Light speed and lasers
Name: Mark Bradshaw
Date: Around 1993
I was wondering perhaps if a person was traveling in a starship at
the speed of light, and a laser was fired in the direction the ship was
traveling, would the laser travel at two times the speed of light?
I think some questions similar to this have already been asked,
but first of all, "time distortion theories" are rather important, if you are
interested in starships that travel at the speed of light. Unless they obey
some laws of physics that humans have not yet discovered, nothing that has any
mass can actually travel at the speed of light (it requires infinite energy).
The laser would head off ahead of the ship, at the speed of light, exactly.
Actually, light can effectively be traveling a little slower than the speed of
light, if the medium it is traveling in is not a pure vacuum, and so
interesting shock wave effects might happen (just like a supersonic plane's
sonic boom) if the spaceship happened to be traveling faster than the speed of
light in the medium there. But light cannot travel faster than the speed of
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Update: June 2012