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Does Anything Travel Faster Than Light?

To answer that question, we first have to understand what is light. Visible light is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which comprises various other forms of energy such as microwaves, radio waves, X-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet radiation. All of these including visible light are made up of photons. The thing about photons is that they do not have any mass. This is why they are able to travel at such high speeds. But, theoretically they are particles also, albeit quite different from all other particles with mass.

Why nothing can travel faster than light?

As you may be aware, light travels at an astounding speed of 299,792 km per second, which is almost 300k km per second. Apart from the electromagnetic waves, no other known particle has been recorded to travel more than the speed of light. This is governed by Einstein’s mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc2. To understand it in simple words, any object with mass will become heavier and heavier as it keeps on accelerating.

As it approaches the speed of light, the weight of the object would reach infinite proportions. This will make it impossible to accelerate it further. This is why anything with mass can never match or exceed the speed of light. It is true for the smallest particles such as electrons as well as large spaceships that we often see in science fiction movies.

Can wormholes help us travel faster than speed of light?

Wormholes are also the stuff of science fiction, but at least these are within the limits set by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Theoretically, it has been suggested that wormholes can connect two points in space-time via a much shorter route. Wormholes can work as tunnels, thereby significantly reducing the time taken to go from point A to point B.

The important thing to note here is that wormholes don’t allow you to travel faster than light. They just reduce the overall distance, which saves time. Even though wormholes satisfy the requirements of Einstein’s general theory of relatively, no one has ever attempted to create a wormhole. Currently we do not have the technology to make it happen.

Some exceptions

Exceptions are always present and there are in fact some objects that are travelling faster than the speed of light. For example, the galaxies in the universe have been measured to be moving away from each other at a speed that is faster than the speed of light. We don’t yet fully understand how this is possible, but it’s happening nonetheless. This also cancels out intergalactic travel, as it will not be possible even if we travel at the speed of light.

About Satya Singh

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