Is There Anything Faster Than The Speed Of Light? I Oxford Open Learning

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    Is There Anything Faster Than The Speed Of Light?

    According to our current understanding of physics, nothing with mass can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, which is approximately 186,282 miles per second. This is a fundamental principle of Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity. As an object with mass approaches the speed of light, its relativistic mass increases, making it more and more difficult to accelerate further. However, this answer is ironically too simplistic, and there are several situations where it may be possible for things to travel faster than the speed of light.

    The Universe

    Astrophysics shows that at some obscenely faraway point, the universe is expanding faster than the speed of light following the Big Bang, according to this article on This does of course challenge Einstein’s law of special relativity which we just cited above which says that nothing can travel faster than light. The theoretical astrophysics experts on argue that special relativity only applies to local observations and faraway events fall under general relativity which allows for travel faster than light.

    Quantum Entanglement

    Quantum entanglement (QE) has until recently been thought to move faster than the speed of light. QE suggests that when 2 particles (photons or electrons), become entangled they remain connected even when separated by vast distances, and that the particles communicate with each other faster than the speed of light. However, experts on Caltech’s science exchange point to studies that show that this isn’t true and that quantum physics can’t be used to send faster-than-light communications.


    The final candidate for faster-than-light travel is by travelling through warped space. Yes, it is hard to discuss this topic without at some point mentioning Star Trek! This involves compressing the space in front of you (best done in the vast nothingness of Space and not on the heavily populated Earth) and then going faster than light through warped space at Warp speed as in Star Trek. According to the Mexican theoretical physicist, Miguel Alcubierre’s calculations, this is mathematically possible but requires negative matter or negative energy. The problem is that although theorised scientists have never observed negative mass, to generate enough energy to power a warp drive you would need all the mass of the entire visible universe. Later experiments have reduced this negative energy demand considerably to the mass of the sun, but it remains for now impractical.

    The Speed Of Light Debate Isn’t Over

    So, the expanding universe and, in theory, Warp drives, can travel faster than the speed of light. Quantum Entanglement still doesn’t seem to equal faster-than-light travel, though. That said, I don’t think the book is completely closed on this one.


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    I am a practising HR consultant working with several start-ups on an ongoing and ad-hoc basis in the London and M4 area, and am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or CIPD. I am the Director of; is a resource for start-ups and small business. It includes a blog containing career advice, small business advice articles, HR software reviews, and contains great resources such as HR Productivity Apps.