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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Is it really possible to “discover” the speed of light with a microwave oven?

I've seen a number of sites/videos online that describe a method for measuring the speed of light, using a microwave oven and a chocolate bar. For example, this video on youtube. The basic idea is to ...
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3answers
180 views

Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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125 views

Michelson-Morley experiment revisited under the light of special relativity

Taking into account the composition of speeds in special relativity, lets suppose that a Michelson-Morley interferometer is moving at a speed of $\vec{v}$: the speed of Earth relative to the local ...
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What would an relativistically expanding sphere look like for an external observer?

Consider a reflecting sphere, whose radius is increasing at constant rate V close to light speed. What would the collision look like for a remote observer stationary relative to the centre of the ...
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5answers
190 views

Why is the speed of light in vacuum constant? [duplicate]

Are there any proof of the speed of light in vacuum being constant? All I hear is that light in vacuum travels at a constant speed because that's an observation and that it fits in a coherent theory ...
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66 views

Temporal properties of a photon

Naively, one can attempt to consider the (impossible) light-speed inertial frame. From there you arrive at nonsense conclusions like 'the universe is flattened in the direction of travel' which must ...
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4answers
145 views

How confident can we be that the speed of light in a medium is constant?

I have recently found this article http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/02.18/light.html it tells that physicists have been able to slow the speed of light. Is this hokum? If not how is it possible to ...
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281 views

Using the speed of light in a vacuum or in that medium

To clarify, is the speed limit of the universe the speed of light in a vacuum, or the speed of light in that particular medium, i.e. if the speed of light in a particular medium were only 17 m/s, ...
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1answer
122 views

Is this even possible to understand this proof? [closed]

Can someone explain what kind of sorcellery is this proof about Maxwell's equations: http://proofs.wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations_predict_that_the_speed_of_light_is_constant. Is this a joke?
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Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity?

In From Paradox to Reality: Our Basic Concepts of the Physical World by Fritz Rohrlich page 55 it states that [...] just doing away with the ether would not have resolved all problems. The ...
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1answer
79 views

Is the speed of photon always $c_0$? [duplicate]

The propagation of light in medium is sometimes interpreted as the photons moving with $c_0$ (the speed of light in vacuum), occasionally absorbed by particles and released again by transition, ...
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5answers
379 views

How do we know that time dilation applies to objects other than light?

Here is a traditional derivation of time dilation: There's a train with a lamp in the ceiling, moving at velocity v with respect to an observer. In the frame of the observer, the path taken by the ...
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2answers
310 views

Why is the Luminiferous aether theory wrong? [closed]

I saw on this page about the constant speed of light that there are two ways of interpreting this constant speed: General relativity The Luminiferous aether theory I understand why the theory of ...
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1answer
44 views

Subluminal speed when going in a circle around someone

Some time ago I thought about such situation: There are two people in the room. Both have synchronized watches on their wirsts. Then the person A starts running around person B with the speed of ...
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1answer
138 views

Why can't we produce visible light from a radio transmitter? [duplicate]

Producing visible light from a radio wave transmitter: why is it not possible? If it is, what are the limitations?
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1answer
66 views

If I kept getting closer and closer to the speed of light, what would be the gravitational effects appearing like to an observer? [duplicate]

Now, with special relativity applied to the scenario of me getting closer and closer to light speed, my mass would increase with respect to the observer, and also my length would contract in the ...
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0answers
49 views

Mass of photon, is it possible? [duplicate]

$P=E/C$ In relativistic mechanics a Photon is defined as. $P=hf/C$ Replacing "P" $ mc=hf/C$ $M=h/CT$ What does it mean, did they have mass?
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89 views

Speed of a magnet

What is the speed of two magnets during the congruent moment of their attraction? Theoretically, could a large enough magnet attract a significantly smaller magnet at near the speed of light? In ...
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3answers
3k views

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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0answers
50 views

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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3answers
304 views

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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2answers
62 views

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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3answers
95 views

Hypothetically what would happen in this situation? [duplicate]

Would the speed of 'push' be equal to the speed of sound?
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9answers
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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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81 views

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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3answers
102 views

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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1answer
55 views

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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10answers
732 views

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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1answer
50 views

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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1answer
58 views

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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3answers
352 views

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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61 views

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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0answers
178 views

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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2answers
389 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
65 views

$E=mc^2$ 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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2answers
136 views

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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1answer
127 views

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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1answer
112 views

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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2answers
85 views

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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2answers
116 views

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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2answers
47 views

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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1answer
83 views

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 ...
9
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1answer
438 views

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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4answers
312 views

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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143 views

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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2answers
774 views

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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2answers
113 views

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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1answer
72 views

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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1answer
79 views

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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1answer
57 views

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 ...