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

1
vote
1answer
43 views

Reference for Reichenbach synchronisation and non-standard special relativity

My professor introduced in the last lesson a new method for clock synchronisation, which he called "Reichenbach synchronisation". In this new method, two clock A and B synchronise themself with the ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Why is metre defined in terms of distance covered by light in 1 second? [duplicate]

Why is the unit of length defined with the help of unit of time? (1m=x covered by time in 1/3*10^8 s) Isn't length a fundamental unit too, why is it defined in terms of an other unit?
-1
votes
1answer
27 views

Is the time for light to go a certain distance the same amount of time sped up through relativity?

If you were to stand on the tower of my Lemmon and had an atomic clock that was exactly synchronized with one at tucson, (6734 feet difference) for 24 hours, it was shown to be roughly a 20 nano ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Speed of a particle approaching that of light relative to itself

There's a particle moving at a certain speed $v$ with respect to a reference frame $A$ through an axis I will call $x$. We thus know that for the frame of reference located at the particle itself, the ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

What do we mean by speed of light dependent on direction?

I have a statement in textbook saying: When the speed of light is independent of direction, the secondary waves are spherical. When is it dependent on direction and how will the secondary ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Special Relativity and its relation to refractive index [duplicate]

As is known, light slows down (compared to vacuum) whenever it enters a medium. Also, Special Relativity effectively puts a limit on the max. speed of any body. So is it possible for a body (in a ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

How do electromagnetic waves/light travel at the speed of light?

When something reaches the speed of light, then time is said to stop, or at least is perceived to have stopped. The reason is that at that speed, the object become infinitely heavy and requires ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

A point on a disc travelling at the speed of light [duplicate]

This might be a duplicate of this. I had an interesting thought experiment: suppose that you have a disc of a 1 m radius, where a point P2 inside the disc travels at the speed of light. You have a ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

How can photon have wave properties if they travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so please excuse me if this is a dumb question. As far as I understand Relativity, as observer (in this case a photon) travels at the speed of light, time stops. So how can the ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Speed of gravitational waves and light

We all know that speed of gravitational waves (GW) and that of light in space are exactly the same (= $c$). We also know that space is medium for GW. Does that mean space is also the medium for ...
-2
votes
2answers
91 views

How can we know that the speed of light is constant?

Science say that within a constant time frame the light travels a constant distance. But if time is relative how can it be possible to use it as a reference to say that something is constant?
0
votes
1answer
142 views

If photons end up having a tiny mass, say $10^{-54}~\rm kg$, what would be the universal speed of massless particles?

First, I'm no expert so sorry if I get anything confused but I tried to research as much as could before asking this. So while it is pretty much accepted that photons are massless (Despite this ...
8
votes
3answers
671 views

Speed of gravitational waves vs speed of light

I own an educational YouTube channel on physics and astronomy. I am currently working on a gravitational waves video extension to my "How Fast Is It" video book on relativity theory. I have a question ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

Photons when passing through matter

I am wondering whether there is a simple—or complicated—way to explain from a purely quantum mechanics (or QFT) viewpoint what happens to the photons when they go through some material whose index of ...
-1
votes
2answers
87 views

What particles travel near the speed of a photon? [closed]

I know photons travel at the speed of light. How does the size of a particle determine its maximum velocity? Phonons, Preons, Electron ect. Is there a scale in from the smallest particle's maximum ...
1
vote
2answers
95 views

Why does Special Relativity apply to more than just light?

It is my understanding that time dilation is derived from the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum. I would assume this implies that the quirky consequences would therefore apply only to light. ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Am I just some energy traveled at light speed? [closed]

I don't understand $E=mc^2$ very well, and here is my question: Does this equation mean masses are just condensed energy? And does this mean that the extra energy an object has when traveling at ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Why are black holes black? [duplicate]

If heard two explanations for this. One explanation is that the gravity is so strong that space is being stretched inward faster than the speed of light and thus no photons could possibly escape. The ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Where is the mistake in the following rationament [duplicate]

Well... kind of hard to translate in English so bare with me :). Let's consider a wheel that spins in the void. Each point of the wheel has the speed $v = ω r$. That means that for any $ω$, there is ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Does the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum hold for any observer in GR as well?

From SR, we know that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of the motion of the light source. But in GR, does it still hold for all observers? I mean the constancy ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How are the frequency and wavelength of electromagnetic waves affected within an event horizon?

I apologize if this has been asked previously or if my thinking is way off base, but I am inexperienced with relativity (and this is my first question on the site). I am wondering; as one (not ...
3
votes
3answers
177 views

Relative velocity of light beams

Assume two light beams moving in the same direction i want to use the relativistic velocity transformation equation to find the relative velocity with each other, Note : i let $C$=1 $V_{ab}$=$\frac{...
-3
votes
1answer
137 views

How far does a photon move in the 4th dimension when it travels one light second? [closed]

In one second a photon moves 3x10^8 meters through the three spatial dimensions. Light's velocity is 3x10^8 m/s. If the photon moved at all in the fourth dimension, it's velocity would no longer be ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

At what speeds does time dilations start to occur?

My question is, is it possible for time dilation to occur at a speed less than that of speed of light?
2
votes
1answer
111 views

What happens to a ball spinning with peripheral speed near to the speed of light?

I can't imagine such phenomenon. Would it becomes an ellipsoid, or maybe a straight line?
1
vote
0answers
29 views

How much time will for the observer last sound of thunder? [closed]

We have height of the cloud 5 km. The observer stands 20 km away. The speed of sound depends only on the temperature. $C=a\times\sqrt T$ Temperature on 5 km is $-33^o C$ and on the ground $7^oC$. ...
2
votes
2answers
408 views

Stanford: “Objects in spacetime all move at constant speed $c$.” Are they right? [duplicate]

In this Stanford University lecture on Relativity, it is stated: Likewise, objects in spacetime all move at constant speed c in spacetime but if you change its direction, say by moving at speed v in ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Why is the speed of light being invariant and finite in all inertial reference frames?

I understand the basics of Lorentz transformation and Riemann Geometry but I still cannot understand why the speed of light is the same in all inertial references. Has anyone ever researched about ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Do Gravitational Waves disprove superluminal Alcubierre drive?

I am not a physicist. But... does the rate at which gravitational waves travel set an upper limit to the "speed" of a ship propelled with Alcubierre drive? Or does it present a relativistic trick (...
32
votes
2answers
3k views

Were the Michelson-Morley results a surprise?

How unexpected were the Michelson-Morley experiment results? Did physicists have theoretical reasons to predict that the speed of light would result to be invariant?
-4
votes
1answer
64 views

How time and speed of light are related? [closed]

I want to know how speed and light and time are related? How will motion with highspeed effect time? I am not a physics student. I want an answer which is free of mathematical relations. I want an ...
5
votes
3answers
510 views

How did we realize that light travels at a finite speed?

We all know that light travels at a finite speed of nearly $3\times10^8\mathrm{m\,s^{-1}}$. But how did we come to think that light has a finite speed? Why did the scientists try to calculate the ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Cherenkov Luminescence Imaging, Cherenkov radiation,

Is it possible to see glowing from Thin Layer chromatography (TLC silica gel on Aluminium) when we image it by IVIS spectrum (no radioactive source)?
6
votes
3answers
170 views

What's the problem with light traveling at speed higher than $c$?

I'm trying to understand how Einstein concluded that time is relative based on thought experiments such as a torch attached to the end of a rocket. Based on answers to questions like this one, this ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Multiple Objects at Constant Speed

Imagine 1 million objects travelling in space, at a constant speed, along an imaginary line. They don't deviate from that line for the sake of this argument. Now, object 1 has a velocity of $v_{1}=1$ ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Can something go faster than the speed of light in a medium? [duplicate]

Since some mediums have an index of refraction more than 1, light goes slower than in a vacuum. Does this mean it is possible for particles to go faster than the speed of light in these mediums? If so,...
1
vote
1answer
109 views

Does massive particle really move at speed of light? [closed]

According to this answer I understood that particles with mass also move at speed of light but interaction with higgs field make this movement zigzag. So average speed is below speed of light. Is ...
0
votes
3answers
173 views

Why did Einstein took speed of light unit or constant in his equation of relativity?

We can find that no object can have speed more than light from Einstein's equation of relativity because if anything have speed more than light then we get -ve value within square root. But why did ...
0
votes
2answers
383 views

How to achieve speeds faster than light? [duplicate]

So, I heard that all speed is relative. And that nothing can travel faster than light. Then I guess it is OK for a spaceship to leave Earth at 0.6c constant speed. And what if an other spaceship were ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Does a black hole really slow down time?

When an object gets pulled into a black hole it seems to slow and stop, but could it be possibly be because the speed of light that hit the object and came back was slowing down as the object got ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

What would happen if space were considered a medium?

Space is not empty they say, is it a new idea or has it always been like that? Can you explain what is the (current) real meaning of vacuum, which is just the Latin for empty Can you also explain ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Speed of light in vacuum in special relativity

In special relativity, the speed of visible light is defined as a constant. But visible light is only a small part of the electromagnetism field. So why?
-2
votes
1answer
66 views

Can information be sent faster than speed of light [duplicate]

I just had this idea one day and I decided upon a thought experiment to verify it. Imagine 2 people A & B sitting on two sides of a pipe which is stretched to a length of 3x10^8 m. The pipe is ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Stacked motors thought experiment

first of all, I'm not a mathematician, just curious about something that came up to my mind and maybe you can help me out. Scenario: I have a motor that spins let's say at 20K revolutions per minutes....
4
votes
2answers
296 views

Is there a limit to how hot an object can get?

If heat is the measure of how fast the atoms are moving in an object, than isn't there a limit to how hot that object can get as nothing can go as faster than the speed of light. So because the atoms ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Maximum wavelength of a photon/electromagnetic radiation?

This asked; What is the minimum wavelength of electromagnetic radiation? And also this; What is the maximum possible frequency and wavelength? The second question is contradictory; maximum ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Incomprehensible substance: information traveling faster than light? [duplicate]

Say I'm holding a rod composed of an incomprehensible solid, and this solid rod is 1 light second long. Then say I poke you with the rod and at the same time I flash a light on you. If light is the ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Does slowing light violate relativity?

Last year Scottish scientists managed to slow down photons in vacuum by changing their shape. Does this violate the special theory of relativity?
22
votes
3answers
5k views

How can muons travel faster than light through ice?

When a neutrino traveling through ice hits and interacts with an oxygen atom, muons are created. Cherenkov radiation can be created when muons travel through ice faster than light and create a ...
-5
votes
4answers
211 views

Could the Heisenberg uncertainty principle be derived from the speed of light limit? [closed]

Background: As I was thinking about an alternative approach to the question: "why is there a finite speed of light, and why its magnitude corresponds to c?" –ultimately, I was trying to understand ...