Linked Questions

34
votes
5answers
8k views

What is so special about speed of light in vacuum?

I will try to be as explanatory as possible with my question. Please also note that I have done my share of googling and I am looking for simple language preferable with some example so that I can get ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

Why must the speed of light be the universal speed limit for all the fundamental forces of nature? [duplicate]

Einstein discovered from studying the electrodynamics of moving bodies, that the speed of light $c_{em}$ is the same for observers, which move relative to each other with a constant velocity. But why ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is spacetime not Riemannian?

I apologize if this is a naïve question. I'm a mathematician with, essentially, no upper-level physics knowledge. From the little I've read, it seems that spacetime is Lorentzian. Unfortunately, the ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

How can we show that the speed of light is really constant in all reference frames?

I had a debate with a friend who cannot believe that the speed of light is constant. He said something like: so what if in the Michelson-experiment the moving apparatus simply added a constant ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Einstein's first postulate implies the second?

Einstein's two postulates of special relativity are as follows, 1. The principle of relativity: The laws of physics are the same in all inertial systems. There is no way to detect absolute motion,...
3
votes
5answers
728 views

How do we know that time dilation applies to objects other than light?

Here is a traditional derivation of time dilation: There's a train with a lamp in the ceiling, moving at velocity v with respect to an observer. In the frame of the observer, the path taken by the ...
9
votes
3answers
257 views

Alongside a light ray (in another medium)

It is a said fact that the speed of light is insurmountable. But can the validity of this fact be questioned in another medium? If I pass a beam of light in, say water (here the light speed is ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Do EM waves need a medium to propagate? [duplicate]

The official theorie says that they don't need a medium, it states that: EM waves are a disturbance in the field First of all, what field?? An electromagnetic one ? I mean, I consider that field as ...
3
votes
4answers
358 views

How do we identify the fact that the photon has no mass?

In Newton's book "Opticks", he proposed the particle theory of light to demonstrate the refraction phenomena. In his theory, he postulated that the tiny particles of light have mass and experience an ...
3
votes
3answers
655 views

Using the speed of light in a vacuum or in that medium

To clarify, is the speed limit of the universe the speed of light in a vacuum, or the speed of light in that particular medium, i.e. if the speed of light in a particular medium were only 17 m/s, ...
1
vote
5answers
394 views

What is the significance of the “squared” in $E =mc^2$? [duplicate]

If $c$ is just an arbitrary constant, why don't we say $E=mc$ and define the value of $c$ to be $\sqrt{299 792 458} \approx 17314$ meters per second? Or, why not use $E=mc^3$?
5
votes
1answer
672 views

Importance of the Galilean principle of relativity

The Galilean principle of relativity states that: The laws of mechanics are invariant in all inertial reference frames That means that if we have two inertial frames of reference $S$ and $S'$ then ...
1
vote
2answers
184 views

Dark matter: Will Special Relativity hold?

Part 1: It’s been said that dark matter makes up about 26 % of the universe. The restart of LHC would be dealing with the existence of dark matter also. Consider a situation that the results are ...
1
vote
2answers
200 views

Which is more fundamental,''constancy of speed of light'' or ''space-time''? [closed]

My friend asked me,''which is more basic or fundamental? constancy of speed of light which makes space-time behave dynamically OR dynamical behavior of space-time that makes light to travel with ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Why do we write the lengths in the following way? Question about Lorentz transformation

Yesterday we have studied the Lorentz transformation in school. So we have two frames of reference, $S$ and $S'$ . $S$ is stationary and $S'$. $S'$ has a constant velocity $v$, relative to the $S$ ...

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