Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Rest frame of a photon

  1. Jan 26, 2011 #1

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    I've read that in relativity the concept of the rest frame of a photon doesn't make sense. Why is that?

    A rest frame of some object is a reference frame in which the object's velocity is zero. One of the key axioms of special relativity is that light moves at c in all reference frames. The rest frame of a photon would require the photon to be at rest (velocity=0) and moving at c (velocity=299792458 m/s). That of course is contradictory. In other words, the concept doesn't make sense.

    The following forum members have contributed to this FAQ:
    D H
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  2. jcsd
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Can you offer guidance or do you also need help?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Similar Discussions: Rest frame of a photon
  1. Rest frames (Replies: 2)

  2. Rest frame of the photon (Replies: 16)