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I have seen similar questions to this, but I can't seem to get a firm answer. My understanding is that photons move in straight lines at the speed of light. These photons have perpendicular electrical and magnetic fields that move at various wavelengths around the photons. If this is true, then the effects of these waves must move several times faster than the speed of light to keep up with the photon. Is this true? If not, do the waves just lag way behind the photons? Or do I have it completely wrong and the photons themselves are moving along these waves, thus making the overall speed of the light much slower than $c$.

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    $\begingroup$ No, it's the other way around. Photons don't consist of waves, waves consist of photons. Are there waves of water around molecules of water? No, the waves of water consist of the molecules of water. $\endgroup$ – safesphere Oct 22 '17 at 1:21
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According to Einstein's theory of Special Relativity nothing travels faster than the speed of light (in a vacuum). When light travels through a medium, on the other hand, like water, material etc, a wave of high frequency can become low frequency as it loses energy. In some specific cases such as when Cherenkov radiation is emitted, a charged particle such as an electron passes through a dielectric medium at a speed exceeding the phase velocity of light in that medium (wiki- Cherenkov radiation).

From the position of light being the fastest thing in the universe, relativistic corrections need to be applied to anything with mass travelling "fast enough" or "within a fraction" of the speed of light. An object with mass actually gets heavier the faster it goes. This increase in mass is why it's so difficult for particles to obtain "near light speed".

Final year physics and math student.

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