Skip to navigation

Thursday, July 03, 2008

My Twittersphere Is Teeming With Physics Geeks

Light Speed
Originally uploaded by bradwilsonem

What started out as a discussion/bet with my husband this morning shed some light on just how seriously geeky my Twitter followers are, God love all of them/you. Read on. (Complete with hilarious Star Wars reference in response to Question 2.)

Question 1: Does electricity travel at the speed of light? (He thought yes; I thought it was more complicated than that. I'm right. ;).)


kevinmarks: @dhowell electrical signals in a cable travel around a third the speed of light. Particle accelerators get small masses close to lightspeed.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:33 PM

symtym: @dhowell re electricity more, the speed of light (c) expressed in relationship to the absolute value in vacuo, 300,000m/s, Cu gets 99.9% c
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:32 PM

symtym: @dhowell re: electricity, must distinguish electrons (generate EM field) from photons (carry EM field, near speed of light)
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:27 PM

RoudyBob: @dhowell Not exactly but very close. Speed of light measured in a vacuum is faster than an electromagnetic field moves thru matter (wire)
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 10:05 AM

cherot: @dhowell Electricity is slower in wire, light slower in glass.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 9:48 AM

dangillmor: @dhowell depends on the conductor.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 9:28 AM

Sibby: @dhowell speed of light is a constant. Electricity varies with the medium it is traveling.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 9:24 AM

pcubed: @dhowell Sorta. Particle medium of the electromagnetic force is the photon. Force of electrons b/w each other moves at C. dm me 4 more info.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 9:23 AM

extra_ketchup: @dhowell electricity travels fast but electrons have mass and thus cannot reach C.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 9:22 AM

Question 2: Besides electricity, does anything else move at or near light speed?


ChrisMcKinney: @dhowell Radio
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 2:25 PM

chipthamac: @dhowell a pulse of light that enters a transparent chamber filled with caesium gas reaches speeds 300 times the normal speed of light.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 2:11 PM

cherot: @dhowell XRays
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:53 PM

symtym: @dhowell other things at "c," the wiggle answer — any massless object can get up to c in vacuo
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:42 PM

pcubed: @dhowell No, acc. to Sp. Relativity faster u go more massive u become. Moving at C = infinite mass. Small stuff goes fast-ish (Neutrinos eg)
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:40 PM

Peloden: @dhowell Things that travel at the speed of light — light; electromagnetic waves in a vacuum.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:36 PM

(Not just a figment of Next Generation writers' imagination, apparently!) TomRaftery: @dhowell Tachions!
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:36 PM

(Best response award winner!!!) stresa: @dhowell The Millenium Falcon made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs....she can make 0.5 past lightspeed.
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:34 PM

redragon: @dhowell black hole
Thu, Jul 3, 2008 1:30 PM

I also gave ChaCha a bite at these questions via its mobile service (text any question to 242242 and get an answer back in minutes). Its/their (ChaCha is human-powered) answers are here (electrons = mass = no light speed) and here (perhaps gravity). Now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Denise M. Howell and included in the Bag and Baggage weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License.