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Speed of Light: Why is the speed of light not infinite?

November 12, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

Speed of Light: Why is the speed of light not infinite?

Speed of Light: Why is the speed of light not infinite?
The speed of light in a vacuum, 299792458 m/s, is a finite, discrete value. Nothing else can achieve this speed, because it would need infinite energy to propel actual mass. But a photon does not have mass.

What is the limiting factor that prevents a photon from exceeding 299792458 m/s?

It’s like asking, “what is the limiting factor that prevents something which is absolutely still from being even more still?” Whether or not something can exceed the velocity of light or c (recently there was an unsuccessful challenge to light’s absolute status), the concept of c itself should not be considered a velocity, but rather, the physical and ontological limit of velocity itself as it is defined in the universe.

Personally, and this is just my own hypothesis, I think that the coincidence with light and c, along with light’s lack of resting mass gives us reason to question whether photons “exist” as independent entities traveling through a vacuum. I see no reason why it could not be the case that photons, and all radiant energy is actually more like what energy is on the macrophysical level. Our naive experience of classical physics shows us very clearly that energy is merely “what matter does”, rather than a substance of its own.

Energy is a verb which modifies a noun – it moves, heats up, changes, some-thing. Without a thing to move and an experience in which that moving thing can be compared to a memory of its previous position or status, there is no energy. My prediction is that all of the current interpretation in physics which relies on vacuum energy will ultimately have to be re-interpreted. Once we are able to understand that matter and awareness are identical, then energy can be understood as communication within matter which generates space and time. Space and time in turn, will have to be redefined as a property of awareness, or rather, of awareness to gaps in awareness.

The speed of light then is really about the speed of measurement. It is not a measurement of literal particles or waves traveling through a void, it is a measure of the scale of dislocation among multiple inertial frames. It is about the scale of bodies relative to each other, so that c defines both the largest and smallest ratio between frequencies of what these bodies are doing.

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