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 to visualize the world while travelling near the speed of light? [closed]

I have been having some trouble with this for a while. I think in terms of vivid , moving images and i haven't been able to visualize this completely. I wondered if a person, like the Flash from the ...
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56 views

Unit definition concerning light and metre [closed]

A stupid question. I see metre is officially defined based on the speed of light: The meter is the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1 / 299 792 458 of ...
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Will an object always fall at an infinite speed in a black hole?

Most of you if not everybody will agree that the stronger the gravitational pull, the faster an object will fall. For example, on a planet with 50 times the gravity of Earth, any object will hit the ...
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106 views

Can a point in empty space be motionless with respect to light?

Being that the speed of light is constant throughout the universe, can a point in empty space be motionless with respect to light?
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3answers
280 views

Has anyone tried Michelson-Morley in an accelerated frame?

After doing much more digging than I thought I had to do, I found out that the speed of light is NOT invariant in an accelerated reference frame. Has anyone done any experiments to confirm this? In ...
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95 views

Is gravity instantaneous? [duplicate]

I want to know if (hypothetically) a star appears out of nowhere at a certain distance (say 20 light seconds) away from me, how long will it take for me to get the feel of it's gravity? Will I know it ...
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153 views

Speed of light constant for all observers [duplicate]

General relativity has been proven many times over to be correct. In my meager understanding of things, they are all premised on the fact that the speed of light is constant to all observers. I would ...
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2answers
53 views

Is the influence of gravity greater than light? [duplicate]

As the influence of gravity is infinite throughout the universe.is the influence of its force on a body very far away faster than the speed of light.suppose a star dies...is the influence of its ...
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2answers
72 views

Gravity and the Speed of Light

Let's assume that I am on an airplane that is at about 4,000 altitude and now let's also assume that I am standing on one of the wings with a light torch, if I point the light torch below to the ...
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1answer
45 views

Travelling at the speed of light [closed]

more of a philosophical questions normally if you are travelling at some speed and you bump into some object, you generally would get slowed down and the force from your acceleration would be ...
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4answers
637 views

What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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62 views

Light speed measured by observing Jupiter moons [duplicate]

The famous discovery that the light has speed measures the times of the immersion and emergence of Io, one of Jupiter's moons. However, I still can't comprehend this. Even when the Earth is further ...
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2answers
507 views

Can gravitational waves escape from inside of black holes? [duplicate]

I understand that light cannot escape from inside of an event horizon because the spacetime curvature is too warped for photons to escape. On the other hand, gravitational waves are ripples of ...
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1answer
388 views

Does the speed of light vary depending on what it travels through? [duplicate]

The title is pretty much self explanatory. Does the speed of light vary depending on what it is traveling through? The speed of light through vacuum is 299792458 meters per second but does it change ...
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3answers
435 views

How long ago did the Universe end? (Or, how much warning will we get when it does?)

Only partly kidding... Let's suppose that a thousand, or a million, years ago there was an explosion of some gigantic star (or other celestial object) that was strong enough to destroy Earth and Life ...
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3answers
158 views

Frequency dependence of the speed of light in air

According to this link, the speed of light of different colors in a medium should be different. But if the refractive index of light in air is 1 then this means that the speed of light in air and ...
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1answer
222 views

Does the strength of a beam of light determine how much distance it can travel?

If I point a light torch to a cloudless, crystal clear and an absolutely pristine sky, will the light beam exit the planet and travel forever in the vacuum of space? (assuming it doesn't get perturbed ...
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2answers
171 views

To what fraction of the speed-of-light has any multi-atom molecule (or polyatomic ion) been accelerated?

Of course photons go $c$ in a vacuum, and seems there's data on electrons getting to $0.999999999976c$ and protons to $0.99999912c$. For the twins paradox to be plausible, one of the twins must ...
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2answers
264 views

What is the fastest speed that a massive object can travel at? [duplicate]

What is the fastest speed (in miles per hour) that a massive object can travel at? I have heard that an object can travel at the speed of light, but I've also heard that massive objects cannot travel ...
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51 views

Has light been used to measure relative velocity?

Here we have 2 lasers. Both are in the same frame of reference as is top box. Laser #1 sends the light directly through the hole in the top box on one side and the light eventually exits the hole ...
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221 views

What is the speed of light after it has entered a black hole?

I was just thinking about this the other day. Given Einstein's Relativity etc. assigning the cosmic "speed limit" the value of $c=299792458\:\frac{m}{s}$, we know that the event horizon is the point ...
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1answer
213 views

electrons inside nucleus and uncertainty principle [closed]

State the assumptions of the proton-electron model of the nucleus. Show that if one uses the Heisenberg uncertainty relation to estimate the speed of an electron inside a nucleus with a diameter of ...
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1answer
64 views

Only one invariant speed in special relativity

This is taken from Rindler's Special Relativity: Any effect whose speed in vacuum is always the same could have used to derive the Lorentz Transformation, as light was used in our derivation. Only ...
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1answer
120 views

Fermi velocity $v_F$ and speed of light

Can Fermi velocity $v_F$ be equal to speed of light, $c$, for ultra-relativistic electron plasma waves, in plasma physics, by using Fermi-Dirac distribution function?
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1answer
97 views

Time in a perfect vacuum? [duplicate]

If we were able to make a perfect vacuum with no forms of energy in, including all forms of light would time still go on in that vacuum and if it doesn't how would we tell that it doesn't? Then if we ...
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49 views

At what velocity would a body need to travel at to experience noticeable (couple minutes) time distortion?

When a person experiences higher speeds, the light must travel a greater distance to reach the person whom is moving compared to that whom is staying still. Right? So therefore, light takes slightly ...
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163 views

Laws of physics in curved space-time

The speed of light is not constant everywhere in a gravitational field. Suppose there is a region of space-time which is curved due to gravity such that the speed of light or any electromagnetic ...
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2answers
507 views

Does matter become energy at the speed of light? [closed]

According to modern physics, we can't push matter to the speed of light. It would slow down (relative to its environment). But theoretically, if matter were to travel the speed of light, would it ...
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695 views

Why does light not slow down?

Clearly light bounces off of things, going really really fast. I'm curious to understand how light interacts with matter in order to bounce without: Applying force to the object Losing speed So my ...
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1answer
71 views

Can relative speed be faster than c [duplicate]

If there are two spaceships moving away from each other(in opposite directions) at a speed 0.6c, then wouldnt that make the relative speed of one from the other's frame of reference 1.2c? Does this ...
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2answers
88 views

During relativistic effects what would a person feel experiencing length contraction?

It has been determined that when accelerating a mass towards light speed it gains mass, experiences length contraction, and time dilation. During such a period of special relativity what would a ...
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2answers
107 views

Special relativity thought experiement

Say you see a spaceship moving relative to you. On this ship you see a timer. When a beam of light is emitted from one end of the ship the timer starts. When the light reaches the other end of the ...
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0answers
36 views

How can I calculate time dilation as viewed from an accelerated frame?

Imagine I am speeding past you at near the speed of light, at a constant velocity. It is very simple for me to calculate what I will see looking at you. According to the Lorentz transformations from ...
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1answer
122 views

What would we see if a camera orbiting close to light speed beamed down images of us on earth?

If a camera was sent up in a satellite, put in orbit at close to light speed, and instructed to beam down images to earth, what would we see if we watched its video feed? (Ignoring the fact that ...
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324 views

How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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96 views

Magnet and electromagnetic wave, and speed of light

I have this practice exam question: T or F. If you hold a magnet in your hand and wave it back and forth, you will create an electromagnetic wave that moves away from your hand at the speed of ...
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889 views

What is the speed of a Photon? [duplicate]

How fast does a Photon travel through space? And is gravity able to influence a Photon's path?
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58 views

Minimum Distance for “Speed of Light Approach”

I tried to calculate the minimum distance between a planet and a test mass for the mass to attain the speed of light on colliding with the planet's surface if it were released from rest at the initial ...
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What does $v=c$ in the Lorentz transformation for time tell us?

For the simpler cases as boost in the x-direction, the time dilation formula following the Lorentz transformation for time is $$\Delta t'=\gamma(\Delta t-v\frac{\Delta x}{c^2})$$Now, we observe that ...
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If I am a light travel around Earth, what relativistic phenomenons do I have?

In school, or even in university, we are only taught Lorentz transformation in one direction. It is quite easy: $$\begin{align} t' &= \gamma \left( t - \frac{vx}{c^2} \right) \\ x' &= ...
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2answers
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How was time defined before we knew the speed of light was constant or in classical physics? [closed]

Nowadays, we now about $c$ the universal speed of light. This lets us define the notion of distance in terms of time (despite the fact that it works the opposite way for our common units.) Before ...
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55 views

What does the phrase 'muons are brought to rest' mean?

I have a physics question in a text sheet. I am currently doing work on relativity where calculations of rest frames and laboratory frames are being completed. The formula: $t(\text{laboratory frame}) ...
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55 views

space time contraction

What could be the reason that space and time contraction increases almost exponentially at the last decimals places close to the speed of light or close to singularity gravitational fields. Does this ...
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1answer
129 views

Can photons “stop time”?

If traveling past the speed of light causes time to reverse than does traveling in time make time "stop"? If not then how do photons/mass-less particles experience time, if at all.
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2answers
603 views

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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2answers
189 views

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 ...
2
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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 ...
4
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1answer
148 views

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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3answers
1k 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
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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 ...