Suppose that I can walk/run/travel (not sure if this matters) faster than the speed of light. What would I experience?

I know speed of light is a constant and cannot be reached. If someone were to get close to it, things would start to get weird. For example, frequency of light would shift, thus colors would shift. That would be fun to experience.

What happens once you go faster than the speed of light? I had a thought. If you go faster than c, you go blind. Well, what I mean is we normally see the light that is reflected (or emitted) from objects. If we were to go faster than c, light wouldn't have enough time to get to us, so that we can see our environment. Light (photons) would freeze. And if I stay still at that speed, I wouldn't be able to observe around me. In order to see, I would need to be keep moving. Instead of photons coming to me for me to see, I would have to move and go to them.

Does this make sense?

Edit: I don't see how this is related to Effects of FTL travel on time. I'm not asking about time. Assuming I can move faster than c, I shouldn't be able to see (in a still position.) In order to see, I'd have to be keep moving, so that my eyes can pick up the photons. Because of my speed, photons wouldn't be moving for me.

Edit: Okay. So, maybe I should have been more specific. I'm asking about a hypothetical situation. Not a real one. So ignore the possible scenarios, that I'd decay, die, it's not possible, I can't go FTL, etc. Just entertain the idea. Let's go step by step.

  • I'm accelerating towards c. Time starts to slow down. Light spectrum shifts. Colors change.
  • I'm at the c. Time stops. Everything stops, except for light itself. We are moving at the same speed. (I might or might not be able to see around me at this step)
  • I'm faster than c multiple or many times. At that speed, light also should stop from my perspective just as everything else stopped when I was at c. At this step I shouldn't be able to see, or have to be keep moving in order to see because my speed is much much greater than c. I can't wait for photons to arrive. I (my eyes) need to go and detect them.

1 Answer 1


The problem with this kind of question about impossible things is that you have to tell exactly what you want to ignore (going into some imaginary world) and what you seek.

Here if you want to let relativity appart, then the best is to work with good analogies, like waves. Take non-dispersing waves (sound, thin water shell). indeed, you can even take light in matter (and thus slower than c). When you go past to the maximum wave limit, your own emissions generate a triangular or conical shockwave (supersonic bang, Cherenkov radiation...).

BTW waves behind you can't reach you, but waves in front and sides (within a cone) can. ( The shockwave is due to the fact that the medium cannot "react upstream of you" because no information can reach it before you reach it. )


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