# Do Colors Affect the Speed of Light?

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Ok so I got an idea formed over time that is pretty interesting. If light is a particle moving in a wave, then higher wave frequencies would result in a zigzag /\/\/\/\/\/\/\ like that which would create a longer path for light to travel across, but a lower frequency -------- should be more direct resulting in greater speed. This isn't much evidence of anything but there is more. Several scientific facts are being used here so I will list them ahead of time to make sure I have them all correct.

1. When light accelerates, the color changes.

2. When you accelerate, color doesn't change.

3. Acceleration affects gravity.

4.Gravity affects time.

5.Light always appears to be moving at the same speed even if you are moving, light still get's to you just as fast for some reason.

OK so I am not positive all of those are true, but it's what I've heard and what isn't true some genius might figure out a way to rearrange the idea to make sense.

Anyway, my idea is this. When light accelerates backwards, the gravity changes and affects the wavelength of the light (We don't understand enough about gravity to know how this would happen but must have something to do with gravity because that is the only thing changing) which causes the light to reach you just as quickly even though the light is farther away by taking a "shortcut".

I can barely wrap my brain around half of what I just said and there are some obvious problems, but overall I think it could make sense if I moved a few things around. I just wanted to write this down and see if anyone else has something to add.

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1. When light accelerates, the color changes.

Light doesn't accelerate. It always travels at c. It is created at c.

2. When you accelerate, color doesn't change.

In point of fact, it does. If you are accelerating away from the light source, the light will shift to the red, if you are approaching the source it will shift to the blue. But the velocity never changes.

3. Acceleration affects gravity.

No, acceleration is the equivalent of gravitational effects. What this means is in a sealed environment, such as a sealed lab room, there is no way you can determine if you are on the surface of the earth, or undergoing a steady 1 gravity acceleration.

4.Gravity affects time.

But this affect can only be seen and measured from a different reference frame.

5.Light always appears to be moving at the same speed even if you are moving, light still get's to you just as fast for some reason.

Light is always moving at the same speed, as measured in any frame of reference. It doesn't matter how fast you move compared to anything, you will always measure the speed of light to be c.

When light accelerates backwards,

Well, light doesn't accelerate, and there's no backwards or forwards. It just moves in the direction it was emitted in, subject to gravitational fields.

which causes the light to reach you just as quickly even though the light is farther away by taking a "shortcut".

Light from a given source doesn't take any 'sortcuts' and reach you quicker. If the light source is further away, the light will take longer to arrive at your location.

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Sorry, what I meant was when the source of the light accelerates, the color changes.

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Sorry, what I meant was when the source of the light accelerates, the color changes.

Yes. Speed doesn't change though. And it's not the acceleration of the source, it's the relative motion of the source. The acceleration is just causing the change in relative motion.

Edited by ACG52
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2. When you accelerate, color doesn't change.

In point of fact, it does. If you are accelerating away from the light source, the light will shift to the red, if you are approaching the source it will shift to the blue. But the velocity never changes.

Ok actually that makes more sense because otherwise light would not have accelerated when you move which doesn't agree with the idea, thanks for the info.

As for number 3, that is what I meant, not sure what the difference is.

Number 4 actually doesn't matter in hindsight, just though it might have something to do with the changing of color.

For 5, I think I might have a possible explanation for this but not sure without knowing how they measure the speed of light.

6 I explained in my first second comment, and the last one may be true, but this is focusing on the fact that the light source is accelerating in any given distance. Thanks for the insight!

Yes. Speed doesn't change though. And it's not the acceleration of the source, it's the relative motion of the source. The acceleration is just causing the change in relative motion.

Could you explain this in a little more detail please?

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I think you should take some time to learn what relativity actually says. The whole "light always travels at the same speed" thing makes much more sense once you understand the mechanics of how that happens and what it means. It's actually not all that complicated, but it does take some mental adjusting to since speed, time and distance don't actually work the way we generally intuit that they do based on our daily experience with them.

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Blue shift and red shift are the results of whether the photons are moving towards you or away from you. The only way either one can happen is if the emitter, be it a star, or a galaxy, or a flashlight, is in motion relative to you. And for that to happen, something must undergo acceleration. A force must be applied which causes a change in motion. But the application of the force doesn't matter, so much as it's result, relative motion.

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I am somewhat familiar with relativity, but how exactly does it connect with light, and is it possible that light doesn't have to rely on relativity?

Blue shift and red shift are the results of whether the photons are moving towards you or away from you. The only way either one can happen is if the emitter, be it a star, or a galaxy, or a flashlight, is in motion relative to you. And for that to happen, something must undergo acceleration. A force must be applied which causes a change in motion. But the application of the force doesn't matter, so much as it's result, relative motion.

Right, but can you explain why this happens?

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Now some nit picking. The speed of light in a vacuum has been discussed thus in this thread. Light does slow down when it moves through things other than a vacuum, and different colors of light travel at different speeds in things like glass, which is why a prism and water droplets make a rainbow. Most of space is a very good vacuum, and light travels at c.

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I am somewhat familiar with relativity, but how exactly does it connect with light, and is it possible that light doesn't have to rely on relativity?

Right, but can you explain why this happens?

Special Relativity is entirely based upon the (thoroughly tested) premise of the speed of light being constant in a vacuum. Can I ask what element of relativity you are familiar with if you aren't aware of the connection with light? Or are you asking how the connection works rather than about the connection's existence?
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Special Relativity is entirely based upon the (thoroughly tested) premise of the speed of light being constant in a vacuum.

In addition, this was not something that Einstein postulated on a whim. It comes from (again, thoroughly tested) Maxwell's equations (for electrodynamics), which work in all frames, and have the curious property that the speed of electromagnetic wave propagation is the same in any inertial frame. That light and EM waves are synonymous was a relatively recent revelation— the development of EM theory was one of the big achievements of the generation that preceded Einstein. What Einstein did was apply this concept to mechanics, to see what it would lead to, and special relativity is the result.

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As said before light travels at c, the letter c is a constant. Perhaps you were thinking of frequency?

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