# Tagged Questions

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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### How does light speed up after coming out of a glass slab?

As I learned today in School, my teacher told me that when light enters a Glass Slab it slows down due to the change in density and it speeds up as it goes out of the Glass Slab. This causes a lateral ...
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### Are there limits to human/devices perception?

As far as i know, measurement devices present measurements based on something that affects the device's particles, for instance, forces, heat, tension, voltage... My question is, given that every ...
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### Derivation of the speed of light using the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations

Having just finished physics 2, I've been (slightly) exposed to showing that light is a wave with speed $1/\sqrt{\mu _0 \epsilon _0 }$ using the differential forms of Maxwell's equations, though this ...
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### Occlusion of light with very fast objects

Take this graphic: On the left there is a light emitter, which can fire light on command, towards the right. There are also two receptors, A and B, both $1$ light second away from the emitter. ...
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### Hypothetically what would happen in this situation? [duplicate]

Would the speed of 'push' be equal to the speed of sound?
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### How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?

Would it be brighter? Different color? Gravitational lensing? Would black holes exist?
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### Does there exist a hyperbolic relationship between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$?

As the title states, is it possible to derive a hyperbolic relationship in the form of $\frac{x^2}{a^2} - \frac{y^2}{b^2} = 1$ between frequency $\omega$ and wavenumber $k$ I have tried to start this ...
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### Why is light different than sound in terms of the assumptions we make regarding causality?

I am having trouble understanding, from a conceptual point of view, why it would be impossible to travel faster than the speed of light. I have read one explanation given in the form of an example ...
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### Speed of an electromagnetic soliton in free space

What is the speed of an electromagnetic soliton in free space? Is it equal to 'c' ? P.S. My understanding of the Fourier transform says it's not.
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### How far can light go?

When a ray of light is projected, (say) from the surface of Earth to outside in space. The condition is that, there is no obstruction to it till infinity (it travels only in vaccum). My question is ...
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### Light speed after the Big Bang

We know that immediately after the Big Bang space was opaque to light. As space expanded, light could travel. However I would think that as space expanded at some de sites the light would be much ...
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### Is Helicity an intrinsic property of massive Neutrinos?

Hyperphysics states that, unlike an electron, the helicity of a neutrino is invariant because we cannot change to a reference frame where it is different: This and subsequent experiments have ...
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### Speed of light definition

I understand the speed of light to be an EXACT number. If permeability of free space has a factor of pi in it, how can this be?
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### What does it look when we travel at the speed of light? [closed]

Suppose we're in a spaceship or in a car which runs at the speed of light. We are watching the light which is coming towards eyes at the speed of the light. What would it look like when the driver ...
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### Help understanding Fizeau's calculation of speed of light

While searching for different methods of calculating Speed of light, I came across one of the methods that Fizeau discussed below which I cannot fully understand. In short, in Fizeau’s apparatus, a ...
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### If a photon is exists in 'timeless' state, how can objects around it move? [duplicate]

My understanding is that light does not experience time. In attempting to understand what the universe would be like from the perspective of a photon, the answer I get is that the universe would be ...
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### $E=mc^2$ what is unique about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What unique property of light, makes it the conversion factor between energy and mass? It has to be more than a coincidence that the speed of light, just happens to be the correct number number to ...
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### Can a body ever experience acceleration this strong?

Using the Schwarzschild radius formula, I approximated the Sun's Schwarzschild radius to be $3\text{ km}$. Now assuming I have a body (not a human body) which is at a distance of $10\text{ km}$ from ...
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### Einsteins idea about solving the ether problem [duplicate]

I'm struggling a bit with my Special Relativity course. Most exercises are quite trivial and can be done without much effort, but when you really start to think and analyse why and how certain things ...
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### Is there any limit on movement of space itself?

According to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which all matter and information in the universe can travel. [IN SPACE] But the inflationary hypothesis says the space itself expanded ...
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### Black Holes and Light [duplicate]

It is said that photons have zero rest mass so how can gravitational force of a black hole affect light? And if photons do have some effective mass while traveling at speed of light then only can a ...
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### Does inbound light slow down (for an external observer) as it approaches the event horizon?

As I understand, for an external observer nothing even enters a black hole because it takes infinite time in his frame of reference for something to actually reach the event horizon. I also read that ...
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### How is light trajectory affected by the trajectory of environment it passes through?

There's a sci-fi concept of slow light that I find very amazing: Imagine a glass material that has index of refraction $n$ say, $3,000,000,000$ which means: v_{glass} = \frac{c_{vacuum}}{n} = ...
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### What will I see if I travelled to a distant planet in 100 times faster than speed of light and look back? [closed]

Consider this scenario. I enter a space ship at 10:00 AM, it starts to move at a speed 100 times faster than light, I travel for 55 mins. And then slow down to very much less than speed of light and ...
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### Are the distances we measure to objects in the universe incorrect because of their relative motion?

For example the agreed distance to the Andromeda Galaxy is 2.5 million light years, and consequentially, we see the galaxy as it was 2.5 million years ago! (A time interval in which the galaxy must ...
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### If Julian Barbour is Correct, is the Speed of Light Special?

According to this article in Discover Magazine, Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity is wrong, because it didn't fully live up to the ideas of Einstein's idol, Ernst Mach. Mach proposed a truly ...
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### If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
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### Is space-time a property of mass?

Imagine looking at a quasar millions of light years away. From your perspective, a photon emitted by the quasar has spent millions of years travelling through space, and its trajectory has been ...
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### Can you see back in time? [closed]

When you look at the stars, the light that you see is probably hundreds of years old. Which means that you don't know if they still exist. Does all this mean, that if you fly in a speed faster than ...
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### Experimental determination of speed of light

How is the speed of light measured by the most current method i.e. using lasers and atomic clocks? Alternatively, is there a better method?
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### How much impact would it make in science if the speed of light is discovered to be variable? [closed]

So if such a thing happens, how would it alter current physics?
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### If we spend enough money, how fast can we accerelate huge spacecraft in order to reach the nearest habitable planet(19 ly away)? [closed]

Somewhere I read that the nearest earth-like planet is 19 light years away. If this is true, and there are no closer earth-like planets, do we have the knowledge, technology and resources to colonize ...
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### Is it theoretically possible to have a universe where sound travels faster than light $c$? [closed]

We all "know" nothing can travel faster than light. However, if we're allowed to tweak the fundamental constants of nature, is it theoretically possible that such an universe might exist? Update: I ...
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### How can a black hole reduce the speed of light? [closed]

If the speed of light is always constant then how can a black hole reduce light's speed?
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### Thought experiment about wavelength of light through a medium [duplicate]

Though the physical concepts and mathematics are highly rudimentary, I often try to comprehend exactly why light wants to keep it's frequency, yet alter it's wavelength as it travels through a medium, ...
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### What is the rate at which the field of an electron spreads? [duplicate]

There are 2 steps in the creation of a force field: (1) first the object comes into existence (2) then the field appears. In the case when a photon splits into an electron and an antielectron, these 2 ...
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### Why are we not able to move at the speed of light again? [duplicate]

In many many answers here and papers everywhere, it's often stated that no object can move faster than light. Why is that again?
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### Time dilation: faster or slower?

I was wondering about Time-dilation in Special Relativity. I am still a middle school student who wonders so please excuse me if I missed any important aspects. Let us assume we have a system of ...
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### Is it a postulate or a well proven fact that speed of light remains constant w.r.t any observer?

We usually heard that speed of light in vacuum $c$ remains same no matter how observer is moving? I am wondering whether is it taken as a postulate or a proven phenomenon that $c$ is constant ...
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### What's so special about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What's so special about the speed of light? Why do many equations in physics include the speed of light in vacuum $c$? Why do so many thing depend upon it? Why can't it be the speed of sound? ...
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### What wilI I observe when travelling at almost the speed of light? [duplicate]

If I and a group of friends are travelling at or just below the speed of light - can I see myself, can I see them, or they me? Would we see anything at all?
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### If something is not moving in space, is it moving on the time axis at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I heard this theory yesterday: If something is not moving in space, then it is moving on the time axis at the speed of light. I realize that in essence there is no object which can be considered as ...
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### How can light have the same speed for all observers? [duplicate]

I'm a little confused on this. If you're travelling at, say, 10% of the speed of light then light is travelling at 3x10^8 ms^(-1) relative to you. If you're moving at 80% of the speed of light and ...
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### Breaking the speed of light…? [duplicate]

I know the speed of light can't be broken, but I cannot figure out why the following scenario is not possible. I'm not a physicist myself but I know the basic stuff. Assume you're in a car ...
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### Does the Doppler effect disprove the constancy of $c$? [closed]

Why doesn't the Doppler effect disprove the relativity postulate that $c$ is constant relative to all sources or observers? It seems it does because of the following example: Suppose a ship of ...
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### Is there a difference between the speed of light and that of a photon?

As in the title I am curious whether there is a difference between the speed of photon and the speed of light, and if there is what is the cause of such a difference?
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### Can time pass for a photon if it's moving in a medium? [duplicate]

If time does not pass for a photon traveling at the speed of light, which can only occur when traveling in a vacuum, what happens when it is slowed down by traveling through non vacuum space like ...
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### If rest mass does not change with $v$ then why is infinite energy required to accelerate an object to the speed of light?

I know that as the velocity increases, the mass of the object also increases so it becomes tougher and tougher to move the object which ultimately leads to a requirement of infinite energy to ...
### Special relativity and missing factors of $c$
I am doing problems in a textbook called 'Introduction to Classical Mechanics' by David Morin. In one of the questions it says the following: In the lab frame, two particles move with speed $v$ ...