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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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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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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Observed speed of light [duplicate]

Suppose two very fast trains, train $A$ traveling a constant speed of $.5c$ and train $B$ traveling at a constant speed $.75c$, are on the same straight track heading straight towards one another. If ...
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58 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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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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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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154 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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58 views

electrons inside nucleus and uncertainty principle [on hold]

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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2answers
171 views

Increased mass from signals traveling close to the speed of light

As you travel close to the speed of light, it is to my understanding you gain mass. Does this also apply when the brain sends electrical signals to the muscles? Do the signals (that are traveling at ...
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3answers
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How to calculate time dilation in approaching speed of light

If a spaceship travels close to the speed of light (say, at 0.9c), how do I calculate the time as the spaceship pilot experience it? I thought the formula was $$t = \frac{t_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ ...
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1answer
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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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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
71 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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1answer
57 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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1answer
29 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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4answers
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Time dilation at zero velocity (and zero gravity)

From what I've learned, the more an object travels closer and closer to the speed of light, the more time will slow down for that object.. at least from an outside perspective.. It was shown that ...
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5answers
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Is all kind of light same speed?

Is there any speed difference between blue or red light? Is there ever a speed difference? Or does all types of light move at the same speed?
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2answers
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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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2answers
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Does matter become energy at the speed of light?

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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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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What is so special about speed of light in vacuum?

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
42 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
127 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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5answers
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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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5answers
284 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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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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79 views

Doppler effect and light

Approaching the speed of sound in an aircraft is relatively difficult, because the closer you get to Mach 1, the denser the pressure is around you (sound accumulates causing vibrations). Is there a ...
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1answer
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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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17answers
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Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole?

Is it possible for information (like 1 and 0s) to be transmitted faster than light? For instance, take a rigid pole of several AU in length. Now say you have a person on each end, and one of them ...
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2answers
59 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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1answer
42 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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1answer
63 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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Would time freeze if you could travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the universal speed limit. So, if I were to travel in a spacecraft at (practically) the ...
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1answer
44 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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1answer
140 views

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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Measuring speed of an object relative to what? [duplicate]

I understand that everything in the universe is moving through spacetime and the spacetime vector is equal for all the objects. So if If something is moving at speed of light, the mass of it is zero ...
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0answers
39 views

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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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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Entangled particles and travelling at speed of light

I'm sorry to bother you guys with yet another question about quantum entanglement and speed of light, but I have a scenery in mind which I couldn't find on the net, so I'm gonna describe it here and ...
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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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1answer
34 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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What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
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1answer
56 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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Why do different wavelengths travel at different speeds through a medium? [duplicate]

Someone gave an explanation in another question: "Maxwell's equations predict that in a linear medium with permittivity ϵ and permeability μ, the speed of light in the medium will be v=1/ϵμ. When ...
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2answers
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Does $E = mc^2$ apply to photons?

Photons are massless, but if $m = 0$ and $E=mc^2$, then $E = 0c^2 = 0$. This would say that photons have no energy, which is not true. However, given the formula $E = ℎf$, a photon does have energy ...
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4answers
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Travelling faster than the speed of light

Let's say I fire a bus through space at (almost) the speed of light. If I'm inside the bus (sitting on the back seat) and I run up the aisle of the bus will I in fact be traveling faster than the ...
2
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1answer
57 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 ...
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1answer
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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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3answers
806 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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1answer
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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 ...