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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Why speed of light is constant with respect to any inertial frame of reference? [duplicate]

Its getting too difficult to think.if we travel at the speed of light then will light will cross us at same speed or travel with us adjacent (special theory of relativity)
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58 views

Is there a fundamental picture for 'the speed of light'?

I am curious about the profound reason for the concept of 'the speed of light'. My considerations are: (1) It's related with the structure of spacetime (for example in Penrose's twistor plan),so ...
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2answers
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4answers
108 views

If a photon has no mass why doesn't it have infinite speed? [duplicate]

Please help a naïve layperson understand -- if a photon has no mass, why is its velocity limited at all? Shouldn't a particle with no mass be able to travel at an infinite speed?
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5answers
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Measuring the speed of light and defining the metre - absolute or relative?

If the metre is now defined as the distance light travels in vacuum in 1⁄299,792,458th of a second and the speed of light is accepted to be ...
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22 views

Is mass relative? [duplicate]

This question has to do with the relativistic mass of an object. I have been reading that as energy increases, so does mass to a much lesser extent, and that this applies to kinetic energy as well. ...
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Is measuring the speed of light using energy and wavelength cyclical?

I would like to measure the speed of light by directly measuring the frequency and wavelength of a light source. In order to determine the wavelength, I wanted to use a diffraction grating and the ...
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2answers
919 views

Is Earth's orbit around the Sun affected by the ~8 minutes light delay?

Gravitational change occurs at the speed of light. As a consequence, we experience on Earth the gravitational attraction of the Sun based on its position relative to us ~8 minutes ago. How does this ...
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6answers
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Reflection At Speed of Light

I have looked online to no avail. There is two competing answers and I am curious to know which one is right. Someone asked me this question. If you are traveling at the speed of light can you see ...
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3answers
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Why must $v$ be $< c$ in the Lorentz transformations? Do these equations not apply to light? [duplicate]

I was trying to understand how things look from the perspective of light. Looking at the Lorentz transformations, it seems that the universe would contract along the direction of movement into a plane,...
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29 views

Can orbiting a black hole 99.99% speed of light make other object with relatively fast clock travel faster than light, relative to me?

If i orbit a black hole, 99.9% speed of light, time for me is moving slowly, relative to me, planet earth is aging fast, and i have traveled 10 years into the future(relatively) in 1 second, suppose ...
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0answers
51 views

Imagine I'm on a spacecraft that was accelerated to 1.0$c$ could I only move backwards? [duplicate]

Imagine I'm in a sapcecraft1 that is moving with 1.0$c$ or at least is so close to that speed that a few miles per hour would just be left to reach $c$. So when I'm traveling now in the direction ...
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3answers
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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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Do Physical Singularities Exist? Is Mass Infinite at $v=c$? [closed]

Looking at the Minkowski light cone and the STR on the Boundary at $v=c$. STR calculates infinite mass/infinite energy which would burn the universe to a crisp. Aren't we simply saying Undefined; and, ...
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1answer
33 views

How did Fizeau control the cog's rotations per second?

In Fizeau's cog experiment to determine the speed of light, how would he have had a way to accurately determine the number of rotations per second of the cog, given the experiment was conducted in ...
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1answer
129 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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1answer
71 views

Speed of light from moving source evidence [closed]

The speed of light in a vacuum is taken to be a constant $c$ from a light source moving in our frame. What experiment(s) provide direct evidence for this. To what level of precision do we know this ?
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2answers
106 views

Do we have a better approximation of $c$ than 299792458 m/s? [duplicate]

All sites give this value as "exact" value. I mean, what's after the comma? 299792458,000 m/s?
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Speed of light when accelerating

I'm studying special relativity and saw the 2 postulates of Einstein. The most remarkable one for me is the universal speed of light. Einstein postulated that the speed of light in vacuum is the same ...
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2answers
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Why were the GW detections at Livingston and Hanford separated by 7 ms if the light travel time between them is 10 ms?

How did a gravitational wave travel from Livingston, Louisiana to Hanford, Washington in 7 milliseconds, when they are separated by 10 milli-light seconds (3002 km)?
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According to relativity theory, what is the force that two electrons moving radially apart exert on each other?

According to relativity theory, what is the most general expression for the force that two electrons moving radially apart exert on each other? I am looking for a function $$F(r(t)),$$ where $F$ is ...
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2answers
7k views

Is it really possible to break the speed of light by flicking your wrist with a laser pointer?

Minutephysics has a popular YouTube video called "How to break the speed of light". In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the spot of ...
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0answers
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light interference

Recently while driving, i noticed that when it is dark, the light emitted from an incoming car with its headlights at full strength (bright) and with mine also at the same state, my windscreen sort of ...
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Cheap DIY Zernike-Phasecontrast: Optical Thickness of a inkjet/laser printed contour for phasering? [closed]

Rough guess: Optical Thickness of a inkjet/laser printed contour? Edit I was wondering if there is any research regarding the refractive index and the height of an inkjet or laser printed contour?  ...
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3answers
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Is there a difference between the speed of light and that of a photon?

As in the title I am curious whether there is a difference between the speed of photon and the speed of light, and if there is what is the cause of such a difference?
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132 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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48 views

Invariant upper bound for velocity of a particle

In the book Relativity book by Wolfgang Rindler, he explains that the Galilean and Lorentz transformations exhaust all the possible transformations. And explaining that he says, "Now, either there is, ...
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3answers
101 views

Information, entanglement and EPR

I'm currently trying to understand why superluminal information transport is not possible. Therefore, I would like to get some help concerning the definition of information or the general setting. ...
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8answers
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If the speed of light is constant, why can't it escape a black hole?

When speed is the path traveled in a given time and the path is constant, as it is for $c$, why can't light escape a black hole? It may take a long time to happen but shouldn't there be some light ...
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4answers
243 views

Does $E=mc^2$ mean that an object with mass $m$ travels at the speed of light in empty space? [closed]

I cannot wrap my head around this (Im new to physics), and this concept is troubling me. I think no, but im not sure why?
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Does the speed of light will stay constant if two photons are travelling in the opposite direction each to other in the empty space? [duplicate]

If two photons are traveling throughout the empty space with the speed of light $c$, each one in the opposite direction of the other 180° throughout the universe. And if we take one of the two limits ...
3
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1answer
45 views

Emissions of radioactive particles travelling near the speed of light vs stationary particles

Sorry in advance if this is a noob question. I just heard another explanation of special relativity and was wondering about it. If a radioactive particle was passing by near the speed of light, would ...
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58 views

Why do we hear a different timbre when someone speaks with helium (or other gases) in their lungs?

Let me make one thing clear: I am fully aware that the change in timbre comes from the change in acoustic wave speed when going through a different medium (just like light). However, would I not ...
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If we traveled at almost the speed of light would objects appear the same?

We see objects with our eyes as object emits/reflects light. Say if we travel at almost the speed of light can we see the objects normally?
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Object traveling towards a black hole close to the speed of light [duplicate]

Fluff: I will start by saying my knowledge of physics lacking to say the least. I am asking this question purely out of curiosity. The question: If an object was traveling close to (or at (if it ...
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1answer
53 views

If I have a huge analog clock, what happens to the seconds hand if I build it longer than 2.864.788 kms? [duplicate]

Suppose I'm able to build a huge analog clock, with a seconds hand very long. I want have hand end running at light speed (300,000 km/s). Needle then has to be 300,000km*60s/(2pi) = about 2,864,788km (...
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Proving that angle of incidence over angle of reflection is constant in Snell's Law

First let me state what I think I know: Snell's Law states that $\frac{sin(i)}{sin(r)} = \frac{v_1}{v_2}= \frac{\lambda_1}{\lambda_2}= \frac{n_2}{n_1}$ where i is the angle of incidense and r is the ...
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2answers
75 views

The criteria of light

My question is regarding if the "speed of light" 299,792,458 m/s should only apply to certain frequencies of light/colors/amplitude and most the medium in which it travels at 299,792,458 m/s . Shouldn'...
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1answer
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Observer travelling near speed of light observing a laser pointer seeing photons at speed of light?

I'm a little confused by the following classic example about the speed of light being constant for all observers (paraphrasing): Jack and Jill are both travelling at a significant portion of the ...
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110 views

Is the speed of light constant in all directions?

Consider the shape of the waveform emitted by a moving source: (with the horizontal axis "x" and the vertical axis "y"). According to the stationary observer, the wavefront of a short pulse ...
188
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26answers
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Do we know why there is a speed limit in our universe?

This question is about why we have a universal speed limit (the speed of light in vacuum). Is there a more fundamental law that tells us why this is? I'm not asking why the speed limit is equal to $c$...
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3answers
312 views

Speed of Dark experiment, does it *really* travel faster than light? [duplicate]

I have seen many folks doing this Moon shadow experiment concluding that shadow from point A on the Moon can travel to point B on the Moon faster than light. What I fail to understand here (and I am ...
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2answers
92 views

Can't reach speed of light, but relative to who?

Imagine a stationary person (with respect to a spaceship) floating in space and looks at a clock on the spaceship going 0.5c and sees it's clock ticking slower than his own, and concludes that it is ...
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2answers
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If maximum speed limit $c$ is made infinite, will general theory of relativity become equivalent to Newton's gravitational theory?

We know that special relativity tends to become equivalent to classical theory of relativity as the speed limit of nature becomes infinite. If this happens, clock will tick at the same rate ...
32
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2answers
3k views

Were the Michelson-Morley results a surprise?

How unexpected were the Michelson-Morley experiment results? Did physicists have theoretical reasons to predict that the speed of light would result to be invariant?
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38 views

A photon lives life as a flat-lander? [duplicate]

Think length contraction... I was thinking about going close to the speed of light the other day, and I was thinking about the idea that, if you went close to the speed of light, time would slow down ...
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Why shift in fringe is expected in Michelson Morley Experiment?

When I (beginner) learnt Michelson Morley experiment, it was expected that there should be a shift in the fringe pattern when the setup was rotated by 90 deg if the presence of ether is true. But why ...
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6answers
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Why do photons travel?

Photons travel at the speed of light. Is there a known explanation of this phenomenon, and if yes, what is it? Edit: To be clearer, my question is why do photons travel at all. Why do they have a ...
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3answers
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Concequences of the speed of light beeing absolute? [duplicate]

If photons have a speed limit (speed of light), what happens when you shoot photons through a flashlight but you yourself already have some speed? Do the photons from the flashlight only travel at [...