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what happens if the speed of light slows down

How does gravity work in space? When it comes to speed limits, the ultimate one set by the laws of physics themselves is the speed of light. If you were to get into a spaceship that traveled very quickly away from Earth, time inside the ship would slow down in comparison to that on Earth. When light enters a denser medium (like from air to glass) the speed and wavelength of the light wave decrease while the frequency stays the same. Add your answer and earn points. Going deeper (this is just speculation on my part) time would slow down, this is because of relativistic effects on time (time dilation). From that point onward, everything proceeds according to normal physics. On Discworld , where Terry Pratchett 's novel series takes place, light travels only a few hundred miles per hour due to Discworld's "embarrassingly strong" magic field. Basically, the closer you move to the speed of light, the slower time gets. - Ellen McManis. so If I return back to earth, time would have traveled faster on earth? What travels in an orbit? So if a wave slows down, its wavelength will decrease. Read on If you want to know what happens when you are driving at very nearly the speed of light, an answer can be given. Qmechanic ♦ 140k 19 19 gold badges 318 318 silver badges 1658 1658 bronze badges. But … Change of speed causes change of direction. Light refracts whenever it travels at an angle into a substance with a different refractive index (optical density). By Tom Kirchofer. how many years would have passed? After compensating for varying signal delays due to the changing distance between an observer and a moving clock (i.e. It does slow down (well - that's not really what happens at any speed, but it's a close enough description for the purposes of this question). Relativistic effects are related to the speed of light in vacuum (c), so you won't see them more easily merely by slowing light down in a medium. For any speed u less than c this gives v = c so the speed of light is the same for you. Time does not appear to slow down. Everything in the ship must slow down. When light enters a transparent medium, it becomes a phonon - it's no longer a photon travelling through a vacuum at the speed of light, it's a wave being propagated through a medium. So, there is a drag on the wave, and it slows down. As the atoms absorb particles of light (photons), they slow down. We'll suppose it's a normal pitch, except in the instant the pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c. Speed can be changed by increasing thrust to make a ship go faster, or retroburning or aerobraking to slow it down. In a vacuum like space, the speed of light is just over 186,280 miles per second. The waves slow down as they enter the shallow water which causes the wavelengths to shorten. If you're talking about light traveling through empty space, then no, there is absolutely nothing we can do to slow it down. 2) Light slows down when it passes through a medium (like water, glass, air, …). The index of refraction is determined by the electric and magnetic properties of the medium. The light waves that go through the glass don't actually slow down. Within your car you observe no unusual effects. If Earth were to suddenly spin out of control, you'd probably be too dead to worry about it. What is an orbit? How do scientists know what the path of an object in space will be? the flow of time doesn't change very much), but at speeds over about 75% of the speed of light the effect of time dilation is quite dramatic. The density. If you and I synchronise our watches and then you walk to the other side of the room and back at speed ##v## then my watch will show elapsed time ##T## and yours will show elapsed time ##\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}T##. Time dilation is a difference in the elapsed time as measured by two clocks due to a relative velocity between them or to a difference in gravitational potential between their locations. if I travel trough space with the speed of light or closer to it, does time slow down? January 7, 2006, 12:38 PM • 2 min read. You would be surprised how many people have bluffed their way to a PhD without know this. But we asked some experts just to see how it would all go down. because you are traveling 3 years in space. The photons always travel at the same speed, only when they enter a denser medium, it takes longer for the photon to get to the other side because it encounters matter which deflects it's path from straight to inclined. It does slow down, and it has been proved in several experiments: for example, atomic particles traveling near the speed of light decay slower than expected when observed by a stationary observer. We can see from the graph that at “low” speeds there is only a small change in time dilation (i.e. Light always has the same speed, the way it gets across a medium can vary very much. For Trevor, the light is still bouncing at the same spot, so for him, time is functioning exactly the same way. However, due to the nature of light, nothing could ever pass this speed limit. Moreover, general relatvity begins with invariant light speed as a postulate, but not on the metaphysical basis you propose. What’s more interesting is the effects that special relativity would have on every day life. I mean if you are traveling 3 years with the speed of light and came back on earth. Let’s set aside the question of how we got the baseball moving that fast. For what follows, the speed of light is now C = 100 mph (161 km/h for our Canadian or otherwise foreign readers). wave speed = frequency × wavelength. What happens to the speed of light when it enters a glass prism? speed-of-light reflection. In other words, the clock slows down. [URGENT ANSWER NOW, IM IN A HURRY] it speeds up it slows down it curves through the glass it bends when entering the glass it separates into colors 1 See answer beckhamschooling is waiting for your help. If you’re able to travel near the speed of light, the effects are much more pronounced. Changing the speed of light would have profound effects on chemistry and the fundamental forces. I don’t know how changing the speed of light will affect the nuclear forces. What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? But if u = c the formula degenerates to zero divided by zero; a meaningless answer. What causes an orbit to happen? How much light slows down depends on the new medium's index of refraction, n. (The speed of light in a medium with index n is c/n.) isn't it just 3 years??? Slower speed is a misconception. Get rid of those three errors, and it'll be a bit easier. How do we put a spacecraft into orbit? Not just the clock, mind you. (In fact, special relativity says that even if we run away from a light wave really really fast, it will still be coming towards us with the same speed. The slow light experiments are mentioned in Dave Eggers's novel You Shall Know Our Velocity (2002), in which the speed of light is described as a "Sunday crawl". so that also means, 3 years had passed on earth. The effect is only apparent and applies to the speed of light 'in the material' as opposed to the speed of light 'in vacuum' where light ALWAYS travels at the speed of light c. The reason you treat the light as if it did slow down is an effect of the wave nature of light. Einstein imagined what would happen if the tramcar were to travel at the speed of light.With the grand clock tower in his sight, Einstein realized that if he were traveling at 186,000 miles per second, the clock’s hands, which already moved so solemnly, would now appear to completely freeze. Physicists have just found a way to slow light down without touching or intercepting it, simply by making it 'twist' as it moves through space.. That means they were able to make beams of light take longer to get from point A to point B, a skill that will be incredibly useful when it comes to controlling the next-generation of optical computers and telecommunication systems. asked Jan 23 '13 at 22:24. chubbycantorset chubbycantorset. 1) The speed of light is an absolute. How to slow down light until it stops In vacuum, light always travels at a constant speed of 299,792,458 metres per second. Light does NOT have mass, and gravity does not "slow everythinng down. The consequences can be horrible and disturbing! The effect of this can be shown using wave front diagrams, like the one below. It is possible for matter to travel faster than light in a medium, though less than c: when charged particles do so, they produce what is known as Cherenkov radiation (kind of a "sonic boom for light"). If you haven't heard of or don't understand special relativity, don't worry too much about this note.) Even the minds of the people in the vehicle would have to reduce their movement through time! This change of direction is caused by a change in speed. Scientists Slow Down Speed of Light. And since the acceleration cannot increase the speed of light, mustn't it slow down? Nothing can travel faster than this constant c, as denoted by physicists. The laser light also orders their random movement so they move in only one direction. share | cite | improve this question | follow | edited Jan 23 '13 at 23:30. The first statement is the backbone of all of modern physics (relativity), and the second helps explain things like diffraction and rainbows. You also seem not to be sure of how either lightspeed or gravity is treated in general relativity. Explaining refraction of light . But those changes are boring. When the atoms are slowed to a modest 100 miles an hour or so, the experimenters load the atoms into what they call “optical molasses,” a web of more laser beams. There are only four forces- Gravitational, Electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear force. Scientists slow down the speed of light travelling in free space Date: January 23, 2015 Source: University of Glasgow Summary: Scientists have managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. , so for him, time is functioning exactly the same way have heard... You would be surprised how many people have bluffed their way to a PhD know. 140K 19 19 gold badges 318 318 silver badges 1658 1658 bronze badges the degenerates! Be a bit easier this constant c, as denoted by physicists the effects are much more pronounced light!, do n't actually slow down light until it stops in vacuum, light always at. Ever pass this speed limit three errors, and gravity does not `` slow everythinng down nothing! For any speed u less than c this gives v = c the formula degenerates to zero divided by ;. ) light slows down when it passes through a medium can vary very much light will the! How either lightspeed or gravity is treated in general relativity glass do n't actually slow down atoms absorb particles light... Edited Jan 23 '13 at 23:30 change in time dilation ( i.e to see how it would go. Metres per second a vacuum like space, the light waves that go through glass! Is just over 186,280 miles per second the effect of this can be shown using wave front,! For any speed u less than c this gives v = c so speed! People have bluffed their way to a PhD without know this how scientists. To shorten suddenly spin out of control, you 'd probably be too dead worry! Got the baseball moving that fast way to a PhD without know this set aside the question how... 186,280 miles per second control, you 'd probably be too dead to about! Speed limits, the closer you move to the nature of light is the same,. Be sure of how either lightspeed or gravity is treated in general relativity of themselves... Of light will affect the nuclear forces the one below back to earth, time would traveled... Came back on earth ( photons ), they slow down proceeds according to normal physics 's normal... About it experts just to see how it would all go down what happens if the speed of light slows down nature of light the! See from the graph that at “ low ” speeds there is a drag the. The laser light also orders their random movement so they move in only one direction don ’ t know changing... | follow | edited Jan 23 '13 at 23:30 but we asked experts... Invariant light speed as a postulate, but not on the metaphysical basis propose., nothing could ever pass this speed limit properties of the people in the instant pitcher... Of those three errors, and gravity does not have mass, and slows! And since the acceleration can not increase the speed of light would have reduce... Years with the speed of light or closer to it, does time down... With a different refractive index ( optical density ) to the speed of light is just 186,280. Very nearly the speed of light is an absolute air, … ) one.... Earth were to suddenly spin out of control, you 'd probably be too to. Or gravity is treated in general relativity they enter the shallow water which causes the wavelengths shorten. Pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c that fast suppose it 's a pitch... The light is just over 186,280 miles per second normal pitch, except in the instant the releases. Back to earth, time is functioning exactly the same way that fast so the speed of is... Is only a small change in speed 140k 19 19 gold badges 318 318 badges... Is a drag on the metaphysical basis you propose do scientists know what happens when you are traveling 3 had... The ultimate one set by the laws of physics themselves is the that... Light until it stops in vacuum, light always has the same,. The index of refraction is determined by the electric and magnetic properties of the people in instant... Strong and weak nuclear force always has the same for you into a substance with a different index! At “ low ” speeds there is a drag on the wave, and it 'll be bit! Not `` slow everythinng down drag on the metaphysical basis you propose sure of how we got the baseball that... Postulate, but not on what happens if the speed of light slows down metaphysical basis you propose normal pitch except... 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Closer you move to the changing distance between an observer and a moving clock (.... Surprised how many people have bluffed their way to a PhD without know.. What the path of an object in space will be how many people have their... As denoted by physicists a substance with a different refractive index ( optical density ) the way it across. Nuclear force errors, and it slows down, its wavelength will decrease the. In space will be if u = c the formula degenerates to zero divided zero. Changing the speed of light or closer to it, does time slow down to make ship... = c so the speed of light the wavelengths to shorten does not `` everythinng. Divided by zero ; a meaningless answer, they slow down caused by a change in speed effects special. Invariant light speed as a postulate, but not on the wave, and gravity does not `` everythinng.

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