Scientific Analysis: Can anything travel faster than the speed of light?

Beijing time on May 14th, according to foreign media reports, in 1676, the Danish astronomer Ole Roemer (Ole Roemer) studied the operation of Io,Calculated that light travels at a finite speed. Two years later, Dutch mathematician and scientist Christiaan Huygens, based on data collected by Rommel,Be the first to attempt to measure the actual speed of light.

▲ Claudia, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London, UK ? Germany? ? Claudia de Rham said the statement that “nothing can go faster than the speed of light” is not technically true, at least not in a non-vacuum environment, but she stressed that there are some factors to consider inside.

thenHuygens proposed the speed of light to be 211,000 km/sthis value does not meet the current precision standard, and now we knowThe speed of light in “vacuum” reaches 299,792 km/sbut Huygens had assessed that light travels through space at incredible speeds.

According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, light travels so fast thatNothing in the cosmic vacuum can travel faster than light. Jason Cassibry, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Alaba State University’s Center for Propulsion Research, confirmed that we can’t travel faster in space than the speed of light!

Is this conclusion correct? Maybe not. When light does not propagate in a vacuum, does it still follow the “law that the speed of light cannot be surpassed”?

visible spectrum. British theoretical physicist Claudia?  ? Germany?  ?

▲ Visible spectrum. British theoretical physicist Claudia? ? Germany? ? “If you think of light as a wave, there are ‘many reasons’ why certain waves travel faster in a medium than white light (or achromatic light), one of which is when light travels through the medium,” Ram said. When, for example, glass or water droplets, light of different frequencies or colors travels at different speeds.

Claudia de Rham, a theoretical physicist at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, said that technically speaking, the statement that “nothing can go faster than the speed of light” is not entirely correct in itself.At least in a non-vacuum environment, but she stresses there are factors to take into account.

Light has both particle properties and wave properties, so light can be regarded as both a particle (photon) and a wave, which is the wave-particle duality. “If you think of light as a wave, there are ‘many reasons’ why certain waves travel faster in a medium than white light (or achromatic light), one of which is when light travels through the medium,” Ram said. When, for example, glass or water droplets, light of different frequencies or colors travels at different speeds.”

According to an article by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the clearest example occurs in rainbows, with longer, faster red wavelengths at the top and shorter, slower violet wavelengths at the bottom. Propagation in a vacuum, the situation is different.

Professor Rhett Allain, a physicist at Southeast Louisiana University in the United States, said that all light is a form of electromagnetic waves, and they all have the same speed in a vacuum – 3 × 10^8 meters per second,This is equivalent to the speed of radio waves and gamma rays.

Therefore, according to Ram’s theoretical point of view,The only thing that travels faster than light (somewhat paradoxically) is light itself, although only in non-vacuum environments. But it is worth noting that, no matter what medium, the speed of light will never exceed 299,792 km/s.

cosmic perspective

According to Cassibri, there are other factors to consider when discussing objects that travel faster than the speed of light. He said: “Some parts of the universe are expanding faster than the speed of light and are moving away from Earth, such as the Hubble Space Telescope recently observed a distant star called Earendel, which released 129 The light of billions of years ago, but because the universe is expanding all the time, Ellendel’s star has been moving away from the earth since its formation, so its current distance from the earth is not 12.9 billion light-years, but more distant.

In this case, space-time is constantly expanding, but the matter in space-time is still moving at the speed of light. So obviously as we know,Nothing can go faster than the speed of light,butIs there a situation where it is possible to exceed the speed of light??

Einstein’s theory of special relativity, as well as general relativity, is based on “the principle that the concepts of space and time are relative,” Lahm said, but what does that mean? If someone could travel faster than the speed of light and carry information, their concept of time would be more distorted than ours, and in some cases the future could affect our past and the entire fabric of reality would lose its meaning.

This means that it is impossible for humans to travel faster than the speed of light, but will there be a day when we can develop new technologies and materials to drive spaceships that travel faster than the speed of light to and from space and time? “Theorists have proposed various types of warp bubbles that could travel faster than light in space and time,” Cassibri said.

The human body cannot travel at the speed of light!

“We can imagine communication outside the solar system at the speed of light,” Ram said.It is impossible to launch a real person at the speed of light, because we cannot achieve human time travel at the speed of light. Even under a very ideal condition, for example: the human body is constantly accelerating at a constant speed, but in fact it is very difficult for humans to obtain a space travel technology that is constantly accelerating, we will never reach the speed of light time travel,Maybe we will get very close to the speed of light, but not faster than the speed of light. “

Cassibri confirmed this, saying: “Ignoring the theory of relativity, if you accelerate at a speed of 1 G of the earth’s gravity, it takes a year to reach the speed of light, which in fact can never be reached, because when the human body is When approaching the speed of light, the human body mass energy will continue to increase, approaching an infinite value.”

Likewise, Alan believes that going faster than the speed of light is impossible, but as Cassibli believes, it is not actually necessary to reach the speed of light if humans are to explore distant exoplanets.He pointed out that we can understandThe only way to go faster than light is to use some type of wormhole in spacetimeusing this strategy may not require faster-than-light time travel, but rather provide a shortcut to other regions of space.

However, Cassibri isn’t sure if wormholes are the most realistic option for hyper-speed space travel, saying: “The theory of wormholes is possible based on special solutions to Einstein’s field equations, basically if wormholes exist at all. , would be a shortcut between the two destinations, but I don’t know if a wormhole can be built, or how.”

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