# Uncovering the Mystery of Constant Velocity

• monty37
In summary, while the speed of light appears to be the same in all directions, it is actually slowed down by the surrounding mediumf

#### monty37

if, a particular body rotates ,with a certain velocity
then every particle of that moves with the same velocity as that of body.if
the Earth is moving at a velocity,we also move with same velocity daily .
for eg:the speed of light was discovered to be 3x10^8m/s wrt to earth,but is it the same everwhere,including outer space??

My understanding is that the speed of light is the same everywhere and has been the same since the beginning. There is some speculation that the speed of light may have been different in the past but no observational evidence exists.

well but when speed is calculated ,sitting on Earth it varies,right,relative velocity!
but in space it is different

I accept the speed will differ in space. because the speed of the light is not same when it travels in different mediums so this may differ in space as well.

if, a particular body rotates ,with a certain velocity
then every particle of that moves with the same velocity as that of body.if
the Earth is moving at a velocity,we also move with same velocity daily .
for eg:the speed of light was discovered to be 3x10^8m/s wrt to earth,but is it the same everwhere,including outer space??

The speed of light in a vacuum is invariant. It is measured to be the same by everyone regardless of their relative motion. For example, a beam of light traveling past the Earth will have a measured relative velocity of 3e8 m/s wrt to the Earth as measured by the Earth, but an observer flying past with a speed of 1.5e8 m/s relative to the Earth will measure that same beam of light as having a relative velocity of 3e8 m/s wrt to himself

well but when speed is calculated ,sitting on Earth it varies,right,relative velocity!
but in space it is different
The historical measurements of the speed of light indicate that it dropped by about 100 kilometers per second from 1880 to 1980. See http://www.sigma-engineering.co.uk/light/lightindex.shtml
This drop is nearly within experimental error, and is probably due to experimenters fudging their numbers until partial agreement with other measurements was obtained.

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if, a particular body rotates ,with a certain velocity
then every particle of that moves with the same velocity as that of body.if
the Earth is moving at a velocity,we also move with same velocity daily .
for eg:the speed of light was discovered to be 3x10^8m/s wrt to earth,but is it the same everwhere,including outer space??

Light always travels at a constant speed of a bought 2.99*10$$^{8}$$ m/s.

The only reason that it would appear to travel slower when traveling through matter is because, photons excite the adjoining particles that in turn transfer the energy to the neighbor.

The time it takes for the light to be absorbed and then transfer out again is what would make light seem slower than in a vacuum.

This has to do with special relativity. You should google on the Michelson Morley experiment. It is an experiment in around 1900 I believe, where they basically tried to measure different speeds of light in different directions.

This has to do with special relativity. You should google on the Michelson Morley experiment. It is an experiment in around 1900 I believe, where they basically tried to measure different speeds of light in different directions.

Agreed, the Michelson-Morley experiment is proof that the speed of light is invariant to the motion of the observer.

how do you say michelson's experiment is a proof,it was conducted on earth,and was found to be 3x10^8. Do we have any other experiment whose value for speed of light
coincided with michelson's.well,consider the light rays emitted from stars,in space
,they won't travel with speed-3x10^8,they would vary ,due to relative velocity.

well,consider the light rays emitted from stars,in space
,they won't travel with speed-3x10^8,they would vary ,due to relative velocity.
Not true, the speed of light is absolute. In other words the speed of light is always c irrespective of the relative motion of the observer and the emitter (as Janus has already said).

In terms of experimental verification, see here: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physi...ts.html#3. Tests of Einstein's two postulates

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how do you say michelson's experiment is a proof,it was conducted on earth,and was found to be 3x10^8. Do we have any other experiment whose value for speed of light
coincided with michelson's.well,consider the light rays emitted from stars,in space
,they won't travel with speed-3x10^8,they would vary ,due to relative velocity.

The only thing that varies is the frequency of the light (Doppler effect), which is dependent on the radial velocity of the stars with respect to earth. The frequency of the light decreases for receding objects (redshift) and increases for approaching objects (blueshift).

so according to what you say,anywhere in the universe,any object
acting as a light source would emit and will emit light at the speed of
3x10^8m/s.

so according to what you say,anywhere in the universe,any object
acting as a light source would emit and will emit light at the speed of
3x10^8m/s.
Yes. And that speed will be constant and have the same value as measured by any locally inertial observer.

so according to what you say,anywhere in the universe,any object
acting as a light source would emit and will emit light at the speed of
3x10^8m/s.

yes - this is exactly the weird thing about reality that made special relativity so hard for people to accept at the time (100 yrs ago now).

also, aside from the MM experiment, the invariance of light speed (constant c) can be inferred from the Maxwell equations. I think that's what Einstein said he was doing (and the basis for his statements that he didn't hear about MM experiment until later).

If you are interested in this (as you appear to be) get yourself a book on special relativity that's written for someone with your background, and have a go at it.

how do you say michelson's experiment is a proof,it was conducted on earth,and was found to be 3x10^8. Do we have any other experiment whose value for speed of light
coincided with michelson's.well,consider the light rays emitted from stars,in space
,they won't travel with speed-3x10^8,they would vary ,due to relative velocity.

Michelson-Morley is not about proving that the speed of light is c, it proves that it is invariant to the frame of motion. It addresses your assertions in the OP.

*First time poster*
I'm not too clued up on things of this nature and so thought I'd ask a question.
If extreme gravity can bend light then can it speed it up or slow it down?

*First time poster*
I'm not too clued up on things of this nature and so thought I'd ask a question.
If extreme gravity can bend light then can it speed it up or slow it down?

No, since the speed of light is constant according to special relativity.

Welcome to the forums, by the way!

No, since the speed of light is constant according to special relativity.

Welcome to the forums, by the way!

The reason I ask is that if gravity can have an effect of the physical elements within light regarding its direction, then might it be possible for it to affect its speed in a straight line?
I understand the idea of the speed of light being constant, though I can't help but wonder.
Thanks for the welcome, and for the speedy reply.

The reason I ask is that if gravity can have an effect of the physical elements within light regarding its direction, then might it be possible for it to affect its speed in a straight line?
I understand the idea of the speed of light being constant, though I can't help but wonder.
Thanks for the welcome, and for the speedy reply.
The basic idea of general relativity is that masses create curvature in space-time. So although the path of the light looks bent to us, it's actually following a straight path (geodesic) in space-time. So masses change space time, which affects the path of the photon that travels through it, but not the speed.

I know it's odd, but that's why I like physics :)

The basic idea of general relativity is that masses create curvature in space-time. So although the path of the light looks bent to us, it's actually following a straight path (geodesic) in space-time. So masses change space time, which affects the path of the photon that travels through it, but not the speed.

I know it's odd, but that's why I like physics :)

They appear black because the gravitational field is too strong for light to escape (correct me at any point, as I said, not too clued up!). Does this mean that any light which reflects reflect off the surface of the body is slowed to a stop and then pulled back in?
Once an object reaches the event horizon or a black hole no more light reaches outwards to any possible viewer because the gravity is too strong for light to leave. Any light reflected off what would be the rear of any object sent in would not appear because it is slowing, and being drawn back to the centre-mass. Thoughts?

No, since the speed of light is constant according to special relativity.
With respect to what observer?
And for the others?

They appear black because the gravitational field is too strong for light to escape (correct me at any point, as I said, not too clued up!). Does this mean that any light which reflects reflect off the surface of the body is slowed to a stop and then pulled back in?
Once an object reaches the event horizon or a black hole no more light reaches outwards to any possible viewer because the gravity is too strong for light to leave. Any light reflected off what would be the rear of any object sent in would not appear because it is slowing, and being drawn back to the centre-mass. Thoughts?
I'm not sure what you mean by light that reflects off 'the surface' (what surface?).

With respect to what observer?
And for the others?
According to special relativity the speed of light is the same for all inertial observers regardless of the motion of the source.

I'm not sure what you mean by light that reflects off 'the surface' (what surface?).

According to special relativity the speed of light is the same for all inertial observers regardless of the motion of the source.

The surface of the object crossing the event horizon. Surely if no more light can escape due to the gravitational field being too strong it must head back towards the surface of the body.

if somone was in a spaceship going 99.99c, say someone onboard was to play ping pong, how would it look to an observer on earth?
and if we do the opposite, how would someone on Earth playing ping pong look to an observer going 99.99c?

if somone was in a spaceship going 99.99c, say someone onboard was to play ping pong, how would it look to an observer on earth?
and if we do the opposite, how would someone on Earth playing ping pong look to an observer going 99.99c?
Watching the ping pong game would be pretty boring. With a gamma of 70.7, it would be about 1 minute between each ping and pong, almost time enough to run into the kitchen for a snack. I would rather watch a game of ping pong in one of NASA's astronaut centrifuges going at about 5 G.

if somone was in a spaceship going 99.99c, say someone onboard was to play ping pong, how would it look to an observer on earth?
and if we do the opposite, how would someone on Earth playing ping pong look to an observer going 99.99c?

You would probably confuse the spaceship with a photon :tongue:

if somone was in a spaceship going 99.99c, say someone onboard was to play ping pong, how would it look to an observer on earth?
and if we do the opposite, how would someone on Earth playing ping pong look to an observer going 99.99c?

A minor quibble, 99.99c is impossible, perhaps you meant .9999c ?

The only change would be that the images would be severly red shifted.

No, since the speed of light is constant according to special relativity.

Welcome to the forums, by the way!

Yet another minor quibble, the speed of light is ASSUMED constant by SR, so it cannot be used as a justifcation of the constancy of c. You need to refer to Maxwells Equations to get that.

Yet another minor quibble, the speed of light is ASSUMED constant by SR, so it cannot be used as a justifcation of the constancy of c. You need to refer to Maxwells Equations to get that.
In my opinion, it can be used to show that c must be constant since the theoretical implications of the constancy of c are discussed in SR, and they turn out to be empirically correct. But it's not worth a discussion