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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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
55 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 ...
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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?
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985 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 ...
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5answers
101 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 ...
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Einstein's first postulate implies the second?

Einstein's two postulates of special relativity are as follows, 1. The principle of relativity: The laws of physics are the same in all inertial systems. There is no way to detect absolute ...
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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 = ...
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2answers
732 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 ...
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436 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 ...
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0answers
179 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 ...
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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?
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403 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 ...
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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 ...
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223 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 ...
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174 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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
221 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 ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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1answer
146 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
51 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 ...
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298 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?
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1answer
72 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 ...
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56 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?
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234 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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Hypothetically what would happen in this situation? [duplicate]

Would the speed of 'push' be equal to the speed of sound?
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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?
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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 ...
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114 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 ...
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85 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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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80 views

Is Helicity an intrinsic property of massive Neutrinos?

Hyperphysics states that, unlike an electron, the helicity of a neutrino is invariant because we cannot change to a reference frame where it is different: This and subsequent experiments have ...
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3answers
1k views

Speed of light definition

I understand the speed of light to be an EXACT number. If permeability of free space has a factor of pi in it, how can this be?
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65 views

What does it look when we travel at the speed of light? [closed]

Suppose we're in a spaceship or in a car which runs at the speed of light. We are watching the light which is coming towards eyes at the speed of the light. What would it look like when the driver ...
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Help understanding Fizeau's calculation of speed of light

While searching for different methods of calculating Speed of light, I came across one of the methods that Fizeau discussed below which I cannot fully understand. In short, in Fizeau’s apparatus, a ...
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2answers
696 views

If a photon is exists in 'timeless' state, how can objects around it move? [duplicate]

My understanding is that light does not experience time. In attempting to understand what the universe would be like from the perspective of a photon, the answer I get is that the universe would be ...
2
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0answers
77 views

$E=mc^2$ what is unique about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What unique property of light, makes it the conversion factor between energy and mass? It has to be more than a coincidence that the speed of light, just happens to be the correct number number to ...
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Can a body ever experience acceleration this strong?

Using the Schwarzschild radius formula, I approximated the Sun's Schwarzschild radius to be $3\text{ km}$. Now assuming I have a body (not a human body) which is at a distance of $10\text{ km}$ from ...