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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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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3answers
136 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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3answers
63 views

Our speed and direction by comparing the speed of light?

If the speed of light is constant no matter the speed of the source, shouldn't we be able to know the direction and exact speed we are going relative to the absolute 0 in speed? If a photon is sent in ...
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236 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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2answers
159 views

Speed astronauts measure moving at the speed of light

Lets suppose a spaceship travels with v = 0.9c relative to the Earth. The time inside the spaceship would pass slower than on Earth. Would the astronauts measure a different speed (that means, a ...
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1answer
107 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
55 views

Light coming from distant stars

As we know, light travels with a constant speed and the Universe is ever-expanding and endless. Considering this fact, is it possible that the sky we see should change everyday? Let's say today we see ...
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1answer
71 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
43 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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1answer
45 views

Relative motion at almost the speed of light

My title might not be precise but I didn't know how to decribe it better. I've been reading about the special and general theories of relativity for a short while and I started wondering. First, ...
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1answer
333 views

Theoretically if you passed the speed of light in a medium, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light in vacuum since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. However in a medium, would there be some sort of theoretical ...
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1answer
367 views

Speed of approach between image and object

A plane mirror image approaches the object at the same rate the object approaches the mirror. So the speed of approach is twice the speed at which the object approaches the mirror. If the object ...
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1answer
32 views

Relativity and observable universe

Will cosmological horizon "expand" for an observer approaching the speed of light (at least in the direction of observer's motion) ?
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46 views

Camera on the ground vs camera in a train

A couple days ago my history teacher was explaining special relativity with the train example, where you are in a train close to light speed and you see a clock on the train terminal and the clock ...
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1answer
37 views

How does the photon differentiate between events?

As far as I know for a photon that's moving at the speed of light (obviously) time comes to a halt and space contracts to a point, making all travels instant from its perspective. Now this is the part ...
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1answer
49 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
64 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
47 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
37 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
65 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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1answer
49 views

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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1answer
79 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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111 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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0answers
50 views

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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0answers
67 views

The speed of light during the inflationary period

Introduction: As a thought experiment, suppose I modified the value of $c$ (speed of light) in some local region and attempted to measure it with a clock placed in that same region. I will denote ...
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93 views

About the speed of light

If Mr. E is aboard a spaceship traveling near the speed of light the usual reason for the spaceship not going faster than $c$ is the (relativistic) mass of the ship increases without bound, I think. ...
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97 views

How does this paper relate to standard QED?

This paper proposes a microscopic mechanism for generating the values of $c, \epsilon_0, \mu_0$. They state that their vacuum is assumed to contain ephemeral (meaning existing within the limits of ...
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Question on “new CNGS/OPERA measurement of neutrino velocity” (hep-ex/1212.1276)

A "new measurement of the limit on muon neutrino velocity with respect to the speed of light " by the OPERA neutrino experiment in collaboration with CERN has become public recently, as preprint ...
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822 views

What happens with photon when it is slowed down substantially?

In a dispersive media light's velocity can change substantially. Imagine we can slow it down to near 0 what the wave would look like? Frequency of light does not seem to change even at v=0 (at least ...
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117 views

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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117 views

Velocities of waves (such as visible light, and radio)

The speed of light in a vacuum is a constant 299,792,458 m/s. In water, it is much slower. Does this happen to such waves as radio, or X-ray? (Would say, a 3 meter wavelength travel slower in air than ...
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216 views

Is false vacuum bubble nucleation possible in our universe?

Is it possible that a false vacuum bubble to nucleate into our universe rather than a true vacuum one ? If yes,it will expand at speed of light within our spacetime or what ?
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34 views

Why wouldn't any Emission Theory work?

http://www.pitt.edu/~jdnorton/teaching/HPS_0410/chapters/origins_pathway/#Emission Here, at the Emission theories of light, I loved the discussed theory. There seems to be a contradiction right ...
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43 views

Speed of light in a medium as superposition of dipole radiation

Studying electromagnetism I know that the speed of light in a medium is $v = c/\eta$ and that it's possible to derive this from the Maxwell equations in the medium. But I wanted to find a microscopic ...
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29 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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42 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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39 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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31 views

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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83 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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387 views

Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
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64 views

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective?

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective? We all agree that the universe is around 14 billion years, from the perspective of a hypothetical observer moving in a galaxy, ...
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148 views

does light beam bend when moving with a constant velocity?

I'm studding special relativity and there is a famous example where there is a moving train witch has a light source on its floor and a mirror attached to its roof. an observer in the train sees a ...
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166 views

Determining Ether Drag - Aberration of Starlight

In order to determine the relative motion between the Earth and the ether (the medium through which light supposedly propagated. It has zero density and complete transparency), scientists used the ...
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Twin simultaneity paradox. Do they both live for an equal amount?

In the above example, if the spaceship was at rest in space relative to an external observer, and a burst of light was released at 12:00AM by the onboard observer who is located within the spaceship ...
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61 views

How can a black hole slow time down without increasing its own speed?

I read that speed of light is the only "speed" or rate of change allowed in universe when you consider 4-dimensional space-time where space and time are orthogonal to each other, which explains why ...