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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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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231 views

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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44 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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36 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
132 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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13 views

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
364 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
128 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
542 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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7answers
392 views

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
117 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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23 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
574 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
85 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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0answers
31 views

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
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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
85 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
38 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
206 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
414 views

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
31 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
68 views

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
107 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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81 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
251 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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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
289 views

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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3answers
196 views

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
257 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 ...
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3answers
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Would computers accelerated to high speeds compute “faster” from our point of view?

I woke up to this thought yesterday: Lets say Computers A and B have exactly the same specifications and at time T both are set to process an algorith that would normally take exactly 1 year and ...
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1answer
167 views

About star groupings and their apparent positions in the sky

Imagine a group of 3 stars that appear to be equally luminous ,star A, B, and C in the shape of an equilateral triangle. A,B and C look like they form an equilateral triangle right now on the Earth ...
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Problem on speed of light

As I was reading special relativity, my book says the speed of light is $c$ with respect to any other thing. Does that mean the speed of an individual photon is $c$ even with respect to another ...
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1answer
244 views

Why doesn't light travel instantly? [duplicate]

I've read that the faster you travel in space, the slower you travel in time. And when you reach the speed of light (which we won't be able to) time will stand still. So when light travels at the ...
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1answer
171 views

Is speed of light invariant in different inertial frame?

Don't get angry at me. I believe in special relativity just as any scientist would. But reading this article http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.2687 I realize that actually I haven't done any experiments on ...
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1answer
135 views

Can special relativity be extended such that the frame of a photon makes sense?

Suppose I want to know what the universe looks like from the perspective of a frame of reference moving at $c$ relative to my current frame. As discussed at length in various other questions on this ...
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349 views

Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
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2answers
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Equilibrium: Inertia & Applied Force

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am lay and will understand if the question is closed. My understanding is that in a vacuum, a constant force of $n$ applied to an object of mass $m$, ...
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1answer
108 views

Application of special relativity on sound waves

What is the difference between an electromagnetic wave and other waves that amounts to the EM wave following the Special Relativity. I have been reading about the Special Relativity for some time, and ...
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1answer
104 views

Driving car with (almost) the speed of the light and switch the headlights on [duplicate]

I'm curious what will happen if we 'drive' a car with (almost) the speed of light, and all of sudden we switch the car headlights on? Will the car headlights ray have double speed (speed of ...
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4answers
190 views

How does gravity slow light without an equal and opposite action? [closed]

This is regarding the gravity well sort of explanation. People claim that gravity doesn't slow light by saying it curves the road by which it travels but if space is indeed without properties and ...
2
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0answers
93 views

-Thought Experiment- At superluminal speeds, to what degree would vision be impaired? [closed]

I was thinking about superluminal travel when thinking about advanced civilisations in the future. I was also thinking about the Doppler effect; so I decided to think about how light may be affected ...
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66 views

The speed of light during the inflationary period

Introduction: As a thought experiment, suppose I modified the value of $c$ (speed of light) in some local region and attempted to measure it with a clock placed in that same region. I will denote ...
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4answers
115 views

Would infinite time elapse relative to an outside observer if an object was completely at rest?

Here's my reasoning... time dilation due to velocity: t'=t√(1-v^2) v expressed as a % of the speed of light. If you are moving through distance at the speed of light, to an observer at rest relative ...
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3answers
141 views

Can the distance over time of an electron between two measurements be higher than the speed of light?

So measure an electron, take down it's position $p$. Then measure the electron a second time and take down it's new position $p'$. Note the time between measurements, $t$. What does physics say about ...
6
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138 views

At Interfaces Does Light Have to Accelerate?

First, I'm not sure if photons have to "get up to" the speed of light, or if they are thrown into existence at that speed. I know that they should just be generated moving at their speed, and I know ...
2
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1answer
167 views

Relativity Question Fireworks explosion

A firecracker explodes at the origin of an inertial reference frame. Then, 2.0 microseconds later, a second firecracker explodes 300m away. Astronauts in a passing rocket measure the distance between ...
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5answers
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Why is the speed of light arbitrarily the limit? [duplicate]

I know Einstein was great and all. Why is it that exactly at the speed of light is where infinite energy is required to accelerate any object with mass? Is it simply because the math of relativity ...
9
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3answers
735 views

Is the edge of our Hubble Sphere within our Cosmic Event Horizon and why?

I was recently shown a pretty cool video about common cosmological misconceptions. It got me reviewing the different between event horizon (current distance within which we will see/interact), ...