1
vote
3answers
130 views

Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
-4
votes
3answers
115 views

What's the purpose of the speed of light in $E = mc^2$?

Is $E=mc^2$ not just $E=m$. What does the speed of light have to do with this other than to give it a really big number so it looks cool? What spectrum of light is used? How can we test the speed of ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

About the speed of light

If Mr. E is aboard a spaceship traveling near the speed of light the usual reason for the spaceship not going faster than $c$ is the (relativistic) mass of the ship increases without bound, I think. ...
1
vote
3answers
123 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
1
vote
4answers
164 views

How do we know that photons are exactly massless and travel exactly with speed $c$ in vacuum?

I know that this question may sound stupid, but what I mean is that photons have some energy and no mass, yet the mass and energy are said to be equivalent (or maybe I got that part wrong). In an ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Is speed of light ( Sun-to-Earth ) related to the movement speed of solar system?

The speed of light has been measured to be 299 792 458 m/s. Now, the Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 828,000 km/h (230 000 m/s). Summing up the numbers we get close to 300 000 000 m/s ...
6
votes
2answers
452 views

How can photons interact with anything?

I read photons do not age because they move at the speed of light. So when a photon interacts with my eyes, aren't they apart in space-time by the difference of the time in the frame of reference of ...
0
votes
2answers
109 views

Speed of light that is traveling away from the observer

The second postulate of Special Relativity states: The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the source. Now imagine the observer ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Weird case for relative velocities and special relativity

This has bothered me for a while. I've been taught that the formula for determining the perceived velocity on an object from another moving object's reference frame under special relativity is: $$v = ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the role of the speed of light in mass-energy equivalency? [duplicate]

Where does $c$ squared come into play in the equation $E=mc^2$. Multiplication obviously but how does energy equal mass times the speed of light?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Does the light speed change in media? [duplicate]

Does the light speed change? The Theory of Relativity says that the speed of light in vacuum is the same and unchangeable, while I read that the speed of light in glass is lower than in air, and that ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Aim of the Michelson Morley Experimetn [duplicate]

What was the aim of the MM experiment? Many sources say that it was to measure the relativity velocity of the Earth through the aether. But I'm trying to understand what this exactly means, and why ...
0
votes
0answers
92 views

Theoretically if you passed the speed of light, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. Despite this if it were possible, would there be some sort of ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

What will be the relative speed of a photon in a light ray to another photon of opposite direction light ray?

If two light rays start simultaneously in the space from exactly opposite ends in opposite direction that is separated by a distance of 600000 km in a way they meet at the mid point (300000 km from ...
0
votes
3answers
60 views

Question about relative speeds on a different “scales of perception”

I was kind of puzzled yesterday when thinking about this. If we observe an object moving away from us with 10m/s we would say the object is moving away from us really slowly But if we (humans, ...
-1
votes
1answer
191 views

Why light can't go faster then 300 000 km/s? What prevents it? [duplicate]

Why can't the speed of light be faster then approx 300 000 km/s? What prevents it?
3
votes
2answers
106 views

Light & Observer moving perpendicular to each other

Light is the yellow arrow. Observer is the black arrow. Observer is moving at a constant speed of v, w.r.t to a Galilean frame of reference. Now from the point of view of the observer (O), how ...
0
votes
2answers
168 views

Why is light speed the limit? [duplicate]

Why is the light speed a limit? Why can't anything go faster than light? Not even a single atom?
4
votes
2answers
106 views

Difficulty in understading a part of the book “A Brief History of Time”?

Sorry if the question is not upto the standard of the site but i really can't understand what the following para says. I am reading the book "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking and in the ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

What changes occur while an atom approches the speed of light?

My knowledge of atomic dynamics is a little superficial. But to my understanding an electron travels an orbital path around a nucleus of an atom. "correct?" So let's say that if a hydrogen atom were ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Does the speed of light in different mediums affect the lorentz transformation?

We know that the Lorentz transformation is derived using the speed of light in vacuum. But if we were to use it in water, would it change since the speed of light in water should also remain constant ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Theoretical Upper Bound on Processor Speed?

Barring aside considerations such as heat dissipation, capacitance, etc... (aka any sort of technological issue) what is the fastest speed of a processor? I am told that at distances of 1 planck ...
0
votes
4answers
108 views

Why does special relativity talk about the speed of light in a vacuum?

What's the importance of the speed of light being in a vacuum? Does not being in a vacuum cause a difference?
-2
votes
1answer
162 views

Resolution of the EPR paradox using relativity of simultaneity

A simple explanation for photon entanglement experiments Example: Quantum teleportation La Palma-Teneriffa in 2012 (distance 143 km) - Photons were entangled in such a way that when measuring ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Acceleration reaches speed of light? [duplicate]

Hi, I am thinking about acceleration. Let's think we have a force of $1$ N and a particle of $1$ kg, then acceleration will be $1$. So the speed gets higher every second and $c$ seconds later, in ...
-2
votes
1answer
42 views

Speed of light energy

Considering the amount of energy necessary to accelerate a particle to the speed of light (ie; half the energy in the entire universe) how could we have so many things already going the speed of ...
0
votes
2answers
197 views

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. In what frame of reference? [duplicate]

Since frames of reference are arbitrary, I can define a frame of reference that moves backwards with a speed greater than $c$, then any static object in that frame of reference is already traveling ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Special Relativity Time problem

Suppose there are two observers, they each own a light clock which were synchronised in the beginning and are moving relative to each other. So each of them accuses that the other person's clock is ...
0
votes
2answers
122 views

Paradox Regarding Time Dilation at the Speed of Light

Consider the following scenario: On earth, I pulse a laser focused at a far away mirror such that the time it takes for the light to reflect off the mirror and arrive back at me is at least a few ...
1
vote
3answers
187 views

Why Sun light can reach us if Time is dilating?

I understand that if something is moving with constant speed in respect to an observer, the time of the moving one runs slower, so the more your speed is, the more your time ticks slower. Which ...
1
vote
2answers
172 views

Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? [closed]

I have the following questions. Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? What happens to an object when it comes close to the speed of the light? What makes the object unable to surpass this ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Physical meaning of the Rindler hyperbola vertex and the Rindler lines

Two questions regarding the Rindler diagram: 1) Does the vertex of a given hyperbola in the diagram have physical meaning? I know it is the inverse of the constant proper acceleration ($\alpha$) ...
-2
votes
1answer
249 views

Why does light travel at finite speed? [duplicate]

We have known for quite some time now that light travels at a finite speed of 3x10^8m/s (approx) through vacuum. But why is that? Why can't the speed be infinite? Or at least higher than the current ...
3
votes
4answers
255 views

What does 99.9% speed of light mean when there is no absolute velocity?

So when people say: 'I am approaching the speed of light, and to get to 100% light I would need infinite energy' they are essentially saying that this situation is impossible? I read this in ...
3
votes
3answers
192 views

Speed of light travel

I have just started special theory of relativity. The limiting speed known as speed of light fascinated me most. I asked my teacher: Consider two massless objects moving in the same direction at ...
6
votes
3answers
445 views

Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How is the universe is experienced at light speed? [duplicate]

When moving faster, we experience time dilation and space contraction. We often state that a photon does not travel through time, i.e. if it where capable of observation, it would not experience time. ...
-5
votes
1answer
117 views

Faster than light possibility? [duplicate]

According to general relativity, speed is relative, so for example if you are running at 20 km/h and a car passes you at 30 km/h, the runner is actually moving at 50 km/h relative to the car. Now ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Lorentz boost matrix in terms of four-velocity

As I understand it, the value of a 4-vector $x$ in another reference frame ($x'$) with the same orientation can be derived using the Lorentz boost matrix $\bf{\lambda}$ by $x'=\lambda x$. More ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
9
votes
2answers
191 views

Proving invariance of $ds^2$ from the invariance of the speed of light

I've started today the book of Landau and Lifshitz Vol.2: The Classical Theory of Fields $\S 2$. They start from the invariance of the speed of light, express it as the fact that $$c^2(\Delta ...
2
votes
3answers
310 views

Did Einstein know about Michelson-Morley experiment?

The second postulate of special relativity deals with constancy of light in inertial reference frames. But, how did Einstein came to this conclusion? Did he knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment? ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Su­per­lu­mi­nal in­ter­ac­tions

The fact that photons emitted from an electric-dipole active atom cannot be spatially localized better than to the near-field zone of the atom is seen as the origin of genuine superluminality. ...
-2
votes
3answers
106 views

Velocity of the photon

As far as I know photon travels in a wave pattern, that means it has $x$ and $y$ axis velocity components. If photon travels along $x$ axis, then what is it's maximum $y$ axis velocity?
4
votes
2answers
128 views

Speed of light, lasers and mass

Hopefully this isn't a bad question. Light travels at the speed it does and nothing else can travel that fast because things have mass, correct? Or at least correct on an elementary level. And if ...
13
votes
1answer
398 views

Is it only the Higgs field that stops me from getting to $c$?

Is it only the higgs field that stops me from accelerating up to the speed of light or is there other restriction concerning the increase in mass? In other words if I had a Higgs field shield on my ...
-2
votes
4answers
233 views

Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Time dilation and the speed of light in the twin paradox

Suppose we look at the twin paradox where the twin traveling at high speed relative to an observer on earth has a clock which counts time by sending photons of light across a distance within the ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

How does velocity cause time dilation?

I've been trying to learn about the speed of light and time dilation, but I'm at an impasse. The presented facts say that if I travel around the solar system at 50% the speed of light and then come ...