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Fnord
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17 Dec 2023, 7:42 pm

"On one hand, the speed of light is just a number: 299,792,458 meters per second.  And on the other, it’s one of the most important constants that appears in nature and defines the relationship of causality itself.

"As far as we can measure, it is a constant.  It is the same speed for every observer in the entire universe.  This constancy was first established in the late 1800’s with the experiments of Albert Michelson and Edward Morley at Case Western Reserve University.  They attempted to measure changes in the speed of light as the Earth orbited around the Sun. They found no such variation, and no experiment ever since then has either.

"Observations of the cosmic microwave background, the light released when the universe was 380,000 years old, show that the speed of light hasn’t measurably changed in over 13.8 billion years.

"In fact, we now define the speed of light to be a constant, with a precise speed of 299,792,458 meters per second.  While it remains a remote possibility in deeply theoretical physics that light may not be a constant, for all known purposes it is a constant, so it’s better to just define it and move on with life."


Read the full article  HERE 


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Stormyweathers
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20 Dec 2023, 1:39 pm

I'm a chemist, not a physicist, so I choose to explain it in more layman terms.

Energy cannot propel anything faster than energy can itself go. In a vacuum, energy travels at the speed of light, so that's as fast as anything can go.

While it is possible in a great big universe that there are other circumstances beyond the presence of matter which might alter the speed of light, our solar system is a tiny spec of dust in a field so large that even light finds it to be big.

So, the speed of light is probably the maximum speed of everything, but we don't have a reliable way to check ... yet.



Fnord
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20 Dec 2023, 6:20 pm

 

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cornpop397
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22 Dec 2023, 11:04 am

Stormyweathers wrote:
I'm a chemist, not a physicist, so I choose to explain it in more layman terms.

Energy cannot propel anything faster than energy can itself go. In a vacuum, energy travels at the speed of light, so that's as fast as anything can go.

While it is possible in a great big universe that there are other circumstances beyond the presence of matter which might alter the speed of light, our solar system is a tiny spec of dust in a field so large that even light finds it to be big.

So, the speed of light is probably the maximum speed of everything, but we don't have a reliable way to check ... yet.


Not exactly, everything, actually. The speed of light is the limit at which information can travel. If you were to point a laser pointer at the moon, (assuming the atmosphere doesn't nullify it), and were to move it from one side to the other, you would technically be breaking the light barrier.


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