Is there an object in the universe that can go faster than the speed of light? I think there has been some research on this.

Irrespective of Captain Kirk's taking the Enterprise into "warp II," it is impossible for an object in this universe to exceed the speed of light. Only massless objects, such as photons of light, can travel at the speed of light. According to modern phy sics, any object with mass (called material objects) have to travel at speeds LESS than the speed of light.

You're right though...there has been research in the area. About 25 years ago, scientists suggested the possibility that there might exist particles that travel faster than the speed of light. In order for this hypotheses to hold in relation to the theory of General Relativity, the particles would have to have imaginary or negative mass (i.e., the mathematical equations involve the square root of a negative number). Gerald Feinberg first gave these hypothetical particles which would exist within the theory of Relativity the name tachyons, derived from the Greek word for swift, "tachy". So far, no evidence has been found supporting the existence of tachyons. And so most scientists think tachyons don't exist. It is important to recognize that there are theories which support faster-than-light speeds.

Submitted by Ina (Florida, USA)
(September 2,1997)

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