# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Does a photon travel faster than light?  (Read 1968 times)

#### CliffordK

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##### Does a photon travel faster than light?
« on: 10/12/2011 09:06:51 »
I was just thinking this evening about light, waves, neutrinos, and etc.

If a photon follows a wave.  Then it should essentially take a convoluted path from A to B.  It has a specific frequency and amplitude.

In a vacuum, shortening the frequency, the amplitude is also shortened (I believe), so the length of path remains the same.

So, the photon is actually traveling the distance of the straightened/stretched path from A to C in the time the the beam of light travels from A to B.  And, thus it is traveling faster than light.

One could, however, calculate the actual length of a path that the photon traveled from A to C, and use this new distance to calculate the speed that the photon actually traveled, call it C'.

What would be the advantages of calculating the speed of light, C' based on the actual convoluted distance that the photon traveled?

• You would then have a maximum speed, C' that the photon actually traveled independent of the movement of the beam of light.
• With any luck, the frequency/amplitude function changes in different materials, but the photon speed, C' might remain unchanged.  The speed light propagates through a material, of course, is dependent on the material.  This would be a possible explanation for why the speed differs.
• Could this be related to the apparent errors in the space/time equations?
• All particles would, in theory, be limited by the same maximum particle speed, although there certainly could be some variability by the particle size and apparent mass.
• However, one might expect some different frequency/amplitude functions based on different particles.  For example, it is quite possible that photons, electrons, and neutrinos would all have different frequency/amplitude functions.  It is possible that all would travel the same speed from A to C, but each having a different length of path from A to B, and thus different apparent speeds.

Anyway, with any luck, this might be a possible explanation as to why Photons, Electrons, and Neutrinos all seem to be traveling at simlar, but slightly different speeds which is material dependent.

#### JP

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##### Does a photon travel faster than light?
« Reply #1 on: 10/12/2011 15:33:06 »
A light wave isn't a physical wiggle through space.  It's a plot of amplitude vs. position.  In terms of photons it's basically the probability of finding photons vs. space, rather than the path each photon is traveling.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Does a photon travel faster than light?
« Reply #1 on: 10/12/2011 15:33:06 »