Try as we might we’ll never meet the speed of light

Illustration of a space ship in a notebook.

You hear about traveling at the speed of light all the time in science fiction. Let’s jump into hyperspace! Between hyperdrives and time machines, our obsession with this idea of traveling fast and getting someplace instantaneously is a dual-edge sword. On one hand, our ability to dream big and push our limits is an amazing virtue of us humans. On the other hand, our unwillingness as humans to be ok with who we are and what we have at the present moment by constantly wanting is a massive source of suffering.

There are so many things I wish I/we could change or do faster. Traveling at the speed of light is not at the top of my list admittedly, but similar things are.

I don’t pretend to understand it, but I’m glad that the science of relativity can show us that it is impossible to actually travel at light speed.

“As an object approaches the speed of light, its mass rises ever more quickly, so it takes more and more energy to speed it up further. It can in fact never reach the speed of light, because by then its mass would have become infinite, and by the equivalence of mass and energy, it would have taken an infinite amount of energy to get it there. For this reason, any normal object is forever confined by relativity to move at speeds slower than the speed of light. Only light, or other waves that have no intrinsic mass, can move at the speed of light.” (Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time)

Only light can move at the speed of light. Phew!

One less thing I don’t have to worry about trying to change.

One response

  1. I’m trying to decide whether that fact is disheartening or a good thing. I still don’t know, so I’ll go and watch an old episode of Star Trek to cheer myself up!

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