April 12, 2024

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# This is why you cannot exceed the speed of light

## Nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum (about 300 thousand kilometers per second). Here because

For a long time, scientists believed that light had an infinite speed. On the other hand, in our daily life, every time we turn on the lamp, the light turns on immediately. It was in the 17th century when a Danish astronomer discovered this Olly RomerAssume that light has a certain speed. He was the one who determined its value while working at the Paris Observatory, which he was managing at the time Giovanni Domenico Cassini. He got there through observation IOne of the most famous moons of Jupiter.

### Io, a satellite of Jupiter

In practice, the satellite completes its entire orbit around Jupiter in 1.76 days. But Romer noted that it took time It wasn’t always the same And that in some periods of the year, I It took longer to create a complete circle around the gas giant. When Earth was farther from Jupiter, it took longer. In contrast, when the two planets were closer, the moon appeared Anticipate his revolution. Romer then came to the conclusion that the speed of light is not infinite. With this assumption, it would take a certain amount of time for light to reach from Jupiter to Earth.

### The speed of light

Romer’s hypothesis was not entirely convincing to other scientists at the time. To prove his point, the astronomer predicted an eclipse Ischeduled for November 9, 1676It would have happened 10 minutes early Compared to the time calculated by all other scientists based on the Moon’s previous transits around Jupiter. This prediction came true, and Cassini had to convince himself that the speed of light is not infinite. Romer explained that it took 22 minutes for the light to cross the diameter of the Earth’s orbit and calculated it at a speed of 220,000 kilometers per second, which is of course an incorrect measurement (the exact speed is 299,792.458 kilometers per second). But definitely the closest to its real value.

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### Because nothing can surpass light

Some scientists believe that there are some particles called “tachyons” that have the property of travel At speeds greater than the speed of light. The problem is that, even if they do exist, they can never slow down. More than a century ago, Einstein demonstrated that energy And An object is related to its mass MHence the famous relative formula that predicts this E = MC2where C It is exactly the speed of light.

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### Velocity and mass

This equation tells us that energy and mass are equivalent entities and can transform into each other. If you think about it, that’s exactly what happens When we accelerate an object: The energy we transfer to it partially increases its mass. This means that more and more energy is needed to increase the speed of objects. The closer you are to the light, the more massive amounts of energy are needed. For example, a man weighing 80 kg would have a mass of 2 tons if he was traveling at 99.9% speed. C. If we tried to push it beyond this speed, its mass would increase incredibly, and the speed would remain practically unchanged. This is why we cannot exceed the speed of light (let alone reach it with the technology we have).

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