The Effect Of Traveling At The Speed Of Light

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Can Superman really move or fly at the speed of light? Many people think having an object moving at the speed of light is impossible for mankind right now. They also believe that later on, in the 25th century perhaps, mankind can build something that will travel at the speed of light. Are they dreaming? Is it possible for an object to be moving at the speed of light? Many science fiction and fiction movies are saying that it is possible. However, looking at the results of such speed shows it is not possible. The result of an object traveling at the speed of light is that time will stop, the mass of that object will become infinite, and the length of the object will become zero.

First, time will stop or freeze when an object is traveling at the speed of light, also known as Time Dilation. We tell time by measuring the hour hand and the minute hand on a clock, but if there is no light then we cannot tell what time it is.

If a man and a clock are moving that the speed of light then the hands on the clock doesn't seem to be moving, according to the man's perspective. At the same time, the man traveling at the speed of light will see everything around him and the clock is moving rapidly, so one second for the man and the clock might be a hundred years for those who are not moving at their speed. For example, Bill and Bob are twenty-year old men who had the same birth date. Bill took a spaceship and left Earth on their 20th birthday and stayed in space. Twenty years later, Bill returned to Earth and found Bob looking like a forty-year old man. However, Bob...