Physics
General and Special Relativity
Speed of Light

# Can a particle without mass travel at the speed of light?

111213 ###### 2010-09-07 08:23:25

Yes, a photon may travel at the speed of light.

If it had mass, at the speed of light, its mass would be infinite.

This is impossible, so photons travel at the speed of light and have no mass.

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## Related Questions Engines cannot travel at light speed. The only thing that can travel at this speed is the Photon, the particle of light. A non-relativistic particle is any particle not traveling at a speed close to the speed of light. This is not a property of particular type of particle; any particle may in general travel at any speed (below the speed of light). An exception are particles which are massless such as photons and gluons, these MUST travel at the speed of light. A photon is a discrete particle (having zero mass, zero charge, and an indefinate life span explainable only by quantum physics) and can travel at the speed of light; a "material particle" can only travel at speeds lower than the speed of light. The neutrinos produced in Beta Decay travel at almost the speed of light, due to their very very small but nonzero mass. The speed that alpha particles travel is 5 percent the speed of light. The composition of an alpha particle is two protons and two neutrons. Neutrinos are currently the only particle "suspected" to travel faster than light. The speed of a beta particle depends on it's energy. A 1 MeV beta particle travels at 94% of the speed of light or 280,000 km/s. The particles mass increases without bound as it approaches c, the speed of light. Light travels at 299,792,458 m/s as both a wave and a particle. Light demonstrates aspects of both. It does not require any sort of medium to travel. It's not possible for any particle with a non-zero invariant mass to travel at the speed of light in a vacuum. It must always travel more slowly than that.It is possible for particles to travel faster than the speed of light in some other material. Leptons have mass.According to special relativity, no particle with mass can travel at or faster than the speed of light. It would take infinite energy to do so. No, they move slower than the speed of light. In particle accelerators, they can get fairly close to the speed of light, but not quite reach it.No, they move slower than the speed of light. In particle accelerators, they can get fairly close to the speed of light, but not quite reach it.No, they move slower than the speed of light. In particle accelerators, they can get fairly close to the speed of light, but not quite reach it.No, they move slower than the speed of light. In particle accelerators, they can get fairly close to the speed of light, but not quite reach it. Firstly, it takes an infinite amount of energy to accelerate an object with 'mass' to the speed of light. A massless particle removes that energy problem. Secondly, approaching the speed of light is not actually much of an issue for even a particle with mass. The Large Hadron Collider accelerates particles to just 3m/s below the speed of light, 'almost the speed of light' by any definition. While it takes an immense amount of energy, it can still be done. What is the speed of light? About 300,000,000 meters per second - enough to travel all around the Earth 7.5 times in one second. Can anything travel nearly as fast? - Yes, in particle accelerators particles are regularly accelerated to over 99% of the speed of light. According to current scientific understanding: (a) it is not possible to transfer matter, energy, or information faster than the speed of light. (b) An object that regularly travels at a slower speed can't be made to travel at the speed of light - it can only approach it. (A photon, that is, a speed of light, can only travel at the speed of light.) No. The more energy the accelerator can give the particle, the closer the particle can approach to the speed of light, but it can never reach exactly that speed. No particle can reach the speed of light. Mass increases with speed, and the particle would become infinitely massive as it came closer to the speed of light. There are some particles that travel at the speed of light - mainly, the photon (the particle that makes up light), and the (hypothetical) graviton. No particles are known to travel faster than that, and it doesn't seem likely that this is at all possible. A man can't travel at the speed of light.A man can't travel at the speed of light.A man can't travel at the speed of light.A man can't travel at the speed of light. No. Nor can any object that travels at speeds below the speed of light, move at the speed of light. Subatomic particles in particle accelerators come very close, though. Not. Because. it can only possible when it travel with speed of light, but it is still impossible. There is no way to travel at the speed of light. Light. electromagnetic waves. **but be careful. Light is also a particle AND a wave. The light particle is called a photon, and although it always travels at the same speed (the speed of light) it can have different wavelengths. This is why we still see light from the Sun and stars. There is no medium in space, but since light does not need a medium to travel through, light can be observed still from great distances in the universe. A negative Higgs field would impart "inverse-mass" to a particle, resulting in anti-gravity. Such a particle could not travel slower than the speed of light ... although its velocity could asymptotically approach the speed of light. As it slows toward the speed of light, its inverse mass would increase to infinity. If a particle should actually travel at precisely the speed of light it would have both infinite mass and infinite inverse mass, cancelling each other out. So anything traveling at precisely the speed of light should have zero mass. The speed of light in water is less than the speed of light in space. Only light can travel at the speed of light. when the particle moves with the speed of light,the mass of the particle increases to infinity.... this is as per Einstein's theory of relativity....n its true.... some people say the mass decreases to zero when the particle travels with the speed of light....they are "INSANE"

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