If 2 cars are traveling at the speed of light and the one in the back turns on its headlights, would the car in front be able to see them? Why or why not?
It is not possible for objects with weight to travel the speed of light.
So, let's ask a different question. If 2 cars are traveling nearly the
speed of light and continue to get closer and closer to the speed of light,
what happens when the car in the back turns on its headlights?
If you look at the question from the point of view of someone in
the front car, not much happens. The distance between the cars does
not change, so the light always takes the same time to catch the car in
It's more interesting when one considers someone on the ground
watching the cars go by. In this case, two things happen. First,
from this person's point of view the distance between the cars shrinks the
faster they go. Second, the light takes longer to go from the rear
car to the front car the faster they go. So as the cars approach the speed
of light, the cars would become very, very close together and the light would
take forever to get from one car to the next!
Submitted by J.(Texas, USA)
(November 21, 1997)
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games
section of our online store
includes a climate change card game
and the Traveling Nitrogen game
You might also be interested in:
It depends on which type of motion you are asking about. If you take a birds-eye view from the top of the solar system all the planets orbit around the Sun in a counter-clockwise (or direct) direction....more
Have you ever wondered how astronauts live in space? Did you know they do a lot of the same things we do here on Earth? Astronauts eat, exercise and sleep just like we do. However, their food isn't always...more
There is a really neat internet program called Solar System Live that shows where all of the planets and the Sun are. If you go to that page, you'll see an image similar to the one on the left. Below the...more
The picture of the American Flag (the one put there by the Apollo astronauts) is waving (or straight out) in the wind. How could that be possible if there is no atmosphere on the Moon? Was it some sort...more
I was wondering if there is a new planet? Are there planets (a tenth planet?) after Pluto belonging to our solar system? What are the names of the new planets discovered in the solar system? Are there...more
When an object has a really high energy, it can form a black hole. This is called a primordial black hole. Primordial black holes were formed near the beginning of the universe. Primordial black holes...more