Speed of Light–Nothing Can Go Faster


Obviously the suggestion that there is an ultimate speed restriction appears to be ridiculous. Whereas the speed of light is without a doubt extremely high by earthly averages, the size is not the point; any type of speed limitation in nature doesn’t make sense. Consider, for instance, that a spacecraft is voyaging at nearly the speed of light. Why can’t you fire the engine once again and make it travel more quickly– or maybe if necessary, develop another ship together with a far more dynamic engine? Or in the case that a proton is whirling around inside a cyclotron at nearly the speed of light, why can’t you provide it extra energy boosts and make it move more rapidly?

Intuitive explanation. If we consider the spacecraft and the proton as composed of fields, not as solid objects, the idea is actually not preposterous. Fields can’t move infinitely fast. Modifications inside a field increase in a “laborious” manner, together with an adjustment in magnitude at some point resulting in a shift at nearby points, in accord with the field equations. Think about the wave produced when you drop a stone in water: The stone creates a disturbance that progresses outward as the water table at one point alters the level at yet another point, and certainly there is absolutely nothing we can possibly do to hasten it up. Or think of a sound wave passing through air: The disruption in atmospheric pressure multiplies as the pressure at one point affects the pressure at an adjacent point, and we can’t do anything to hasten it . In both of these scenarios the speed in regard to travel is decided by features of the transmitting agent– air and water, and there are mathematical equations that define those properties.

Fields are similarly explained by mathematical equations, founded on the properties of space. It is the constant c within those equations that establishes the highest velocity connected with propagation. In the case that the field has mass, there is even a mass term that slows down the propagation rates of speed further. Given that everything is made of fields– including protons and rocketships– it is apparent that absolutely nothing can go more rapidly than light. As Frank Wilczek wrote.

One of the most basic results of special relativity, that the speed of light is a limiting velocity for the propagation of any physical influence, makes the field concept almost inevitable.– F. Wilczek (“The persistence of Ether”, p. 11, Physics Today, Jan. 1999).

Speed of Light – Why Nothing Can Go Faster


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