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Thread: Question about the speed of light.

  1. #1 Question about the speed of light. 
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    I'm aware is it impossible to reach the speed of light, well, in this day and age. But if you could, and you were holding a flashlight out facing in front of you, would the light bend back and hit you?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Waveman28's Avatar
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    Your guess is as good as mine.


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  4. #3  
    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    We really cannot answer questions which have no connection with reality. Your question is a bit like, "If there was no such thing as sound, then what would happen if a loud noise was made?" It just doesn't make sense.

    An object with mass cannot achieve the speed of light, nor can any object (even massless ones) surpass the speed of light (barring stuff like wormholes and leveraging special geometries to "cheat" the system).

    In essence, we can't answer your question based on what we know about physics because the question itself represents a physically impossible scenario.

    You can offer any answer you want since the rules of physics no longer apply... I'm going to say that the flashlight turns into a magic unicorn with a beautiful naked nymph on it who wants nothing more than to please me and satisfy my deepest desires... That answer is equally as good as any other you might receive due to the physically impossible nature of the question you've asked. :wink:
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  5. #4 Re: Question about the speed of light. 
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpgking101
    I'm aware is it impossible to reach the speed of light, well, in this day and age. But if you could, and you were holding a flashlight out facing in front of you, would the light bend back and hit you?
    Your question really has nothing to do with actually reaching the speed of light.

    Suppose you are traveling at any achieveable speed v, relative to the inertial reference frame of an observer and you turn on a flashlight. Then you will see the light departing from you at c, the speed of light. The outside observer will also see the light traveling at c relative to him.

    The speed of light is a constant, independent of the inertial reference frame in which it is measured.

    Also, your guess, on almost anything, anything at all, will be better than that of Waveman28. His next correct statement will be the first one.
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  6. #5 Re: Question about the speed of light. 
    Forum Senior Booms's Avatar
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    EDIT: Sorry, I forgot the whole idea of lightspeed being a constant reference frame, free of outside influence



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    It's not how many questions you ask, but the answers you get - Booms

    This is the Acadamy of Science! we don't need to 'prove' anything!
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  7. #6 Re: Question about the speed of light. 
    Forum Freshman DrNesbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Booms
    Treat light as a solid object moving MUCH slower and you get your answer
    You will get a wrong answer. The whole explanation you gave is completely at odds with the way light works in special relativity. Dr Rocket got it right: whatever your speed, light leaves you at the speed of light (from your point of view), and looks like it's going at the speed of light to an exterior observer.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope MagiMaster's Avatar
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    To make the point, let me ask a similar question.

    It is impossible to get the answer to as an elementary function.

    So, if 2+2=5, could we find an elementary answer?
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