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Having trouble believing light is limiting.

  1. May 20, 2012 #1
    So, recently watched a video that ended with the idea that the universe is limited in what it can do and is digital. I would like to disagree. Why does light have to be the limiting speed of everything? I understand that the Hadron Collider has accelerated particles to very near the speed of light speeds and that they have gained mass. The photon is nearly massless and goes the speed of light naturally. I would like to say that the photon is simply special, but that is not good enough for me. Then, I go into wave particle duality and think about how it works both ways. So, couldn't the way a light still travels its normal speed even if something else is traveling the speed of light be a result of the protons feeding off of the the speed of the object's particles which end up allowing the object to exist to produce the light. Waves and particles happening at the same time kind of. So, the speed of light is relative to my speed, but the light is moving its natural speed plus the speed of the object projecting the light. What would happen if the light emitting object was suspended in the air and not affected by the speed of anything around it? Finally, what if the neutrino scare that happened where it was clocked going faster than light supports the Higgs-Boson's existence in a sense that the mass of the neutrino was less than a photon (freak occurrence) and it was teleported from where matter is created and destroyed (I believe it exists and am referring to it as the Well of Creation) in the same manner as electrons teleport, had this very low mass ("undetectable") led to a very high speed (faster than light) and only lasted for the few extremely short moments it took the neutrino to move past Earth after ehich it picked up mass and lost speed?

    I am a very curious and purely idealistic 15 year old who loves physics, but has very little background knowledge on the math and other aspects, but enjoys playing with the ideas of it all. If the things I think of come across as childish and ill-explained, it is because they are. I simply wish to learn, so someone help me out and let me know the solidity of this idea.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2012 #2


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    That is very imaginative, but you have a false premise when you say light has mass. It is generally accepted that only massless things can travel at the speed of light and that the speed of light is measured to be the same for all observers.

    Perhaps you could look at this Wiki article if you are new to relativity.

  4. May 21, 2012 #3
    Hi Chouji12,

    Your curiosity probably shouldn't be entirely quenched by the current state of scientific knowledge. It may be that matter is very largely electromagnetic in constitution and therefore is subject to the limitations that affect or generate light. But if it is true that the universe is expanding, and expanding faster than light can travel (globally), then obviously something fundamental has stretched the limitation of the speed of light. There are still very many mysteries in the universe that remain to be understood.

    Math is quite important in Physics, and probably in school you do a lot of fairly mechanical crunching though equations. But what might be even more important is to take time to study one particular math idea or set of equations thoroughly enough that you really begin to develop an understanding of what it really means - how it applies to something physical. Faraday, for example, developed the physical rationale of how electromagnetism works. But he did that entirely without expressing his ideas through equations. He apparently thought mathematically, but not with the same symbols that we use today. It was J. C. Maxwell who understood Faraday's description and translated those ideas into the actual mathematical equations. Both processes are necessary.
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  5. May 22, 2012 #4
    What happens if a black hole is introduced? Then light's speed decreases? As for it increasing, might there be a situation where that is possible that simply hasn't been found yet?
  6. May 22, 2012 #5
    Even around extreme gravitational fields, light's speed is still constant. Instead, the angle is changed. So, light inside of a black hole can be thought of moving around the inside of the event horizon at the normal speed of light, c.

    It is a postulate and premise of special relativity that the speed of light is the same for every observer, no matter what their velocity.
  7. May 22, 2012 #6
    Does all light travel in a straight line? I thought waves simply moved out in all directions.
  8. May 22, 2012 #7


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    Light travels along a space-time geodesic, which is pretty much a Euclidean straight line EXCEPT near large gravitational forces.
  9. May 23, 2012 #8
    hello.I ve only read the first post so I apologize in advance if anything i say has been already discussed "above me".

    First of all a photont DOESN T have mass and that s why it moves so fast.
    I myself belive in the higgs boson and that implies the Higgs field as well.Try to imagine the H field as a room full of stationary people and a waitress trying to serve all of them, the waitress is slowed down by the people in the room, the same applies to particles , they are "slowed down"by the higgs field and so , they gain mass.
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