Questions Science and Education

What happens if you travel faster than the speed of light?


Jasmin Khan

Take the risk or lose the chance

The fact is that even imagining of moving faster than the speed of light is impossible as practically it will never be possible. It can only happen in some hypothetical universe. The subject of physics comes as a complete package, and if you are making an effort to ignore one of the physical laws of it, then you are ignoring physics as a subject altogether. Kids mostly get amazed when they get to see Superman traveling faster than the speed of light. Even we all used to feel the same when we were young like those kids.  Things changed when Albert Einstein introduced the theory of special relativity. One of the essential principles of this theory is the speed of light which is about 186,282 miles per/sec is constant and remains independent from the observer's motion or the light source. 

If we imagine a person who can travel at the speed of light, then he actually will experience a slowdown in time.  For the moving person, time will make a slow motion compared to the one who is not at all moving. The vision of the person moving will get changed drastically. The whole world will appear just like a window in the shape of a tunnel just in front of traveling aircraft. If even in the coming future moving at a speed of light turn out to be a reality then the observations will be quite interesting. 

To give the accurate answer to the above question, we will take help of Einstein’s equation E = mc². Here E stands for Energy, M for mass and C is the speed of light.

It states that the mass and energy, both are the same physical entity and it can be changed into one another. Due to such equivalence, the amount of energy an object is having because of motion will enhance its mass. It turns visible when the object starts moving fast. When any purpose starts nearing the speed of light, the mass keeps rising precipitously. The object when traveling at 186,000 miles per second, its mass turns infinite, and the same will be the energy level needed to move. That’s the reason for which, no normal object can travel as fast as or even with speed faster than that of light’s speed.

In short, we can say that there will be a need for infinite energy to move the object faster than light, which is just not possible and completely impractical.

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