HomeDiscussion ForumCan matter ever reach the speed of light?

Can matter ever reach the speed of light?

The interesting thing is, that light is made out of photons and one quantum of photon has energy and momentum but no mass. It “exists” only until it moves, when it comes to a stop you don’t have it anymore. Matter has mass, right? so, theoretically matter could not reach the speed of light. One would have to transforme matter into energy to be capable of moving at that speed. Suppose the fastest way isn’t straight as it is accepted, but bending space and redefining time, more commonly know through worm holes, if their functions exist of course. This would ultimately result in a faster speed then the speed of light, which would cause time travel. Due to some paradoxes, time travel is impossible (example: What would happen if your present self kills your past self in the past? however this is not the main factor). Can matter reach the speed of light or even pass it?
Feel free to write down any theories so that together we can give a shape to our multiverse!


  1. Nothing can go faster than the speed of light. As for matter, it can never reach the speed of light, because as you said it would no longer be matter, it would be energy. As for time travel it only goes forwards. Like if a person could leave the earth at the speed of light then return it would be the future for the person that was traveling. There is no way to go “back” in time. The only things we know of that can bend space the way you’re talking about are black holes. The problem is at the center of the bends in space the gravity would be so great that nothing could survive it or, if it could survive it could never leave. You have to remember that black holes capture even light, so something with no mass and traveling at the speed of light can’t escape it. All in all, no I don’t think we’ll ever travel that fast.

  2. I am not sure about matter, but for a craft it is impossible. Anyway, matter travels close to the speed of light when entering a black hole. For a craft it is impossible because the faster you go the more momentum you have. The more momentum the more energy you need to accelerate. The faster you accelerate the more energy you need to accelerate so it is a blind circle which explains that you need infinite energy to accelerate to the speed of light. Sorry I couldn’t make it more simple!!!

  3. According to the conventional and knowable laws of nature that is not possible, because with the inertial effects on anything of finite mass, such a thing would require infinite energy.
    However, the mass of a photon is zero, so any impulse (that which gives it momentum), will immediately propel it to the speed of light, since that which has zero mass has no inertia, so there would be nothing preventing it from reaching the maximum speed possible (within the framework of the known laws of physics, of course).
    However, the putative warp drive in Star Trek operates by “warping” the nature of space around the ship (hence the name warp drive) so that the laws of physics are changed in that particular region, so that Einstein’s constraint of anything limited to the speed of light does not apply, allowing such an equipped ship to exceed that speed (and considerably as well).

  4. You’re right when you say that matter could not be moved at the speed of light or it would have to become energy. Lightspeed is a tough thing to tak about because there’s only one thing we know that can go that fast.
    Actually, another way to think of it is that matter needs a force to move it, and that force is the product of the acceleration of the object and the mass of the object. So theoretically, if a force (any force!) could be applied to an object for a long enough time, it would eventually reach light speed. So let me do a few calculations… if you had a 1 kg object falling towards the earth, which would accelerate it at 9.8 m/s^2, as Earth accelerates all objects, you would have it traveling at light speed in about 30,591,067 seconds. In that time, the object would have had to travel 149 896 229 meters… so if you could raise an object 149897km above the Earth, you could potentially get it travelling at light speed. That assumes that you’re in a vacuum to get rid of air friction. But the problem with that theory is that gravitational pull weakens as the distance of the two objects increases. So if you were 149 896 229 meters above the Earth, there would not be 9.8 newtons of force pulling on that 1kg object. But the force of gravity cannot ever “go away” so you would just have to take into account the ever weakening force of gravity and make new calculations… I’m not gonna go there and if you went that far you would probably have other planets and stars getting in the way. But theoretically, couldn’t we get something moving at lightspeed simply using the force of gravity? Heck it doesn’t even have to be the force of gravity, it could be any force, as long as we can get the force to act on the object for long enough. Perhaps help it along with a few rockets? Either way, the property I wish to take advantage of is that a FORCE changes the ACCELERATION on an object, not directly its SPEED, so if we get a force to act on an object long enough, its SPEED should increase and increase and increase and increase and increase until it is eventually going the speed of light. or even faster
    Here’s more stuff to sink your teeth into. TIME is another tough thing. Because once you see an event take place, it actually took place a moment ago. The time it takes light to reach your eyes. So if you perform an action, then travel slightly faster than light speed, you could beat the light to a place a few million miles away and actually watch yourself perform that action which actually took place a few moments ago. So in that respect, although you are not really changing your place in time, if there were people in that place a few million miles away, you could tell them that at exactly 3:00 and 42.3 seconds, they will see you perform the action. So you would seemingly have some from the past.
    So what is time? How can we really measure time? I mean, just think about other dimensions like length, width, height, which are all tangible qualities. Now time is just a concept, you can’t put your hands around “time”. And if we can’t really measure time, what does the speed of light really mean? (Just in case you don’t follow what I’m saying, remember that speed is distance over TIME). And what importance does the speed of light have in our universe? Maybe it has absolutely no importance except that light (sight) is the main way we perceive time. Perhaps if we didn’t have eyes, we would be having this discussion about the speed of sound? Or the speed of smell? (Is there even a speed of smell? The world may never know…)
    OK, now for E=mc^2. So I’m not a scientist, I really have no expertise on Einstein’s physics laws and stuff like that. But I have to say that it sounds surprising to me that the speed of light is so important in this universe, especially if it has to do with TIME, a concept so vague that we can’t even understand it properly. So Einstein and all scientists say that the amount of energy in a given amount of mass is given as the product of that mass and the square of the speed of light. I’m not here to disprove that, I know that I do not have the authority to do that! (Not ot mention that countless experiments have proved it already…) But I just feel like writing this anyways. I just want to create a base for someone else to go off of. Anyways, I said that I found it so surprising that the speed of light related to the amount of energy in mass. I don’t really know where to go with this but why the speed of light? what does that have to do with energy? In the end, energy is defined as “the ability to do work” or “the ability to move”, basically. So we have stuff (matter) and we’re basically gonna turn that into movement. That’s what throws me off. So we can completely get rid of the stuff and turn it into movement. Now this is hard to write because that really is exactly what happens in nuclear fusion and fission, but I just don’t understand it. And not only that, but how Einstein came up with the factor we multiply by to find the amount of energy. And not only that, but why that factor is the square of the speed of light. And it all comes down to why the speed of light is so important to the universe

  5. There are loopholes in relativity. Faster than light travel is possible. And you don’t need to use an Einstein-Rosen bridge. And time travel is also possible. You just can’t travel further back than when you created the machine.

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