Sunday, November 26, 2006

The speed of light *IS* fast!

I'm writing this after an article that made it to the digg front page explaining why the speed of light really isn't that fast at all: he took the distance to various objects in our solar system and told us just how long it would take light to reach them. Admitidly the times weren't that quick, but wait until you consider the distances. This time around I'm going to put down how long it takes light, and how long it would take you to reach the destination driving at 60mph in your Volvo!

Earth to the moon: at 60mph it will take you approximately 167 days, driving 24 hours a day with no stops for dinner! It takes light 1.3 seconds; Seems pretty quick to me! And incase you were wondering 167 days is 14.5 million seconds.

I'm just going to skip on to the Voyager space probe example now...

Earth to voyager space probe (assuming a distance of 87 AU - approx 8*10^9miles): at 60mph, again with no breaks for dinner will take you 15600 years! Light? 30 days. Again, seems pretty quick to me!

Space is big, really big; light is quick.

Jon

17 comments:

Christel said...

impressive

Anonymous said...

you could always just bend space in two, perhaps, now travel time is basically instant...which I guess would now make Light once again appear quite slow. I would imagine however that Light isn't actually either fast or slow. It's just there. Light being the essence of Light. While we try to define it in terms of our limited perception.

Perhaps? Maybe / Maybe Not? Who Knows?

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