Questions tagged [speed-of-light]

The speed of light is the speed of electromagnetic radiation in a perfect vacuum: exactly 299,792,458 metres per second by definition. Use this tag for discussing works where the speed is important. For travel faster than the speed, use [ftl-drive], [warp], or [hyperspace] instead.

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What is the earliest usage of the “Lightspeed” animation and why is it used so heavily?

I’ve seen many, many SciFi TV shows and movies over the years, and one of the most enduring motifs is the usage of “lightspeed” or “warp speed” in spacecraft. The standard animation technique used ...
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3 votes
0 answers
101 views

Why is Flash (Barry Allen) written as slower than light if he's faster? [duplicate]

On the internet, people keep saying that Barry is far faster than light and thus significantly faster then every dc superhero besides his nephew Wally, citing the time he could perceive attoseconds, ...
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37 votes
3 answers
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Novel where the speed of light is comparable to the speed of sound

I am trying to discover the name of a book recommended to me by my school physics teacher some 48 years ago. The premise of the book is that the proponents visit a world where the speed of light is ...
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10 votes
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50's story: space travelers reach speed of light, universe implodes

It was probably a short story by one of the popular sci-fi writers of the 50s. As I remember it, the story unfolded in a space vehicle where two travelers had embarked on a mission to exceed the speed ...
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27 votes
1 answer
2k views

A short story about how silly human physicists are to assume lightspeed is a universal constant

Something recently reminded me of a short story I once read in a back issue of Analog. I think the issue was from sometime in the 1960s -- I'm sure it was one that came out while John W. Campbell Jr. ...
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11 votes
5 answers
670 views

What was the first story where a universal constant had a different value?

In some stories, the value of a universal constant is different than it is reality. For example, in Going Postal: 'Something like that, sir, probably, something like that,' said Groat. 'Three and ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Why weren't the various societies of Mass Effect able to see the previous Reaper harvest via telescope?

The Milky Way is ~100,000 light years across, and the penultimate harvest took place ~50,000 years ago. If they wanted to see what happened back then, couldn't they literally look back in time? ...
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33 votes
3 answers
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What is the first instance of a mechanism for faster-than-light travel in science fiction?

The idea that considering the galaxy is so large, let alone the universe meant that sci-fi stories involving traveling to various planets and star systems required a mechanism that involved faster-...
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8 votes
0 answers
218 views

Looking for a specific Twilight Zone-style comic storyline - Wealthiest man in the world, global ecological disaster, cryogenically frozen

I remember reading a comic book in a flea market, about thirty years ago (meaning I read it in the mid-1980s, though the comic book was likely dated from the early 1970s to the early 1980s), that had ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Has Superman ever escaped a black hole?

Reading a DC wiki (yes, wikipedias are bad...), it mentions in the Super Speed section for Kryptonians that Superman can travel at the speed of light or faster than light when in space. I'm guessing ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Maximum distance and speed for communication in StarTrek franchise [duplicate]

In the middle of TNG: "Transfigurations" an alien ship is detected on long-range sensors. Worf says, that it travels with Warp 9.72 on interception course and it will take 10.53 hours to meet it. We ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Galaxy-class ship's speed, when on space-charting mission

In TNG: "Transfigurations" crew has determined, that their guest's home is around 2.3 parsecs from their current position. In the next scene, captain Jean-Luc Picard told the guest, that it will take ...
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42 votes
9 answers
77k views

Why would Voyager require 75 years to return home?

The Star Trek: Voyager Wikipedia article says: (...) show is initially set on the other side of the Milky Way galaxy, 75,000 light-years from Earth (...) and (...) Voyager to make the estimated 75-...
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23 votes
2 answers
1k views

Out-of-control starship results in some crew members landing in a rebirthed universe?

I think this was a classic "golden oldie" hard sci-fi novel or novella published at least several decades ago. I recollect: An accident or crew mutiny causes the ship's ramjet or similar engine to ...
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12 votes
2 answers
571 views

Very short story - passengers on faster-than-light ship watch old broadcasts of the Howdy Doody show

This xkcd "What If?" reminded me of a short story I read, maybe in a compilation of Golden Age SF stories by the likes of Henry Kuttner and Fritz Leiber. It was just a few pages long. A group of ...
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

Truly interstellar stories without FTL [closed]

What stories handle interstellar distances without cheating on relativity or causality, and without localising the conflict to avoid causal separation? These two criteria together are narratively ...
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