]

The speed of light in any medium besides vacuum is smaller than $c$. In a classical way, I just look at that as a wave that propagates less fast, the change in EM-field is passed on slower. How should ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

I know light's speed in vacuum is constant, but what about its velocity?

Is the velocity of light in vacuum constant? It seems it would be different depending on whether it is coming toward you or away from you, but I just want to make sure. Does the direction of light ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Is distance always 0 relative to an object moving at speed of light $c$?

As I understand it, when an object is traveling at the speed of light, relative to itself all travel is instantaneous and the distance is zero. If a photon traveling from the sun was aligned with the ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

The invariance vs constancy of the speed of light in vacuum

This is perhaps as much a question of semantics as of physics but it is something I have been thinking about recently and was wondering if anyone else had a perspective on this. Now, it could be that ...
1
vote
3answers
108 views

The speed of light/EM waves in vacuum; as if there was another one in non-vacuum?

Q1: is there a speed of a photon other than in "vacuum"? Q2: isn't "speed of light in vacuum" misleading? If I understand, that light moves with speed of light until there is "something in between" ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

On the no-faster-than-light in special relativity

In the special relativity it is well established that, in the vacuum no one can ever travel faster than light, due to the relativistic velocity addition formula. Recently I saw some silly statement ...
-1
votes
2answers
96 views

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of the light, but could this be an exception? [duplicate]

I often show off by asking people how fast electrons flow through wires. Then I tell them it's actually only a few millimeters per second. To clear the disbelief off their faces and boost my ego, I ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is it possible to travel forward and backward along with time? [closed]

Is it possible to travel along through time if we found a thing that is more speeder than light?
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Why the speed of light in vacuum is same in all inertial reference frames? [duplicate]

If Cathy’s velocity toward Bill and away from Amy is v = 0.9c, Cathy finds, by making measurements in her reference frame, that the light from Bill approaches her at speed c, not at c + v = 1.9c. ...
-2
votes
1answer
114 views

Why $c$ is $3$ x $10^8$ times faster than a $1$ $m/sec$ car? [duplicate]

The value of of a dimensional constant like $c$ is often regarded as unimportant since it can be arbitrarily changed to any desired value by changing our units. For example, $c$=$3$x$10^8$ in $m/sec$, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Michelson-Morley experiment

I have to do an experiment about light. I preferred to measure the speed of light by the experiment of Michelson and Morley. When you do the experiment, it will result in an interference pattern by ...
-1
votes
2answers
93 views

Stopping a Body (travelling at the speed of light) [closed]

While, I read that if a body accelerates to the speed of light would have an infinite mass and therefore, infinite energy would be required to maintain the speed. A question popped up in my mind: ...
0
votes
2answers
85 views

What is $c$ in the Lorentz force expression?

The usual Lorentz force expression I am familiar with is this: $$\vec F=q(\vec E+\vec v \times \vec B)$$ I have seen some other versions lately that include an extra factor $1/c$: $$\vec ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Speed of light paradox [duplicate]

If I send two rockets from the Earth in opposite directions, at, say, 60% of the speed of light relative to the Earth, then relative to each other they are travelling at 120% of the speed of light. ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Why wouldn't any Emission Theory work?

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/origins_pathway/#Emission Here, at the Emission theories of light, I loved the discussed theory. There seems to be a contradiction right ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Maxwell, speed of light and the electric permittivity and magnetic constants

When Maxwell found that the already-measured speed of light could also be derived from the already-measured electric and magnetic constants, what were the electric and magnetic constants measured to ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

If the speed of light is constant in all reference frames, why does the mirror clock experiment show light travelling on an angle?

I was recently looking for answers as to why time slows down the faster you travel and regularly came across the mirror clock experiment. This experiment has a beam of light bouncing between two ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Is it possible to apply force to a light particle?

I know, the universal speed limit is the speed of light $c$. So, is it possible to apply more force to a light particle? What would happen to it if we could?
1
vote
0answers
106 views

Travelling at a relative speed greater than the speed of light [duplicate]

I've wondered about this since I was a kid. I've been told the speed of light is a constant ($c$), which would mean that light always travels at the same velocity. Now, here's what interests me: if ...