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

0
votes
1answer
53 views

Minimum Distance for “Speed of Light Approach”

I tried to calculate the minimum distance between a planet and a test mass for the mass to attain the speed of light on colliding with the planet's surface if it were released from rest at the initial ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Measuring speed of an object relative to what? [duplicate]

I understand that everything in the universe is moving through spacetime and the spacetime vector is equal for all the objects. So if If something is moving at speed of light, the mass of it is zero ...
0
votes
0answers
43 views

If I am a light travel around Earth, what relativistic phenomenons do I have?

In school, or even in university, we are only taught Lorentz transformation in one direction. It is quite easy: $$\begin{align} t' &= \gamma \left( t - \frac{vx}{c^2} \right) \\ x' &= ...
0
votes
2answers
96 views

How was time defined before we knew the speed of light was constant or in classical physics? [closed]

Nowadays, we now about $c$ the universal speed of light. This lets us define the notion of distance in terms of time (despite the fact that it works the opposite way for our common units.) Before ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

What does the phrase 'muons are brought to rest' mean?

I have a physics question in a text sheet. I am currently doing work on relativity where calculations of rest frames and laboratory frames are being completed. The formula: $t(\text{laboratory frame}) ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

space time contraction

What could be the reason that space and time contraction increases almost exponentially at the last decimals places close to the speed of light or close to singularity gravitational fields. Does this ...
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

Can photons “stop time”?

If traveling past the speed of light causes time to reverse than does traveling in time make time "stop"? If not then how do photons/mass-less particles experience time, if at all.
0
votes
0answers
122 views

Why do different wavelengths travel at different speeds through a medium? [duplicate]

Someone gave an explanation in another question: "Maxwell's equations predict that in a linear medium with permittivity ϵ and permeability μ, the speed of light in the medium will be v=1/ϵμ. When ...
1
vote
2answers
233 views

How can we show that the speed of light is really constant in all reference frames?

I had a debate with a friend who cannot believe that the speed of light is constant. He said something like: so what if in the Michelson-experiment the moving apparatus simply added a constant ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Why does larger permittivity of a medium cause light to propagate slower?

I was wondering about what physically happens when light is transmitted through a non-magnetic medium. Specifically, I’m trying to visualize how materials slow down light as the electromagnetic wave ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Does the payload of an Alcubierre drive have to be on board during the preparation phase?

I was thinking about the practical aspect of using an Alcubierre drive, assuming one existed. I'm no expert, but my understanding is that, since the destination has to be in the forward light-cone of ...
4
votes
1answer
133 views

Slower than light photons in vacuum?

This report on the BBC site suggests that optical photons have been prepared that travel slower than c in vacuum. How is this possible?
3
votes
3answers
900 views

Sending information faster than light

If I could ever send my friend any information faster than light it would violate causality. If he just guesses the information and acts on it before he could ever recieve it, everything is fine. What ...
1
vote
5answers
85 views

Does spacetime have a “preferred” speed/metric? [duplicate]

I read recently that spacetime has a preferred speed, c, and that all observers would agree on the speed of anything moving at c. In particular, there is nothing unique about light when talking about ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Can a Physical Quantity Change at a Pace That's a (>1) Multiple of Light Speed?

A light wave travels along the x-axis. The equation for the variation of an electric field with respect to location on the x-axis and time is as follows: $ E = E_{max} \sin( k x -kc t )$ where $k = ...
2
votes
2answers
693 views

Does light have initial velocity? [duplicate]

You are standing still in a vacuum, and you throw a ball that moves 10 m/s away from you. Now you start moving in one direction at 5 m/s, and throw the ball in the other direction, away from the ...
0
votes
2answers
286 views

Why does moving near light speed keep you young? [duplicate]

As was shown in the movie Interstellar, when you go close to a black hole or move near the speed of light in space, then your clock runs slower than a clock on Earth. In the movie, Matthew ...
2
votes
0answers
126 views

What happens when light is reflected from a surface moving in a medium with a huge refractive index?

Imagine a mirror is moving away from a light source in a substance through which the speed of light is very slow -- so slow that the speed of the mirror is close to being the same as the speed of the ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

I want to know why light even moves at all.

Never mind in a vacuum, why and how does light even move at all? What propels it?
3
votes
1answer
371 views

The cap on massive particles's speed is below the speed of light due to Planck length?

This answer http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/8525/1991 claims that no particle can accelerate further after its de Broglie wavelength becomes Planck length. Given that speed at this point is ...
8
votes
2answers
286 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
187 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

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 ...
0
votes
5answers
196 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
149 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
290 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, ...
-8
votes
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?
11
votes
3answers
984 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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, ...
3
votes
5answers
389 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
351 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
45 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
162 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?
2
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
50 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?
0
votes
0answers
117 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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
3answers
324 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
65 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Hypothetically what would happen in this situation? [duplicate]

Would the speed of 'push' be equal to the speed of sound?
38
votes
9answers
5k views

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?
0
votes
3answers
85 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
61 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.
1
vote
10answers
841 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...