#1
Ok here goes. I had this stumping thought about light, terminal velocity, and mass.

The relation of mass and terminal velocity is- the higher the mass, the higher the terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is the highest speed that something can reach. And nothing can travel the speed of light, except, of course, light. Light is made up of particles, proven by Albert Einstien. But, we cannot feel light hitting us.

So, how can light travel so fast (the fastest thing ever) at its terminal velocity, even though it doesnt has any noticable mass?
#2


Neutrinos are particles. They pass through you all the time, and you don't feel them. Some particles are so small, they travel in between the patricles that make up your body, and as a result, no-one gives a ****.

Also, light exibits both particular and wave-like behaviour. It is not really a particle, but a wavicle. Yes, that is the actual name for it.
#4
Quote by sashki


Neutrinos are particles. They pass through you all the time, and you don't feel them. Some particles are so small, they travel in between the patricles that make up your body, and as a result, no-one gives a ****.

Also, light exibits both particular and wave-like behaviour. It is not really a particle, but a wavicle. Yes, that is the actual name for it.

This is about all I know as well.
#7
Quote by blistercity
A photon has no mass, it is pure energy. You're describing the behaviour of something with mass. Light has no mass, therefore you cannot talk about it in the same terms. It doesn't travel at terminal velocity. It just travels at the speed of light. Did that make sense?


+1
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#8
Quote by blistercity
A photon has no mass, it is pure energy. You're describing the behaviour of something with mass. Light has no mass, therefore you cannot talk about it in the same terms. It doesn't travel at terminal velocity. It just travels at the speed of light. Did that make sense?


that's a pretty solid answer.
#9
because the theory that light can act as both particles and energy is simply a way of thinking about it. it still doesn't have mass.

EDIT: blistercity said it better.
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#10
Quote by blistercity
A photon has no mass, it is pure energy. You're describing the behaviour of something with mass. Light has no mass, therefore you cannot talk about it in the same terms. It doesn't travel at terminal velocity. It just travels at the speed of light. Did that make sense?


He's asking WHY something as fast as light has no mass.

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#11
Quote by blistercity
A photon has no mass, it is pure energy. You're describing the behaviour of something with mass. Light has no mass, therefore you cannot talk about it in the same terms. It doesn't travel at terminal velocity. It just travels at the speed of light. Did that make sense?


/thread
#12
Quote by JamesDouglas
He's asking WHY something as fast as light has no mass.



no he's not. read the question.
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#13
so if you get a fat enough cat, and drop it out of a plane... it'll be going as fast as light, and the world gets sucked in a black hole.. right?
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#14
Mmmmm terminal velocity has no relationship with mass
Terminal velocity is the same however massive something is.

Light also acts a wave, part of wave particle duality. Which is why it's able to travel dam quickly


Actually now that i thinkk about it....isnt terminal velocity only relevent to free fall, surely if a big enough force is applied to an object it can travel as fast as it likes

Say an infinitly big force acts on something, it is going to accelerate infintly quickly.


Maybe....
#15
Quote by FightinIrishPJ
so if you get a fat enough cat, and drop it out of a plane... it'll be going as fast as light, and the world gets sucked in a black hole.. right?



LOL not funny
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#17
terminal velocity has NOTHING to do with light. terminal velocity involves the fastest speed something can travel as a result of gravity. Light doesn't move as a result of gravity.
#18
Quote by sashki
Also, light exibits both particular and wave-like behaviour. It is not really a particle, but a wavicle. Yes, that is the actual name for it.


this fellow speaks the truth

its called wave particle duality (as in a particle behaving as a wave)

as an added mind**** there is a theory by De Broglie that a particle could diffract if it reached a high enough speed and mass just like light does through a grate. Unfortunately the theoretical speed is beyond the speed of light making it unreachable
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#19
Quote by fret_racer82
So, how can light travel so fast (the fastest thing ever) at its terminal velocity, even though it doesnt has any noticable mass?


"He's asking WHY something as fast as light has no mass. "

I thought he was asking about terminal velocity? The speed of light is a fundamental property of the universe :/
Last edited by blistercity at Dec 31, 2008,
#20
Terminal velocity is only a feature of objects with mass moving in a gravitational field but losing energy to friction. There's no sense in which it can be applied to light.
#21
Quote by blistercity
A photon has no mass, it is pure energy. You're describing the behaviour of something with mass. Light has no mass, therefore you cannot talk about it in the same terms. It doesn't travel at terminal velocity. It just travels at the speed of light. Did that make sense?


Yeah that makes sense. Thank you, I guess I over thought it, and thinking photons had mass or something.

I over-think too much
#22
Quote by smb
Terminal velocity is only a feature of objects with mass moving in a gravitational field but losing energy to friction. There's no sense in which it can be applied to light.


This.

It's essentially Aerodynamics vastly simplified. It's caused by drag.
#25
Quote by fret_racer82
Yeah that makes sense. Thank you, I guess I over thought it, and thinking photons had mass or something.

I over-think too much


Drag isn't necessarily a function of mass.

It's a function of speed, area, density of the FLUID.

Regardless of whether a photon was massive or not, terminal velocity has nothing to do with a particle with such negligible area.
#26
Quote by LordBishek
Drag isn't necessarily a function of mass.

It's a function of speed, area, density of the FLUID.

Regardless of whether a photon was massive or not, terminal velocity has nothing to do with a particle with such negligible area.


Of the medium, rather? You're probably correct, I'm just wondering aloud.
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#27
Quote by LordBishek
Regardless of whether a photon was massive or not, terminal velocity has nothing to do with a particle with such negligible area.


Oh so youre saying its more of a matter of surface area rather than mass?
#28
Quote by fret_racer82
Oh so youre saying its more of a matter of surface area rather than mass?


The original question was about mass and terminal velocity specifically. That's what I answered : /

Terminal velocity is achieved when the force of gravity equals the upward force of drag. Force = mass x acceleration. It has a lot to do with mass.
Last edited by blistercity at Dec 31, 2008,
#29
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#30
Medium, fluid, whatever. Drag relies on:

Density
Velocity of the object relative to the fluid
Reference Area
Coefficient of Drag (never mind for now)

Those terms go out the window when considering something as small as a photon
#32
Quote by blistercity
The original question was about mass and terminal velocity specifically. That's what I answered : /


But it has been answered several times. Its pretty much up for debate now
#34
Quote by blistercity
Wait, what's the issue? That post was directed at someone who said I didn't answer the question. I made it a page ago.
What are we discussing now?


It was light terminal velocity and mass and things of that nature
#35
Quote by fret_racer82
It was light terminal velocity and mass and things of that nature


Ok cool. Well.. there's always the tachyon. If a particle actually entered our universe already travelling faster than light, it would still obey Special Relativity. That hypothetical particle is called the tachyon. Adding energy to it would slow it down lol. Also, it would have to lose mass the faster it got, unlike what we see in the world now. Pretty irrelevant, but interesting.