Tagged Questions

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

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How fast does the collapse travel in a multiple slit experiment?

If we have a kilometer long million slit light source and make an observation on a slit at one of the ends, will the interference pattern fully collapse or partially collapse? is there any delay in ...
32
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8answers
7k views

Why does the speed of light have no uncertainty?

I could understand that the definition of a second wouldn't have an uncertainty when related to the transition of the Cs atom, so it doesn't have an error because it's an absolute reference and we ...
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2answers
386 views

The famous drop of $c$

In this, in my opinion, intriguing speech, Rupert Sheldrake, tells the story of the drop between the measured valued of $c$ in 1928 and 1945. When he goes to visit the Head of Metrology of the Physics ...
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2answers
155 views

Paradox Regarding Time Dilation at the Speed of Light

Consider the following scenario: On earth, I pulse a laser focused at a far away mirror such that the time it takes for the light to reflect off the mirror and arrive back at me is at least a few ...
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3answers
319 views

Why Sun light can reach us if Time is dilating?

I understand that if something is moving with constant speed in respect to an observer, the time of the moving one runs slower, so the more your speed is, the more your time ticks slower. Which ...
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2answers
403 views

Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? [closed]

I have the following questions. Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? What happens to an object when it comes close to the speed of the light? What makes the object unable to surpass this ...
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1answer
99 views

Physical meaning of the Rindler hyperbola vertex and the Rindler lines

Two questions regarding the Rindler diagram: 1) Does the vertex of a given hyperbola in the diagram have physical meaning? I know it is the inverse of the constant proper acceleration ($\alpha$) ...
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2answers
236 views

Reflection between two mirrors?

If I put my hand between two perfectly aligned mirrors and then remove it will the images continue to reflect for a few nanoseconds? If yes then will the images be of a combination of the front and ...
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1answer
555 views

Why does light travel at finite speed? [duplicate]

We have known for quite some time now that light travels at a finite speed of 3x10^8m/s (approx) through vacuum. But why is that? Why can't the speed be infinite? Or at least higher than the current ...
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1answer
111 views

If the universe can expand at a speed faster than that of light, why don't we feel the effect? [closed]

the universe, as I have read, is capable of inflating at a speed faster than that of light! How is that even possible if we don't feel the effect? or does it affect us?
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4answers
574 views

What does 99.9% speed of light mean when there is no absolute velocity?

So when people say: 'I am approaching the speed of light, and to get to 100% light I would need infinite energy' they are essentially saying that this situation is impossible? I read this in ...
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4answers
325 views

Speed of light travel

I have just started special theory of relativity. The limiting speed known as speed of light fascinated me most. I asked my teacher: Consider two massless objects moving in the same direction at ...
3
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1answer
663 views

Didn't Newton's Corpuscular theory fail to explain reflection?

In 1637 Descartes gave the corpuscular model of light and derived Snell's law. This Corpuscular model of light was further developed by Isaac Newton in his famous book entitled OPTICKS and because of ...
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1answer
77 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 ...
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4answers
2k 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: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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2answers
749 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 ...
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1answer
50 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. ...
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1answer
178 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 ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
272 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
170 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 ...
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2answers
219 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 ...
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2answers
487 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? ...
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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. ...
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3answers
172 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?
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1answer
130 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 ...
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2answers
175 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
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1answer
434 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 ...
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4answers
260 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
353 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 ...
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2answers
157 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 ...
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0answers
165 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 ?
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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?
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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 ...
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8answers
7k 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
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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 ...
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2answers
161 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 ...
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2answers
617 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 ...
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2answers
242 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?
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1answer
188 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 ...
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3answers
551 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 ...
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5answers
479 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
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0answers
96 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
105 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
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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 ...
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1answer
112 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 ...
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2answers
293 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?