# Is it possible to travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I'm asking this question because atoms can definetely not travel at the speed of light.

Atoms have electrons orbiting them at a speed very close to the speed of light, so, is it really possible for anything(macro objects) to travel at the speed of light?

P.S. : Is there any word for this condition where an atom loses electrons due to translatory motion?

• "Atoms have electrons orbiting them at a speed very close to the speed of light [...]" Where'd you get that exotic statement?
– noah
Feb 24, 2021 at 9:31
• I've learnt in school that the speed of electrons is equal to the speed of light, but it usually is barely shy of that though they don't really get to those speeds Feb 24, 2021 at 9:32
• Electrons don't actually orbit anything. In atoms they don't travel at near-$c$ either, those points are plain wrong.
– Gert
Feb 24, 2021 at 9:53
• Short answer: no massive (=with mass) particle or object can travel at the speed of light. Feb 24, 2021 at 9:54
• @AndrewSteane Atoms have electrons orbiting them at a speed very close to the speed of light, I take this to mean: "atomic electrons generally move very close to $c$" and that's incorrect and that is what I addressed. This is my last word on this as the focus of the OP's question isn't that.
– Gert
Feb 24, 2021 at 12:54

Photons (obviously) travel at the speed of light in vacuum. Any other particle with zero rest mass (such as the hypothetical graviton, if it exists) would also travel at the speed of light. Nothing with non-zero rest mass can travel at the speed of light in vacuum. However, particles can travel at or faster than the local speed of light in media such as water - see this Wikipedia article.

Nothing with rest mass can attain the speed that light travels at in vacuum.