Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsPhysics · 9 years ago

If your in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?

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• 9 years ago

If your in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?

Light has one very unique property!

Light is self-propagating!!

This means that light does not need a force to accelerate to 3.0 * 10^8 m/s.

The moment that the headlights are turned on, the light is traveling at 3.0 * 10^8 m/s. No force was required to accelerate to 3.0 * 10^8 m/s. AND, NO TIME WAS REQUIRED to accelerate to 3.0 * 10^8 m/s.

This property also means light does not add the velocity of the source of the light to 3.0 * 10^8 m/s.

If you are riding in a car traveling at 60 m/s, and you through a ball forward at 20 m/s, the ball’s velocity with respect to the ground = 60 + 20 = 80 m/s.

There is one difference between the ball and light.

This one difference causes the final velocity of the ball to be the sum of the 2 velocities.

This one difference causes the velocity of the light produced in the head light of the car to NOT be the sum of the car and 3.0 * 10^8 m/s.

The ball actually was traveling at 60 m/s before the ball was thrown at 20 m/s

In your question, the vehicle is traveling at the speed of light, and the head light is traveling at the speed of light, but the light is not traveling at the speed of light.

The light is not traveling at the speed of light, because the light does not exist while the car is traveling at the speed of light.

The light’s existence begins the moment the headlight is turned on.

And the moment the headlight is turned on, the light is traveling at 3.0 * 10^8 m/s.

The key to understanding this question is the TRUE NATURE OF LIGHT.

The MATTER, that an object is composed of, does exist while the object is being transported by a second object.

The LIGHT does not exist while the source of the light is transported by a second object.

LIGHT IS ENERGY, NOT MATTER.

The source of the light energy is the electric energy that produced the light energy.

Before the head light is turned on, this energy is electric energy. At the moment that the head light is turned on, this energy is converted to light energy.

The source of the electric energy is the energy from the fuel that car is burning.

If the fuel is bio-diesel, the source of the energy in the fuel is the energy from the SUN!

The energy that became light energy has existed since the energy was produced in the SUN by nuclear fission.

But, the actual light did not exist until the head light was switched on.

So, the light was never in or on the car, before the head light was switched on.

So, the light had NO VELOCITY to add to 3.0 * 10^8 m/s

Thanks for a chance to explain a very misunderstood concept!!

• 9 years ago

Assuming that a mass could go at the speed of light, from the perspective of the driver, it would probably look like any normal headlights beaming out light. From the perspective of someone not in the car, not possible to tell with today's technology.

People who respond that the light won't escape, remember that the headlights themselves are already moving so the lights would be moving at the speed of light along with the car. The scenery outside would be interesting to describe maybe impossible for human thought.

• 9 years ago

Well, assuming all of your senses were to stay the same, one of Einstein's postulates in his Special Theory of Relativity states that the speed of light is constant in all reference frames. So the light emitted from your headlights would go away from you at the speed of light. This of course leads to a lot of weird, but true occurrences in nature.

• Todd
Lv 7
9 years ago

If you _approach_ the speed of light, you will see the light just like everyone else does. That's why space and time bends. I answered a similar question before. It is most certainly not like somebody throwing a ball while you pass by in a car. To them, the ball is moving and from your perspective, it's not if it's moving the same speed as the car. No, if the ball were a light photon, it would appear to move at the same speed from both of your perspectives.

• 3 years ago

in case you're interior the automobile, you nevertheless see the easy going from the headlight on the cost of sunshine as accepted. in case you're on the floor (table sure) you in basic terms see the easy never comes out. It sounds contradictory. Does the easy ever comes out form the headlight? it is by using the fact time interior the automobile keeps to be table sure with admire to the human beings on the floor. So if time keeps to be table sure, easy does not pass regardless of if it strikes a the cost of sunshine.

• Anonymous
9 years ago

i love this question no matter how many times i hear it.

GENERAL relativity would make us think that the light doesn't move forward because general relativity says our vector and velocity is relative to that of the other's "i'm going 40mph and throw a ball forward 10 the ball's speed relative to the ground beneath is 50"...

einstein saw this problem and concocted his theory of Special Relativity which basically says, light is travelling at 186,000mps^2 no matter what is observing it.. so if you're going the speed of light and point a light forward in the direction you're going, it is observed by YOU as 186,000mps^2 and also by those stationary (not moving at all) nearby .... as 186,000mps ^2

• 9 years ago

You have to turn on the lights one second before u warp to light speed to give it a head start.If u travel the same speed it will stay ahead of you

• 9 years ago

At the speed of light, the flow of time completely stops. So you would not be able to turn on the light at all.

• Anonymous
9 years ago

Well e=mc squared shows that the speed of light is as fast as anything can go.

So the lights on the car wouldn't work because the light from them would have to travel faster than itself to be seen.