# Questions tagged [faster-than-light]

"Faster-than-light", also known as superluminal velocities, refers to any sort of travel at a speed greater than the speed of light. Prohibited in mainstream physics due to the Special theory of relativity.

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### A problem with $E = mc^2$

(Rest) mass of proton = (rest) mass of neutron (approximately) = $1.67 \times 10^{-27}$ kg. let $m$ be the mass of nitrogen atom then $m = 2.32 \times 10^{-26}$ kg. $c = 3 \times 10^8$ m/s (approx). ...
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### If it turns out that neutrinos do travel at faster than lightspeed, how will the success of special relativity be explained?

As per in the title. If it turns out that neutrinos do travel faster than the speed of light, how will the success of special relativity be explained? My apologies if this has been asked before; I've ...
619 views

### Is there a medium less dense than vacuum, in which light can travel faster than $c$? [closed]

Is there a medium less dense than vacuum, in which light can travel faster than $c$? If not, can we make it?
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### Signal travels with speed greater than light breaks causality

Signal can't travel at speed greater than light speed in vacuum which is a assumption of special relativity. But if a signal travels at speed greater than $c$ then it will violate causality. I tried ...
942 views

### Does light have initial velocity? [duplicate]

You are standing still in a vacuum, and you throw a ball that moves 10 m/s away from you. Now you start moving in one direction at 5 m/s, and throw the ball in the other direction, away from the ...
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### Does this count as moving faster than light?

I'm not familiar with any complicated physics equation, however I do understand some basics. Suppose there is two objects, both of them are moving away from each other in a 3-dimensional space, which ...
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### Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
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### Isn't the front edge of a wave, kind of “information” which travels faster than light?

Considering the definition of phase and group velocities, We know group velocity can't exceed C but phase velocity can be infinitely high. Assume a monochromatic electromagnetic wave traveling with a ...
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### Quantum tunneling is faster than light travel?

Quantum tunneling is faster than light travel ? My reasoning is that the particle cannot be detected inside the tunnel so if it travels from A to B it must be instantly going from A to B , hence ...
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### Do superluminal worldlines constitute closed time-like curves under the right conditions?

A closed time-like curve is defined as a word-line that returns to its starting point, in the $x$, $y$, $z$, $t$ coordinates. So, for a chronology respecting observer, an object traversing a closed ...
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### Images traveling faster than light

Please help me understand my mistake(s) in this reasoning. I will write as if I knew exactly what I'm talking about for the sake of clarity, but I of course don't. Consider observer A and its ...
148 views

### Does our Galaxy move at the speed of light? [closed]

I am not a physicist, but I have a few questions that bother me for a while: As we do not know if the Universe is infinite or not I assume we do not know our whereabouts in it; We know,though, there ...
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### If a photon has no mass why doesn't it have infinite speed? [duplicate]

Please help a naïve layperson understand -- if a photon has no mass, why is its velocity limited at all? Shouldn't a particle with no mass be able to travel at an infinite speed?
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### How do we know that space expanded with speed faster that a speed of light during big-bang inflation?

How do we know that space expanded faster than a speed of light in inflation? I have read this Phys.SE question, and it says that limit for faster than a speed of light is for matter and waves only. I ...
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### How 'Faster Than Light' Neutrino Was Product of Loose Cable at CERN?

A "faster than light" neutrino discovery was actually the result of a loose cable. A fiber-optic cable in a GPS receiver at the European Center for Particle Physics ( CERN) near Geneva Can someone ...
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### Would possibility of instant communication break physics? [duplicate]

I recently read a sci-fi book, where some (very few) people can communicate telepathically, which happens to be instantaneous. So, every spaceship has a crew member who telepathically communicates ...
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### Does the Milky way have relativistic mass against galaxies which are moving away from it at high speeds?

According to the article cited behind, and to a post in Astronomy SE , there are galaxies moving away from Milky Way faster than light, even at speeds of 2.3c . According to this article Can two ...
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### Could we travel faster than the speed of light in a medium, but slower than the speed of light in vacuum?

It is well accepted that nothing with mass can travel at the speed of light in vacuum, $c$. Now let's say that a light wave is traveling through a medium that slows the wave's speed significantly (...
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### Do wormholes only allow FTL travel in “folded” spacetime?

Faster than light wormhole travel depicted in science fiction and in popular science articles seems to assume that rather than being flat (with dimples centered around large masses), spacetime is ...
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### Speed of light paradox [duplicate]

If I send two rockets from the Earth in opposite directions, at, say, 60% of the speed of light relative to the Earth, then relative to each other they are travelling at 120% of the speed of light. ...
6k views

### Phase velocity greater then the speed of light?

It is my understanding the the phase velocity of a wave can be greater then the speed of light. So imagine we had a wave packet consisting of a single sinusoidal wave; $$y=\sin(\omega t-kx)$$ Then ...
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### Superluminal travel without time travel

Can superluminal travel or communication be possible without leading to the possibility of closed timelike curves (CTCs) and causality violations? I have seen conflicting opinions regarding this ...
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### Can we determine whether or not a particle is entangled?

Suppose Shaniqua and Tyrone have four pairs, a, b, c, and d, of entangled particles. They take their particles and go very far apart. If Tyrone can determine whether or not a particle is still ...
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### What is the fastest possible acceleration?

Context & Question In physics, the fastest possible speed is accepted as the speed of light. No other mass has been recorded to travel as fast as the photon. What is the acceleration of the ...
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### Can relative velocity of a particle exceed the speed of light? [duplicate]

Consider two particles (having same mass) moving with constant velocity very close to speed of light, say $0.99c$ in opposite directions. Will the magnitude of their relative velocities exceed the ...
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### Confusion in phase and group velocity

This question is based on this question asked in physics SE. In this question, they say that phase velocity greater than velocity of light. Ok, greater than velocity of light for phase velocity is ...
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### Acceleration due to Gravity: Free Fall [duplicate]

If we are in a free fall which implies we are accelerating at 9.8 m/sec every sec. And let's say that we are falling into a pit that has enormous depth. So isn't this be possible that we may ...
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### Does the induced Electric field develop instantly or lags by $\frac rc$?

Consider a loop of radius $r_0=3 \times 10^8$ cm. A thin bar magnet is passed through its center. This implies that the magnetic flux through the loop will change. Now according to Faraday's law a non ...
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### Hypothetically what would happen in this situation? [duplicate]

Would the speed of 'push' be equal to the speed of sound?
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### Exeeding the speed of light by adding velocities [duplicate]

Well you know how it's said that things can't travel at or past the speed of light? However, can't they move at speeds greater than the speed of light relative to another object? For example: What ...
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### speed of light flashlights question

This might be a silly question but I take the risk because it's been puzzling me for quite some time : If you have 2 flashlights, one facing North and one facing South, how fast are the photons (or ...
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### Circumstances of a superluminal causality violation [closed]

In the case of the Roman ring, a traveler is able to go through a wormhole mouth and emerge at some point in the past without violating causality, so long as the time traveled back is less than the ...
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### Why can't gravity force an object past the speed of light? [duplicate]

I hope this question is not a duplicate (it doesn't seem to be) and that it is appropriate for this site. If we had a universe with only two bodies. One is ultra massive, and the other is very small. ...
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### Time dilation due to space expansion

As we observe a remote galaxy, we see it with a redshift. The most distant galaxy discovered to date is GN-z11 visible with the redshift of $z=11.09$. For simplicity, let's assume no gravitational ...
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### Can strings go faster than light?

I have been wondering if strings in string theory can go faster than light, as it is one dimensional when it does not vibrate? So do the same limits apply to it, I googled it but could not find a ...
2k views

### Does antimatter travel faster than light?

I have read in the answers here that an electron traveling backwards in time would behave as a positron. I also read in another there that antimatter is matter traveling backwards in time As far as I ...
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### Backwards in time?

A “Universe Today” article titled “Galaxies Are Moving Away From Us Faster than the Speed of Light” prompted the following question, which the author of the article was unable to answer: “Would such ...
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### Non-locality in non-relativistic Quantum Mechanic

I guess the following obvious question is answered by any flavor of relativistic Quantum Mechanics, but I just wanted to check whether I understand correctly: Is it correct that nonrelativistic QM ...
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### Break speed of light with infinite mass

I've heard that a spacecraft could never exceed the speed of light because it's (relativistic) mass quickly approaches infinity and therefore there could never create a big enough rocket to propel it ...
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### Exploiting the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as a means to communicate

It seems as though I've come across a rather unusual conclusion that could either simply be a misinterpretation or a contradictory discovery. I seem to have found a way to utilize the Heisenberg ...
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### Does light travel faster in between Casimir plates?

Speed of light is in general $c/n$ where $n$ is a refractive index. But for example introducing two parallel plates with very small spatial separation will perturb the energy density of vacuum ...
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### Faster-than-light communication using Taylor's theorem? [closed]

I was thinking about Taylor's theorem and how if a function $f(x)$ is analytic at a point $a$ and one can measure all the derivatives at $a$, $f^{(n)}(a)$ then one knows the complete behaviour of the ...
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### How do we know tachyons don't exist?

As I mentioned yesterday, Hollywood screenwriter working on a TV pilot about physics trying to get the details right. What empirical evidence is there that tachyons do not exist? I understand that ...
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### Speed of light in zero-index material or similar

I've always thought that the maximum speed of light is achieved in vacuum. Now in some "popsci" news there are references as if there are mediums where light can go faster. Are these zero-index ...
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### What will I see if I travelled to a distant planet in 100 times faster than speed of light and look back? [closed]

Consider this scenario. I enter a space ship at 10:00 AM, it starts to move at a speed 100 times faster than light, I travel for 55 mins. And then slow down to very much less than speed of light and ...
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### What prevents an orbiting object from getting a speed which is greater than $c$? [duplicate]

Consider an object orbiting around a point with radius $r$ and angular velocity $\omega$. Here its linear velocity is $v=\omega r$. If we choose a large enough $r$ and reasonable $\omega$, $v$ might ...
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### If light is a constant and can be slowed down, can it be sped up?

Can light be sped up, say for instance, when it enters into a black hole?
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### Is the phase velocity of plane wave solutions of the Klein-Gordon equation larger than $c$?

The phase velocity is given by $$v= \frac{\omega}{k} \, .$$ Using the usual dispersion relation $$E^2 = p^2c^2+ m^2c^4 \leftrightarrow \omega^2 \hbar^2= k^2\hbar^2 c^2 + m^2c^4$$ yields  v= \frac{\...