# I know i said going faster that the speed of light is not possible but....plz reply..

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What if you sent out out a photon and at the speed of light and then bombarded it from behind or whatever with another photon going at the speed of light....would the first photon go faster???

How is the second photon supposed to catch the first?

If you're using Photon beams they would both go at the same speed. While it's safe to accept that light is truely the fastest thing in the universe it would be nieve to believe that unlocking the secrets of light would give us the key to unlocking the corillation between space and time.

im saying if you sent a photon and then bombarded it from the side then would it go faster than "c"

If you're relying on inertia to propelle photon (A) by bombarding it with photon (B) you've reached an impass.

what if we collide one HUGE object with another little one....(conservation of momentum)....like...the planet earth (6.6 * 10^16kg and moving at around 30,000m/s) would perhaps collide with something else that's a lot smaller so that most of the momentum is passed onto the object that it's collided with, which would mean an elastic collision which is impossible with something so big.....okay, nevermind...just thought that the law of conservation of momentum should be taken into consideration....NEVERMIND.

what do you mean i have reached an impass?

I think what HellFire is referring to is quantum mechanics and uncertainty. What he probably means is that if you have a photon going at c and you bombard it with another photon, according to uncertainty, one can never know the exact position and momentum, according to the photon. If the observations show the speed of the photon to be going at 186000 m/s, then it could in fact be going a little faster or a little slower, according to uncertainty.

Case A : (the party line)
Two photons meeting at less than 180 degrees of angle (the only way they CAN collide) will pass through each uneffected.

Case B: (speculation)
Under some conditions two photons might combine to form an energetic particle that would exist at sublight speed. You could call it a graviton unless you were afraid of getting thrown out of physics class for it. Maybe we could define a tachyon as a graviton traveling faster than light.

So while I originally scoffed at your colliding photon idea, well hey it might be central to the issue. Our little gravitonic particles would be warping a little speck of space-time.

light contains photons-quanta of light. this light moves through space in a wave. only when it hits matter or a particle will it behave like a particle. i dont think that you can alter a single photon with another. one of the two will probly cancel out.

light contains photons-quanta of light. this light moves through space in a wave. only when it hits matter or a particle will it behave like a particle. i dont think that you can alter a single photon with another. one of the two will probly cancel out.

I read somewhere that what is considered light speed is an interpretation of the actions of non-light matter or energy. In any case, the facination with the speed of light is, it seems, a hindrance or self-imposed barrier to advancing our knowledge. I'm beginning to think that the speed of light has nothing to do with anything. It's used to rationalize why things can't be done. It seem strange to assume that light speed is the ultimate speed. It's like saying that the stoneaxe was the ultimate weapon.

As far as I see it, Hellfire, your idea couldn't work. First of all, two photons can't collide, because they act so much like waves; they only interfere. The only other way to do this is with massive particles, in which case relativity disallows FTL travel. To accelerate a massive particle just up to c, one would need to impart an infinite amount of momentum. And going past? no way.

And Jim, the speed of light *does* matter. Nothing in normal space goes faster - it's just a fact of life, take it or leave it. And if you use warped space to bypass the speed limit, you lose out on all the neat time effects.

We read more and more about relativity being on the way out. Now they say that the universe is flat. The definition of 'normal space' will change over time. Breaking the speed of light will go the same way as breaking the speed of sound, only a lot tougher. I feel that the speed of light will become less and less relevant as we make new discoveries. If the speed of light presents a limitation, we will find a way around it.

i agree with you, janus

Well, relativity is "on the way out" only on miniscule scales. Uncertainty messes around with the small measurements. But this has nothing to do with the universe being "flat" - that doesn't mean spacetime isn't curved, it means that the universe will keep on expanding and decelerating. Nothing to do with the relevance of relativity.

And the speed of light is fundamentally different from the speed of sound. We see plenty of things in nature that go faster than sound - astronomical objects, shock waves, heck, even light is an example. But nothing, NOTHING, goes faster than the speed of light through normal space (ie whatever the Universe is filled, or empty, with). Nothing can ever catch up with a photon, travelling the same path it took. But this doesn't mean that effectively FTL travel isn't possible - we could always try warping spacetime itself, to make the distances shorter, but then we lose the nifty time-shifting effects that this discussion group is all about.

Why do we call the speed of light the universal constant when light speed itself is not constant? I read an article that was in the book 'Homemade lightning'.

A scientist made a long glass tube, and evacuated the air, making it a vacuum. Using a set up of mirrors, he was able to measure the speed of light getting beamed through the tube.

His results showed that the speed varied by thousands of miles a second. He than averaged them, and presented it as 186,232 mps.

well if you can find a way to prevent the object you are moving from gaining mass as it approaches the speed of light then it is possible to travel faster than light.

Why do we call the speed of light the universal constant when light speed itself is not constant?

Not EVERYONE still calls it a constant.

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