If light wins the speed race, what comes second?

  • 7 Replies
  • 2326 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*

Offline imd321

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • 14
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« on: 21/09/2010 06:48:36 »
Since nothing travels faster than light (or other electromagnetic radiation), what travels second fastest.  Is there some natural upper limit on the speed which can be attained by other things or could anything theoretically reach the speed of light e.g could a single atom ever travel at the speed of light, could sound travel at the speed of light etc?

*

Offline Bored chemist

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 8735
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #1 on: 21/09/2010 07:34:26 »
The strange answer is "me".
If you find, for example, a very fast moving electron somewhere then, from the electron's point of view I am very fast, but it is stationary.
Of course, this holds for anyone or anything.
From the practical point of view I think neutrinos may win. It's hard to tell if they travel at c or a little slower.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

*

Online syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3893
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #2 on: 21/09/2010 13:55:58 »
I think the Neutrinos from the 1987 supernovae arrived about 4 hours later than the Photons.
« Last Edit: 21/09/2010 18:42:54 by syhprum »
syhprum

*

Offline tommya300

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • 655
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #3 on: 21/09/2010 21:37:59 »
Where ever light's path travels, it will always find that darkness was there first.

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #4 on: 21/09/2010 22:32:28 »
I'd go with neutrinos too.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Online syhprum

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3893
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #5 on: 22/09/2010 09:29:32 »
It is an interesting proposition that sound could travel faster than light, is it possible to calculate how fast a sound wave would travel thru a Neutron star ?.
syhprum

*

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #6 on: 22/09/2010 22:07:03 »
I was thinking about the speed of sound in neutronium too, but it's still going to be < 'c' because it requires the movement of matter.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!

*

Offline Murchie85

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • 124
    • View Profile
If light wins the speed race, what comes second?
« Reply #7 on: 23/09/2010 00:08:48 »
Neutrino is the obvious answer for sure (possibly due to its finite or near zero mass) , I would say there are a few other candidates, for example in the standford accelerator electrons are sped up to 99.9999% the speed of light. Also if the theoretical particles tachyon's exist then they would actually be faster than the speed of light (this has obvious temporal implications) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyon