Faster than Light Particles: Meuons & Photons

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In summary, the conversation discusses the possibility of particles traveling faster than the speed of light, specifically photons and muons. However, it is concluded that no particles have been observed to travel faster than the speed of light. The concept of tachyons, which always travel faster than light, is also mentioned. Additionally, the idea of the speed of light changing and being relative to our position in the universe is brought up, referencing a book by Ken Salem.
  • #1
vivekhere
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Can anyone help on it?

hi,

is any particle can travel faster than light ?? . somewhere i heard meuons,photons can travel. is it so??
 
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  • #2
You have, actually, two questions here. Certainly, photons travel at the speed of light, not faster. Photons are light. Muon's, I believe, according to some theories have zero rest mass and so could travel at the speed of light, not faster. Relativity says that no object can go from below the speed of light to greater than the speed of light but leaves open the possibility of "tachyons" that always travel faster than light. No such particles have ever been observed.
 
  • #3
vivekhere said:
hi,

is any particle can travel faster than light ?? . somewhere i heard meuons,photons can travel. is it so??

No, they can't.

Again, whenever you "hear" something like this, REMEMBER the source and then make the exact citation here. There's no way of telling if (i) you heard the wrong information (ii) you interpret the information wrongly (iii) or there's just some bad physics going on.

Zz.
 
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  • #4
HallsofIvy said:
Muon's, I believe, according to some theories have zero rest mass and so could travel at the speed of light, not faster.

Er.. muons do have a mass, larger than electrons, in fact. I think you may be thinking of neutrinos.

Zz.
 
  • #5
There's also the ever-vexing issue of group velocity. While individual photons always travel at c, the transmission of a light signal through a refractive medium can be delayed enough to allow other particles to overtake it (see the Cherenkov Radiation thread below).
 
  • #6
Ken Salem wrote a book ("2.8 Angstroms") that theorizes the speed of light is changing and is relative to our position in the universe. So I suppose using this theory, particles could travel faster than the speed of light according to us.

It is an interesting book -- a little far fetched, but very interesting.
 

Related to Faster than Light Particles: Meuons & Photons

1. What are meuons and photons?

Meuons and photons are both subatomic particles that travel at the speed of light. Meuons are unstable particles that are created by cosmic rays and decay quickly, while photons are stable particles that carry light and electromagnetic radiation.

2. How are meuons and photons faster than light?

Meuons and photons are not actually faster than light. According to Einstein's theory of relativity, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. However, due to their small size and lack of mass, they are able to travel at the speed of light.

3. What is the significance of faster than light particles?

Faster than light particles, such as meuons and photons, have important implications in the field of physics and cosmology. They help scientists understand the fundamental nature of the universe and its origins, as well as provide insight into concepts like time dilation and the structure of space-time.

4. Can humans travel faster than the speed of light using these particles?

No, humans cannot travel faster than the speed of light using particles such as meuons and photons. As mentioned before, according to the theory of relativity, nothing with mass can travel at the speed of light. While particles like photons have no mass, humans are made up of matter and cannot achieve such speeds.

5. How do scientists study and observe faster than light particles?

Scientists study and observe faster than light particles using advanced technology such as particle accelerators and detectors. These tools allow them to create and observe these particles in controlled environments, providing valuable data and insights into their behavior and properties.

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