The speed of light is fundamental universal constant that marks the maximum speed at which information can propagate. Its value is $299792458\frac{\mathrm{m}}{\mathrm{s}}$.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
74 views

At what frequency does the medium of air change from acoustic to light?

I'm calculating the max doppler frequency of a fading channel in an in-room environment and looking at different carrier frequencies. Calculated as follows: F = vf/c Where F -> max doppler shift v ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
11
votes
2answers
714 views

How is it possible the universe expanded faster than the speed of light during inflation?

In a documentary written in collaboration with Stephen Hawking, the narrator (supposedly Stephen Hawkings) says that by the time the cosmos was 10 minutes old, it had already expanded thousands of ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

How is the universe is experienced at light speed? [duplicate]

When moving faster, we experience time dilation and space contraction. We often state that a photon does not travel through time, i.e. if it where capable of observation, it would not experience time. ...
-5
votes
1answer
166 views

Faster than light possibility? [duplicate]

According to general relativity, speed is relative, so for example if you are running at 20 km/h and a car passes you at 30 km/h, the runner is actually moving at 50 km/h relative to the car. Now ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Slowing of photons in a EB Condensate

Help me understand this. I have heard tell that they are now able to slow the forward progress of a photon traveling through an EBC to somewhere near 35mph. Is this actually the physical slowing down ...
0
votes
3answers
136 views

Is light slower when traveling inside a gravity field?

This question is not about phase velocity changed which causes refraction, but about the real time itself being slower by the gravity of any object (from general relativity). If so, would this mean ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

Lorentz boost matrix in terms of four-velocity

As I understand it, the value of a 4-vector $x$ in another reference frame ($x'$) with the same orientation can be derived using the Lorentz boost matrix $\bf{\lambda}$ by $x'=\lambda x$. More ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
0
votes
1answer
163 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
9
votes
2answers
211 views

Proving invariance of $ds^2$ from the invariance of the speed of light

I've started today the book of Landau and Lifshitz Vol.2: The Classical Theory of Fields $\S 2$. They start from the invariance of the speed of light, express it as the fact that $$c^2(\Delta ...
4
votes
2answers
464 views

Did Einstein know about Michelson-Morley experiment?

The second postulate of special relativity deals with constancy of light in inertial reference frames. But, how did Einstein came to this conclusion? Did he knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment? ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Su­per­lu­mi­nal in­ter­ac­tions

The fact that photons emitted from an electric-dipole active atom cannot be spatially localized better than to the near-field zone of the atom is seen as the origin of genuine superluminality. ...
-2
votes
3answers
154 views

Velocity of the photon

As far as I know photon travels in a wave pattern, that means it has $x$ and $y$ axis velocity components. If photon travels along $x$ axis, then what is it's maximum $y$ axis velocity?
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Concentration of photons: How many can you slow down in a given unit of space?

Being able to slow down light to the speed of a bicicle as shown in this vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK6HxdUQm5s Led to a question: Given a unit of space e.g. 1cm^3, and then you slowed down ...
4
votes
2answers
173 views

Speed of light, lasers and mass

Hopefully this isn't a bad question. Light travels at the speed it does and nothing else can travel that fast because things have mass, correct? Or at least correct on an elementary level. And if ...
13
votes
1answer
428 views

Is it only the Higgs field that stops me from getting to $c$?

Is it only the higgs field that stops me from accelerating up to the speed of light or is there other restriction concerning the increase in mass? In other words if I had a Higgs field shield on my ...
1
vote
4answers
255 views

How can I explain this fallacy of conveying information faster than Light?

First statement of this question: In superluminal phase velocities, what is it that is traveling faster than light? says that information cannot be transmitted at a velocity greater than speed ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Does photons undergo the process of cyclic absorption and re-emission by virtual particles in vacuum?

The process of cyclic absorption and re-emission by electrons in a medium is an explanation for the fact that light appears to slow down in mediums relative to vacuum. But, does light undergo this ...
-2
votes
4answers
334 views

Why is the speed of light considered as a fundamental constant if its speed changes with medium resulting in refraction? [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light, the universal constant of gravitation and the Planck's constant are considered to be the three fundamental constants of the universe. But, why is speed of light ...
2
votes
2answers
149 views

does light experience time? [closed]

If we positioned a mirror 1 light year away from earth and shot a particle of light at the mirror so that it would reflect and come back to earth, how long would it take for us to receive that ...
1
vote
0answers
161 views

Is false vacuum bubble nucleation possible in our universe?

Is it possible that a false vacuum bubble to nucleate into our universe rather than a true vacuum one ? If yes,it will expand at speed of light within our spacetime or what ?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

The speed of light and fields

Does the speed of light apply to the speed of (waves?) in every known field, or does it only apply to the electromagnetic field?
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Time dilation and the speed of light in the twin paradox

Suppose we look at the twin paradox where the twin traveling at high speed relative to an observer on earth has a clock which counts time by sending photons of light across a distance within the ...
3
votes
8answers
6k views

How does velocity cause time dilation?

I've been trying to learn about the speed of light and time dilation, but I'm at an impasse. The presented facts say that if I travel around the solar system at 50% the speed of light and then come ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Momentum of light in medium [duplicate]

Maybe this has been asked before, but I didn't find anything about it. I am wondering about the momentum of light in media with refractive index n>1 (so to say, not in vacuum). There are two ...
1
vote
2answers
158 views

Variance in speed of light

While discussing this question (Does light have an unending journey?) I stumbled on the fact that light's speed is constant only in inertial frame. What I happened to do was add up the expansion of ...
-2
votes
2answers
582 views

How is the speed of light an absolute maximum speed in the universe? [closed]

Under the heading which came first, the chicken or the egg, which came first: the maximum velocity of electrons orbiting the atom, or the speed of light as the maximum velocity limit? Is it possible ...
1
vote
2answers
230 views

Does influence on gravity increase with mass when velocities approach the speed of light? [duplicate]

In other words, when a particle's mass increases significantly as it approaches the speed of light (c), does its influence on gravity increase, and if so, does it increase proportionally?
-1
votes
1answer
167 views

What do subatomic particles look like for a 'speed of light - observer'?

Let's say that an observer is moving with the speed of light relatively to an atom that he wants to look into. He has equipment that precise that he can observe the atom and what is inside. From ...
0
votes
3answers
482 views

The LHC - Proton Speed Limit [duplicate]

I'm originally from stack overflow, so this is my first foray into this particular community. I've read in numerous places that the Large Hadron Collider is capable of accelerating protons at ...
4
votes
5answers
463 views

Could the speed of light change outside our solar system

Theory: The speed of light changes when it enters or exits the solar system due to a difference in medium (dark matter possibly). Potential problem 1: refraction If there was a speed change at the ...
0
votes
0answers
91 views

does light beam bend when moving with a constant velocity?

I'm studding special relativity and there is a famous example where there is a moving train witch has a light source on its floor and a mirror attached to its roof. an observer in the train sees a ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

How faster is the effect of force exerted by gravity? [duplicate]

We all know that Earth revolves around the Sun due to Gravitational force of the Sun. Also we know that it takes just over 8 minutes for the Sun's light to reach Earth. Now let us say, hypothetically ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is so special about speed of light?

I will try to be as explanatory as possible with my question. Please also note that I have done my share of googling and I am looking for simple language preferable with some example so that I can get ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Is information about the speed of light hidden in its spectrum?

Can the speed of light in the vacuum (c) be inferred from the spectrum of light? If that is not the case is it possible to tell from lights spectrum that it has entered a different medium, e.g. can ...
5
votes
2answers
275 views

Is there a limit to frames per second to be captured?

Today we see ~100,000 fps cameras for hyper slo-mo. Is there a physical limit for frames per second for a camera? Speed of light maybe? How?
1
vote
1answer
178 views

Speed of approach between image and object

A plane mirror image approaches the object at the same rate the object approaches the mirror. So the speed of approach is twice the speed at which the object approaches the mirror. If the object ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How fast does light travel through a fibre optic cable?

The principle behind a fibre optic cable is that light is reflected along the cable until it reaches the other side, like in this diagram: Although I know that the light is slowed down somewhat ...
3
votes
4answers
336 views

Is special relativity axiomatic?

Can special relativity be somewhat described by the following statement? If the speed of light is a universal constant, and if light can be placed in separate frames of motion, then time must be ...
6
votes
3answers
528 views

The reference frame of $c$

I don't have a lot of knowledge of special relativity and associated topics; some of the few things I know are that "all motion is relative" (that is, there is no 'stationary reference frame'), and ...
4
votes
1answer
353 views

Why same formula describing Doppler effect in the case of light in different situations?

I made comparison between Doppler effect in light and sound and one interesting thing that I saw was that in the case of sound there are different formulas to find the apparent frequency in different ...
2
votes
0answers
119 views

Does light initially accelerate? [duplicate]

Light travels with a speed of $3\times10^8{m\over s}$. My question is that was the light initially accelerating or it archived the speed in an instance? If it was accelerating then why it did not ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Light in fibre optic cables

Imagine a fibre optic cable stretching from London to New York (5571 km) carrying a data signal This data signal is split into two parts, red and blue light Both signals start travelling down the ...
-3
votes
1answer
69 views

speed of light observation

I was on a ship at night travelling parallel to the shore watching a lighthouse beam hitting the concrete sea wall. As the beam hit the wall at ninety degrees and continued to rotate I saw what ...
37
votes
6answers
3k views

If I am travelling on a car at around 60 km/h, and I shine a light, does that mean that the light is travelling faster than the speed of light?

The title says it all. If I was on a bus at 60 km/h, and I started walking on the bus at a steady pace of 5 km/h, then I'd technically be moving at 65 km/h, right? So my son posed me an interesting ...
-1
votes
1answer
84 views

At what speed do things stop being stable and essentially become atomic bomb?

I know that when things go very fast (approaching the speed of light), they tend to turn into atomic bombs. What speed can you reach (in earth's atmosphere) before nuclear fusion begins. Does this ...
4
votes
2answers
199 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
-2
votes
1answer
106 views

How Was the Speed of Light Discovered? [closed]

The title pretty much says everything; I just want to know how the speed of light was discovered.
-1
votes
2answers
105 views

Speed of the light, is it everywhere light?

I have studied Electronics Engineering and of course the LED. I was wondering that they claim that the speed of light is $3\cdot10^8$ m/s, but do they claim the speed of the light of the sun rays ? ...