Are we not already travelling at the speed of light?

• ClintWalker
In summary, the person is new to physics and has recently learned that the speed of light is not a constant velocity we can achieve, but rather the speed that we are already traveling at. They ask for an explanation and are directed to cite their source. They are also told that we cannot travel at the speed of light or transform to the rest frame of the photon. They thank the person for their response.
ClintWalker
This isn't for any homework or coursework. I am new to physics and have decided to embrace my inner geek that i have been suppressing for 30 years.

Some light reading recently has pointed out to me that the speed of light is not a constant velocity we should hope to achieve but the speed at which we are already travelling.

Can someone explain this to me?

ClintWalker said:
This isn't for any homework or coursework. I am new to physics and have decided to embrace my inner geek that i have been suppressing for 30 years.

Some light reading recently has pointed out to me that the speed of light is not a constant velocity we should hope to achieve but the speed at which we are already travelling.

Can someone explain this to me?

We can't explain what you read without you citing the proper source, something we require in this forum.

https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=2703

And no, we cannot be traveling at c. We cannot transform to the rest frame of the photon.

Zz.

Last edited by a moderator:
ZapperZ said:
We can't explain what you read without you citing the proper source, something we require in this forum.

https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=2703

And no, we cannot be traveling at c. We cannot transform to the rest frame of the photon.

Zz.

thanks. I am new in here obviously

Last edited by a moderator:

1. What is the speed of light?

The speed of light is a fundamental physical constant that is approximately 299,792,458 meters per second in a vacuum. It is denoted by the letter "c" in scientific equations and is considered to be the fastest possible speed in the universe.

2. Are we already travelling at the speed of light?

No, as humans we are not capable of travelling at the speed of light. While we can achieve high speeds, we are still far from reaching the speed of light. In fact, the fastest speed achieved by humans so far is only a fraction of the speed of light.

3. Is it possible to travel at the speed of light?

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, it is not possible for an object with mass to reach the speed of light. As an object approaches the speed of light, its mass increases infinitely and would require an infinite amount of energy to accelerate further. However, massless particles, such as photons, can travel at the speed of light.

4. What are some examples of objects travelling at the speed of light?

The only known objects that can travel at the speed of light are massless particles, such as photons. Examples of these include light, X-rays, and gamma rays. Additionally, particles in particle accelerators can be accelerated to speeds very close to the speed of light, but they are not technically travelling at the speed of light.

5. How does the speed of light affect our perception of time and space?

According to Einstein's theory of relativity, time and space are relative to an observer's frame of reference. As an object approaches the speed of light, time appears to slow down and distances appear to shorten. This phenomenon is known as time dilation and length contraction, and it has been proven experimentally with high-speed particles. It also plays a crucial role in understanding the behavior of objects travelling at near-light speeds in the universe.

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