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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Expanding universe and the speed of light [duplicate]

When physicists talk about the expanding universe they often say that the distant galaxies are not really "moving" away but instead the space itself between us and them is expanding. If this is true ...
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567 views

Energy & Mass of a Photon [duplicate]

$$\text{Please read the whole question before answering}$$ Before I ask my question, I would like to say that "Yes, I do know a photon has no mass." I was helping someone here on P.SE with the ...
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Approaching speed of light: why do objects appear further away in front of me?

A Slower Speed of Light is a video game created by the MIT Game Lab which allows users to experience what it would be like if the speed of light was closer to normal walking/running speeds and thus ...
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29 views

What causes light to travel? [duplicate]

What is the force that causes it to move and why does it maintain the speed for so long? If it has no mass, why is it effected by mass?
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2answers
208 views

A curious case of Relativistic Velocity Addition [duplicate]

The relativistic velocity addition formula is $$u = \frac{v+u'}{1+ \frac{vu'}{c^2}}$$ Where $u$ = velocity of projectile seen by rest observer "A" $v$ = velocity of moving observer "B" as seen by ...
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112 views

Is light so important in special relativity?

I'm an amateur physics enthusiast with no formal university education in Physics. So my question might sound very naive, so forgive me. I had this question in the back of my mind since the wrong ...
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37 views

When gravity pulls on light it blueshifts or redshifts it, which way around does it go?

when light is propagating away from a mass does it get blue shifted or red shifted? And if its going towards a mass whats the effect?
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2answers
82 views

Speed of light and distance

Our measure of distance (the meter) is defined in terms of how far light in a vacuum travels in a specific time. When light travels through another medium, we say it travels at a different speed. Why ...
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37 views

How does light travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

If it is impossible for matter to accelerate to $c$ (because doing so would take infinite energy), and if light can be deemed matter (because of wave-particle duality, photons are matter, right? And ...
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2answers
192 views

Is time nothing but the speed of light (or the light itself)?

With regard to relativistic effects on time, all the examples and explanations revolve around light and its speed. Especially in explanatory situations that explain this using photon clock, it seems ...
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3answers
173 views

Does this count as moving faster than light?

I'm not familiar with any complicated physics equation, however I do understand some basics. Suppose there is two objects, both of them are moving away from each other in a 3-dimensional space, which ...
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1answer
52 views

Universal speed limit [duplicate]

Is there any reason the universe has matter not being able to exceed the speed of light, or why there is a speed limit in the first place? I know why it can't, meaning the basic physics of it. I ...
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1answer
71 views

If the mass of an object or system is a measure of its energy content, multiplied by speed of light squared…?

If the mass of an object or system is a measure of its energy content, multiplied by speed of light squared, does it mean that the total potential energy of the rest mass of object or entire system ...
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Which electromagnetic radiation is faster in water, microwaves or light?

Well I've been asked this question, but I haven't been able to come with an answer yet using books and some web searches. The point is as the title says, to answer the question with the whole ...
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1answer
98 views

How did Fizeau make his famous speed-of-light experiment?

I heard once in a TED talk how Fizeau measured the speed of light in the 19th century. Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8UFGu2M2gM You can read about it here in Wikipedia: ...
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What is the derivation of the speed of light $c$ that is not based on electromagnetism? [duplicate]

The "speed of light" is not just the speed of electromagnetic radiation, but of any massless particle. Therefore must not there be an expression for $c$ that is not in terms of $\mu_0$ and ...
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Can you run away from your shadow?

Now this might be a silly question but it's actually bugging me, this one might be easier to understand if you have kids that watch (or used to watch) Peppa Pig. In one of the episodes, about shadows, ...
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1answer
118 views

Speed of light versus pull of gravity - Is $c$ really the limit? [duplicate]

The understanding I have is that the speed of light is considered to be the highest attainable speed in physics. Of course there are theories of tachyons but since those haven't been proven we'll ...
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1answer
53 views

If we could reach very high speeds, could we measure the velocity of the Earth this way?

If we could reach (nearly) the speed of light with spaceships, could we measure the velocity of the Earth by launching three perpendicular rockets, accelerating them, and measuring how much fuel ...
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Which of these theories on why light slows in media are true?

This question is similar to previously asked questions, but the responses to them are confusing and I think it may be better covered by listing out all the potential answers for clarity. It's a ...
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1answer
29 views

Dissipating light pollution

If all the lights in a city, and the area surrounding it were shut off. How long would it take for the light pollution to clear, so the light from stars could be seen?
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33 views

Is there any acceleration of light? [duplicate]

I find it hard to believe that photons always travel with 3 x 10^8 m/s just from the start. But there must be some acceleration of light. Maybe huge or taking place in picoseconds. So what maybe the ...
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1answer
103 views

Maximum speed higher than the speed of light

I wanted to ask if higher speed than the speed of light will be discovered, will scientists be able to adjust the special relativity to the new situation? I read that informations transmitted faster ...
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Consistency of the Speed of Light [duplicate]

My question is simple and possibly stupid, but I wanted to know hypothetically what would happen if two objects start moving away from each other at half the speed of light (0.5c). Is the observed ...
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3answers
332 views

Does the the quantum field theoretic process of particle–antiparticle annihilation break the axioms of Special Relativity?

$\textbf{Note that this diagram hasn't anything to do with the question directly.}$ After a particle and its antiparticle annihilate, their energy is converted into a force carrier particle, such ...
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1answer
93 views

Travelling at/over speed of light, I fire a laser in front of me. What happens to the light from the laser? [closed]

For a moment, assume that travel at/over the speed of light is possible, and we fire a laser in front of us, what happens to the light emitted from the laser? Would the photons scatter, or would the ...
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1answer
90 views

Relation between intensity of light and refractive index

The intensity of light (as calculated from time average of the poynting vector) is given by $I = (1/2) \epsilon v E_0^2$. Here the intensity is dependent on the velocity of light in the medium. The ...
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What is $c + (-c)$?

If object A is moving at velocity $v$ (normalized so that $c=1$) relative to a ground observer emits object B at velocity $w$ relative to A, the velocity of B relative to the ground observer is $$ v ...
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1answer
84 views

If gravitational radiation (or anything) cannot escape a black hole, how can it produce redshift or curve spacetime? [duplicate]

There is an apparent paradox in a Black hole. Keenan Pepper wrote: Electromagnetic radiation cannot escape a black hole, because it travels at the speed of light. Similarly, gravitational ...
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22 views

Perception when Moving at the seed of light? [closed]

Let us assume that a person moves at the speed of light say towards a planet -say Neptune. Neglecting the relativistic mass effects of the person, what would be his perception? In Vsauce- a YouTube ...
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2answers
264 views

How can individual photons have different amounts of energy?

If photon is an elementary particle, how can different photons have different energy, if $E=mc^2$ and all photons have (or don't have) the same mass and the speed of photon is constant shouldn't it ...
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1answer
76 views

What is the speed of light from a star moving towards a observer.? [duplicate]

We can say that in vacuum speed of light is constant. But if the star is moving with a certain velocity does it add that velocity to the velocity of photons emitted out of that star?
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What makes photons travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

Photons are the only elementary particles which can travel at speed of light. What are the qualities of the photon that enable it to travel with the speed of light?
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3answers
555 views

Why does light travel at the same speed when measured by a moving observer? [duplicate]

I know the hypothesis that the light speed is constant is retained by experiments. But is there any theory explaining why the light speed is constant no matter how an observer moves relative to light? ...
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2answers
79 views

$F=ma$ calculation taking relativity into account?

Newton's second law of motion states that $f = ma$. However, in this equation, theoretically there could be a value of $f$ and $m$ that results in an acceleration that is enough to push an object past ...
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1answer
35 views

Which experiment would be able to detect change in the speed of light? [duplicate]

Since the unit of distance is defined in terms of speed of light in vacuum, if the speed of light in vacuum were to change by "magic", what experiment would be able to detect that? Is there a theory ...
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5answers
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Is speed of light and sound rational or irrational in nature?

Just as circumference of circle will remain $\pi$ for unit diameter, no matter what standard unit we take, are the speeds of light and sound irrational or rational in nature ? I'm talking about ...
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1answer
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Massless particles and the speed of light - New? Theories of existence [closed]

"The best understanding we have is that it [light] is a disturbance in the electromagnetic fields of charged bodies." http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/relativity/q212.html This is a link to the ...
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1answer
154 views

How does it seem to be that space/time always equals $c$?

Given the way objects move, they seem to be going all the same "velocity" so to speak, that velocity being the speed of light. Except, velocity is displacement/time, so if something goes faster, the ...
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5answers
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Why Light and Observers have different laws of physics [closed]

Special relativity states: The speed of light in a vacuum is always $c$, regardless of the velocity of the observer. The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. These two ...
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1answer
29 views

Does Light (EM Signal) undergo accelration during reflection? [duplicate]

Since Average acceleration is defined as, Average acceleration over a period of time is the change in Velocity divided by the Duration of the Period. Does Light (EM Wave) undergo acceleration during ...
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1answer
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Experiment with spring and two light sources emitting light in opposite directions

Two (almost massless) light sources connected with a (almost massless) spring emit light beams in opposite directions. What is the speed at which the spring extends?
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2answers
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Do the laws of physics that apply to all observers also apply to a non-observer? [closed]

The Timelessness of a photon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ELA3ReWQJY An observer's laws of physics are time based. "When you're traveling at the speed of light, time does not exist" - Neil ...
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1answer
100 views

Does physics recognize the particle of light separately from the wave of light? [closed]

To frame this question, we need to assume that time freezes when traveling at the speed of light. This is theoretically congruent with Einstein's theory of relativity and the theory of time dilation, ...
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1answer
74 views

Are the ideas of the speed of light and the absolute top speed inside the universe equivalent? [duplicate]

The idea of the speed of light being as fast as something can go is pretty well accepted. I'm wondering if the top speed might be (very slightly) higher? Lemme explain. I was reading about particle ...
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3answers
176 views

Is the Speed of Light an universal spacetime constant, the velocity of electromagnetic waves, or of photons?

This question has been touched tangentially by What's a better phrase than "speed of light" for the universal spacetime speed constant? and Could light travel more slowly than the ...
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0answers
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What would the properties of a particle be that would allow light to orbit it? [duplicate]

What would the properties of a particle be that would allow light to orbit it? Light travels fast. Really fast. Almost to the point where we consider that it's instantaneous, and moves only in a ...
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3answers
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Why do we say that light travels at a speed? [duplicate]

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, the more speed something has the slower that time passes for it; and presumably when traveling at the speed of light, time stops entirely. So this means ...
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What is the difference between “accelerating a particle to light speed” and “turning on a flashlight”?

According to how we understand the universe it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate the ambiguous "particle" to light speed. Yet there are all kinds of reactions that cause light, ...
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7answers
242 views

Relativity of Simultaniety

In the first figure, A and B are two equidistant points from the observer O in S. In the second figure (reference frame S') the corresponding points are A'and B' such that A'O'=O'B', where O' is the ...