# Actual speed that something is moving through space?

1. Mar 21, 2005

### bmurphy12345

If everything is moving (the earth, the sun, the galaxy ex.) how can you calculate the actual speed that something is moving through space?

2. Mar 21, 2005

### Antiphon

It's all relative. There is no unique actual speed.

3. Mar 21, 2005

### almaron

First of all, as I am new here, I apologize if this question has been answered before, is in the wrong forum, etc. I also will preface my question by saying that I have only a laymen's understanding of physics.

On the subject of the speed of light, why exactly is it what it is? I mean, I know that it's constant, and I know how fast it is, but why isn't it faster, or slower. I guess what I'm asking is, what underlying principle, formula, law, equation, size, etc. produces the precise value for the speed of light? From what is it derived (other than just observation)?

Thanks in advance for taking it easy on me if this is an obvious or simple question. It's just one of those nagging questions I've never had a chance to ask anyone who would know.

4. Mar 21, 2005

### Antiphon

Nobody knows Almaron. It's a mystery.

5. Mar 21, 2005

### almaron

Thanks, Antiphon. I kind of suspected it might be one of those things. It just seems so fundamental, ya' know? Does anyone have any thoughts on why a speed (that is a simple distance over time) should be in essence the backbone, that so absolutely defines the relationship, or duality of energy and matter?

6. Mar 24, 2005

### 1123581321

find a way to calculate speed relative to the speed of light, which is constant no matter what is moving, then you can find out how fast you are going. Have fun finding out how to go about doing that, because i don't want to get a stroke thinking about it. there are more important things in life, like figuring out how to make an efficent nuclear fusion reactor, or making fun of hippies.

7. Mar 24, 2005

### DrChinese

Hey, I resemble that.

8. Mar 24, 2005

### reilly

Like lighten up, man. Cool it, have a smoke, and fuse with the Universe.

Like, wow,
Reilly Atkinson

9. Mar 24, 2005

### 1123581321

making fun of hippies is just a joke, i didn't mean it to be offensive. if i insulted anyone in my hippie comment, i really don't care because you don't know my real name, adress, or anything so i'm not worried about you going charlie manson on me.
Next time i'll try to keep it strictly science.

10. Mar 24, 2005

### DrChinese

No offence taken. Besides, we are a protected species under federal wildlife regulations.

11. Mar 24, 2005

### joleneth

The best explanation I heard is that a magnetic field in one direction generates a perpendicular electric field, and vice versa. The speed of light is just the speed necessary for the two to "prop each other up" to propgate.

12. Mar 26, 2005

### 1123581321

pretty soon they will require hippies to live in zoos and little kids will throw food at you

LOL
Fabinacci

13. Mar 26, 2005

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
Huhh... this is trivial. The speed on anything, relative to c... is c. You have learned nothing.

14. Mar 26, 2005

### Integral

Staff Emeritus
The answer is that you can't that is what is meant when it is said that there is no absolute frame of reference.

You can only know the speed of any object with respect to other objects.