General Question

rickyseven's avatar

If you are traveling at the speed of light in a 2007 Saturn VUE and you have your headlamps on, will you see any light?

Asked by rickyseven (33points) August 30th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

15 Answers

brownlemur's avatar

Unclear, but no matter what your speed, light will always move away from you at the speed of light. That is, if you are going 99% of the speed of light, light will not appear to be moving at a slower rate than normal. So you can’t “catch” light, as is my understanding. I guess the light from your car would have to be reflected off of something as you are traveling….are you in a vacuum?

klaas4's avatar

If you wouldn’t see any light if you’re traveling at the speed of light, (so the light can’t catch up with your speed, as stated above) what’s the point of going that fast? You can’t even see where you’re going!

Poser's avatar

Actually, according to Relativity, time actually slows down as you near the speed of light. This phenomenon is demonstrated by the Twins Paradox.

Imagine two twins on Earth. One gets into a spaceship that is able to travel the speed of light, while the other stays on Earth. The spaceship is then flown at the speed of light for ten years (that would be ten light years away from Earth), and then turned around and flown back to Earth at the speed of light. When the twins were reunited, the one that stayed on Earth would be 20 years older, while the one from the spaceship would have appeared not to have aged. In other words, the Earth-bound twin would have experienced a twenty-year span of time, while the spaceship-twin would have experienced only a moment. Thus…relativity.

But to answer your question, no, I don’t believe you’d see any light. For I doubt a Saturn Vue could travel the speed of smell—much less the speed of light—without falling apart around you.

segdeha's avatar

As the name implies, from a Vue, you would indeed see light. From a lesser vehicle, no.

Randypeter's avatar

1) a body with mass Cannot be accelerated to the speed of light because to do so would require an infinite amount of energy. So not only could the car not travel this fast -neither could your eyes.

2) as the above response points out time slows down for a traveler in motion relative to a stationary observer. At the speed of light time would stand still (from the stationary observers prospective). From the perspective of the observer zooming along at the speed of light – he would experience every point he travels through simultaneously (until he hits the brakes)

3) the speed of photons traveling at that time – from the fast dudes perspective – would still be the speed of light but the wavelength would shift according to the relative direction of travel.

So if a device could be made that could travel as fast as light and detect light (and
relay this data – but that’s another matter), it would experience many photons at many different wavelengths, so the device should “see” a very bright flash for as long as it is traveling ( in a region that has light coming towards it)

klaas4's avatar

How fast is the speed of light actually? (km/h please)

rickyseven's avatar

segdeha….i love your answer. that was great. was just having a bad day and man you really boosted it up!~
Thanks $ Be well,
thanks everyone!

samkusnetz's avatar

speed of light = 299,792,458 meters / second = 1,079,252,880 km/h

much, much faster than you can manage in a saturn vue. maaaaaybe in a kia sephia…

wolfman's avatar

randypeter – an interesting answer, I have one question. If one would experience many different photons at different wavelengths. Would they see colors or would all of the colors of the light spectrum combine to make it appear as white light? That is assuming we had optical receptors (better than our eye) to actually pick up these flashes.

weaselope's avatar

Yes, you would see light, as the light in front of your car from the headlights would be traveling at the same speed as the car. Duh!

samkusnetz's avatar

weaselope, if the light coming from your headlights was travaling the same speed as your car, you would not see it, because it would remain in front of you. that’s what we’ve been talking about…

Poser's avatar

In other words, the speed of light is not additive.

weaselope's avatar

Not necessarily. The car had to accelerate to get to the speed of light, and if the headlights were on during that accelerative phase, the light from the headlights would have outrun the car until it got up to light speed. Since it is a Saturn, it of course would accelerate so slowly that it would take about 8,000,000,000 years for it to reach light speed.

Response moderated (Spam)
Hamizi's avatar

If you replace the headlamps with the best led headlamps, what would happen

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