I don't know much about physics, though it certainly interests me. so I apologize if this is a dumb question, but if we somehow slowed down the speed of light around us. (like we somehow made air have an IOR equal to the speed of light in a vacuum) What would happen? Would everything we see be super delayed? Like an apple could fall from a tree, but because light is so slow I would only see it a few seconds after it fell. Or maybe if light was slow enough a few minutes. If that's true, I started thinking about things like if light was slow enough, what happens when you close your eyes, or walk around? would seeing yourself moving or your eyelids covering your eye be delayed? What else would happen? would colors or shapes act weird? I know things light laser technology wouldn't really work. Just something I'm curious about, I've been researching about it for a little while but haven't found any solid answers. I was thinking it would make a very interesting concept for a novel.

  • $\begingroup$ It is an interesting concept! We see objects when light reflects off other objects and hits our eye. If lights speed were to some how slow down , We would experience slowness if we transitioned from our current state to the new state where light is slow. If we were to live in the medium from start what im thinking is we wont make out any difference if light was 1ms we would be moving at 4nm/s like at the same ratio to what we originally are $\endgroup$
    – Naveen V
    Mar 7 at 8:30
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    $\begingroup$ A team at MIT made a simple (free) video game that directly addresses the spirit of this question. If you have a computer and want to build an intuition about relativity without doing lots of math, it's worth a look. gamelab.mit.edu/games/a-slower-speed-of-light $\endgroup$
    – g s
    Mar 7 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ @gs Wow I didn't know that existed , thank you I will actually check it out $\endgroup$
    – Naveen V
    Mar 7 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ Light is slow (on a galactic scale), and everything we see around us already is delayed, so yes. $\endgroup$
    – m4r35n357
    Mar 7 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ @gs, note: the question mentions "air" and "index of refraction," so maybe it's not asking what if the universal speed of causation was slower, but only asking what if light reaching out eyes was delayed. $\endgroup$ Mar 7 at 10:27


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