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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Difference in Light's speed in various mediums [duplicate]

Light, despite not needing a medium and traveling due to oscillations of the electric and magnetic fields, slows down in mediums such as glass. I used to think it intuitively made sense, as we ...
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1answer
165 views

Einstein on a train paradox: what's the resolution?

Okay, so Einstein is on a train looking at a mirror. The train is moving at $c - 1 \frac ms$. Einstein is facing in the direction of motion. All along the side of the train are stationary clocks. ...
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The effects of special relativity when accounting for two reference frames

If reference frame A is travelling past reference frame B could one argue that it is in fact B that is motionless as their motion is relative to each other? If this is the case then how does one ...
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2answers
465 views

Why is the speed of light limited to (only) 299.792.458 m/s? [closed]

The speed of light (in a vacuum) is limited to 299.792.458 m/s. This sounds very fast, and it is on a global scale. But if you look at the Universe on a larger scale than it sounds quite slow, For ...
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1answer
62 views

Could light be limiting towards a more fundamental speed limit? [closed]

Could it be possible (as in strictly speaking, no evidence going against this) that light could be limiting towards a more fundamental speed, and that light truly does slow down when a mass goes a ...
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Would it be ok to say that not all light travels at the same speed when you consider its own perspective? [duplicate]

The reason I am asking is because higher energy would cause greater gravitational time dilation. Therefore I would expect, from the perspective of a radio wave, a gamma ray having more energy would ...
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3answers
110 views

Does the accelerated rate of expansion of the Universe have any effect on the speed of light in vacuum?

So I was just wondering about this as I finished reading about Michelson-Morley's experiment which disproved the ether theory. My question is since the Universe is constantly expanding and that too ...
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Distance and Time

I understand that if an object is 10 light years away then the light I am seeing from that object is actually from 10 years ago. If this is the case, which a few posts on this forum seem to concur, ...
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58 views

time distortion

Observer A is standing on a planet, and observer B is on a ship. At t=0 B is 1 light year away from A. Also at t=0 B will accelerate its ship to a 0,999999999...$c$ instantaneously (yes, its a very ...
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2answers
88 views

Time taken by a point in the light to cross the length of an object moving with a high velocity wrt to an observer at rest [closed]

I am new to the field of special theory of relativity and while understanding its concepts the following question popped into my mind... Suppose there is an object O moving with a very high velocity, ...
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56 views

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface? [duplicate]

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface like mirror, we know that light changes path when it meets a surface like mirror.If light changes path,even if travelling at c,this means light has ...
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1answer
51 views

Light photon direction in movement

I recently watched a couple science videos on YouTube and left me with a doubt. If a spaceship goes to a really fast speed in the (horizontal) $x$-direction, what would happen if it shoots a light ...
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2answers
61 views

Does light ever experiences acceleration? [duplicate]

Till now I have learned that light has fastest speed. But I have also noticed that wherever it travels it only experiences retardation. So I wanted to know if light ever felt acceleration naturally in ...
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3answers
94 views

Why is this method valid in special relativity

Here is the question Two clocks are positioned at the ends of train of proper length $L$. They are synchronised in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out that if ...
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1answer
110 views

How does a world line of an Alcubierre drive look like?

In my recent question ”Speed of light and warp drives in general relativity” I asked exactly how an Alcubierre drive worked and exactly what "FTL travel" meant. One of the comments I got stated that: ...
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8answers
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Why can't we see light travelling from point A to B?

Let's say we have a cloud of dust which is a lightyear across and someone shoots a beam of light from point A to B , why it is not possible for an observer far far away to see the light while it ...
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2answers
126 views

“If the astronaut found that light slowed down relative to his motion, he would have detected the very ether wind that Michelson failed to detect”?

The following extract is from Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner (Amazon link): Consider an astronaut in a spaceship that is racing alongside a light beam. The ship is traveling with ...
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31 views

How to explain the homogeneity of the universe through a physic model [duplicate]

If in general, two objects homogenize themself by combining it's parts, why the horizon effect, based on a big bang model, excludes such an important physical interaction process? I wonder if this ...
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0answers
40 views

Constancy of speed of light $c$ with perpendicular motion [duplicate]

Suppose light is travelling in a straight line parallel to $y$-axis takes time $t$ to reach from $y_1$ to $y_2$ in a reference frame $S$. Let there be another frame, $S'$, which is travelling parallel ...
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249 views

How can the orbit of Jupiter's moons be used to calculate the speed of light? [duplicate]

How can the orbit of Jupiter's moons be used to calculate the speed of light? It seems this was one of the first methods and goes back to 1656.
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2answers
177 views

What's the max speed a man-made satellite can travel in space before its circuitry stopped working?

Assume it could withstand extreme temperatures in either direction. I'm mainly curious what would happen to its circuits as it approached the speed of light.
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3answers
231 views

Inertia on relativistic mass when particle is near speed of light

Inertia is directly proportional to mass but what happens when something travel to speed near to light. Its relativistic mass tends to infinity but that is false mass so I want to know if inertia is ...
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3answers
219 views

Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
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5answers
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Is the speed of light in vacuum always the same value?

The escape velocity of different planets and stars vary. If they vary, the velocities of bodies escaping from the respective stars or planets should also vary. Like, if I want a ball to reach 10 ...
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1answer
169 views

Are we all moving at $c$? [duplicate]

Is it true to say that all matter in the universe is travelling with velocity c through spacetime, but that for baryonic matter most of that velocity is through the time dimensions rather than the XYZ ...
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2answers
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Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
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1answer
39 views

How is it that the voltage wave along a circuit is a tenth of the speed of light?

I have heard that the voltage wave (pushing the electrons) along a circuit is a tenth of the speed of light. Can someone please explain with an illustration how it is possible?
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1answer
134 views

How do we know that fundamental constants don't slowly change in time? [duplicate]

Let me get one thing straight first. I am not saying that fundamental constants like the speed of light don't have the value that we know they have today. What I am asking is whether the value of a ...
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3answers
94 views

Would a giant see our year as a second? [closed]

If there were an enormous being whose arm span is one light year across, how would that being perceive time? Wouldn't what we perceive as a year be virtually nothing to that being? Explanation: ...
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3answers
141 views

Forces and the light

Do external forces can affect the light? Can any external force make the light accelerate? And if it can, will it accumulate mass? (according to the second Newton's law of motion $m = F/a$ ) We know ...
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2answers
178 views

Newton's laws and the maximum speed

According to Newton's second law of motion : $F = ma$ In an certain occasion, we exert 2 forces (the magnitudes of the forces are the same) on 2 different objects, Object A and Object B, in the same ...
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1answer
72 views

Light travels in a medium

According to Snell's law : $${n_1 \over n_2} = {v_2 \over v_1}$$ $v_2 = v_1 n_1 / n_2$ Assuming that $n_1$ is vacuum , we will find the following equation: $$v = c / n$$ (We may find the same ...
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Do you encounter more photons (per unit time) when moving forwards at a constant velocity?

Let's say you have rain hitting you evenly on all sides (not very realistic, I know). If you were to move forwards at a constant speed, there would be more droplets of rain hitting you per second on ...
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2answers
63 views

Why can't we increase the speed of sound in a constant Temperature-pressure condition?

We know the speed depends on the kinetic energy. Imagine that we have 3 iron balls equally spaced and kept in space (zero gravity condition). If i push the first ball slowly it would travel slowly ...
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73 views

Relative Velocity Problem: Light? [duplicate]

Assume 2 rockets coming towards each other at each other at 99% of speed of light, and so as they pass each other the relative velocity between 2 rockets would be 198% of Speed of Light and so what ...
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4answers
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How do I sum up speed though space and time to obtain c (in terms of units)?

I'm still learning SR and only recently I could scratch the surface of such beautiful, complex and deep topic. This post here was really enlightening, and even though it is somewhat basic, it helped ...
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If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?

I've often heard that Einstein shattered the notion of absolute motion (i.e. all things move relative to one another) and that he established the speed of light as being absolute. That sounds ...
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2answers
62 views

Relativistic deceleration and energy

It's common knowledge that due to relativistic effects, accelerating from 0.8c to 0.9c takes a lot more energy than accelerating from 0.1c to 0.2c. However, what's the case with deceleration? Does it ...
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3answers
152 views

The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
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1answer
110 views

How is light slowing down in a medium thought of in the photon picture? [duplicate]

The speed of light in any medium besides vacuum is smaller than $c$. In a classical way, I just look at that as a wave that propagates less fast, the change in EM-field is passed on slower. How should ...
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5answers
2k views

I know light's speed in vacuum is constant, but what about its velocity?

Is the velocity of light in vacuum constant? It seems it would be different depending on whether it is coming toward you or away from you, but I just want to make sure. Does the direction of light ...
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1answer
153 views

Is distance always 0 relative to an object moving at speed of light $c$?

As I understand it, when an object is traveling at the speed of light, relative to itself all travel is instantaneous and the distance is zero. If a photon traveling from the sun was aligned with the ...
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2answers
162 views

The invariance vs constancy of the speed of light in vacuum

This is perhaps as much a question of semantics as of physics but it is something I have been thinking about recently and was wondering if anyone else had a perspective on this. Now, it could be that ...
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3answers
153 views

The speed of light/EM waves in vacuum; as if there was another one in non-vacuum?

Q1: is there a speed of a photon other than in "vacuum"? Q2: isn't "speed of light in vacuum" misleading? If I understand, that light moves with speed of light until there is "something in between" ...
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1answer
142 views

On the no-faster-than-light in special relativity

In the special relativity it is well established that, in the vacuum no one can ever travel faster than light, due to the relativistic velocity addition formula. Recently I saw some silly statement ...
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2answers
173 views

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of the light, but could this be an exception? [duplicate]

I often show off by asking people how fast electrons flow through wires. Then I tell them it's actually only a few millimeters per second. To clear the disbelief off their faces and boost my ego, I ...
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1answer
57 views

Is it possible to travel forward and backward along with time? [closed]

Is it possible to travel along through time if we found a thing that is more speeder than light?
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4answers
1k views

Why the speed of light in vacuum is same in all inertial reference frames? [duplicate]

If Cathy’s velocity toward Bill and away from Amy is v = 0.9c, Cathy finds, by making measurements in her reference frame, that the light from Bill approaches her at speed c, not at c + v = 1.9c. ...
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1answer
152 views

Why $c$ is $3$ x $10^8$ times faster than a $1$ $m/sec$ car? [duplicate]

The value of of a dimensional constant like $c$ is often regarded as unimportant since it can be arbitrarily changed to any desired value by changing our units. For example, $c$=$3$x$10^8$ in $m/sec$, ...
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1answer
77 views

Michelson-Morley experiment

I have to do an experiment about light. I preferred to measure the speed of light by the experiment of Michelson and Morley. When you do the experiment, it will result in an interference pattern by ...