In the frame of photon does time stop in the meaning that past future and present all happen together?

If we have something with multiple outcomes which is realized viewed from such frame? Are all happening together or just one is possible?

How the communication between two such frame s work meaning is there time delay for the information as $c$ is limited? If there is time delay does it mean that time does not stop?

My question does not concern matter at that speed rather how it looks viewed from the photon reference.

Thanks Alfred! I think I understand it now.

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    $\begingroup$ duplicate of physics.stackexchange.com/q/29082/4552 $\endgroup$
    – user4552
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 4:33
  • $\begingroup$ Possible duplicates: physics.stackexchange.com/q/16018/2451 and links therein. $\endgroup$
    – Qmechanic
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 5:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Anonymous, there is no frame of reference for the photon because there is no frame of reference in which the photon is at rest. This is elementary. There is no meaningful way to talk about how the universe "looks" to a photon because that would require that a frame of reference in which a photon is at rest exists. But, there is no such frame of reference. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 13:23
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks.So there is no such frame, because it is assumed that c is same in all frames and a photon will move with c in its own frame. So photon could not exist at other speed. So it means that we could not know from existing theories how the photon sees the universe, so we can say the photon is "not observer".. $\endgroup$
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SpeedOfLight/… "It is really not possible to make sense of such questions and any attempt to do so is bound to lead to paradoxes. There are no inertial reference frames in which the photon is at rest so it is hopeless to try to imagine what it would be like in one. Photons do not have experiences. There is no sense in saying that time stops when you go at the speed of light. This is not a failing of the theory of relativity. There are no inconsistencies revealed by these questions. They just don't make sense." $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2013 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


I think you are asking about how a photon experiences the passage of time? There is no right time. Photons are not ordinary things moving through space. So from the point of view of the photon this time is not moving at all but the point of view of the photon is that it's place in space is changing but no time is passing. Change - ie. motion - in time and space actually happens in four dimensions in which no point in time or place in space can be preferred. We could create any ( or many) agreeable coordinate system in such space with four indices - they can be anything at all but with them change of any of the four indices for position and time can be described by the difference in these arbitrary agreed numbers. But this "Minkowski space" and the equations that relate motions in space and time allows the one special thing. That one "thing" is that light moves at same speed always, fastest possible. So light photons were they able to experience, could only experience change of space. They cannot experience time having changed position in space in the least possible time. I have avoided any math based on your question. If you sought a more rigorous treatment sorry, this works for me.


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