What is darkness and what is its speed?

The speed of light is one of the most important constants in physics. Evaluation of the speed of light for the first time gave the Danish astronomer Olaf Roemer in 1676. However, the researchers, who found that it was the light sets the upper limit of the attainable speed in our universe, equaling almost 300,000 kilometers per second, it was Albert Einstein. And yet, according to the same of Einstein's theory, everything in this universe is relative, including the movement. This in turn begs the logical question: what is the exact opposite of the speed of light - darkness?

What is darkness and what is its speed?

We are not the first who asks this question, but the portal Gizmodo agreed to further understand it, and in this case, refer to one of the most respected and well-known scientists, researchers, theoreticians, experts on black holes and quantum physics. What is interesting in all of them there is no consensus on this matter. Some believe that the darkness may have the same speed as light. Others believe that it can be infinitely slower. Still others believe that everything will depend on the point of view from which you look at this issue.

George Musser

What is darkness and what is its speed?

Editor of Scientific American magazine, and Nautilus, author "The eerie action at a distance: the phenomenon, to rethink the concept of space and time. The value of the phenomenon in the theory of black holes, the Big Bang theory and the theory of everything ", and" The Complete Guide to String Theory for idiots "

"Speed ​​of Darkness? The simple answer - the speed of darkness is equal to the speed of light. "Turn off the" sun and our sky becomes dark after eight minutes after this point. But this is a long-winded answer! No, but really! Firstly, what we used to call the "speed of light" is the speed of propagation, and it is not always the deciding factor. Shadow falling on the landscape, discarded objects. And the feature of these objects, as well as the distance from them will determine how fast it will fall. For example, rotating beacon illuminator illuminates the surroundings with a regular interval. However, the relative speed of darkening the environment increases with the distance to the lighthouse. If you move away from the lighthouse far enough, the shadow will overtake you faster than the speed of light. The same is, for example, occurs with neutron stars in space. In other words, in this case the speed of light would only mean delay. Even if a beacon will be sent directly to you, you will see the light immediately, but with some delay. However, this does not affect the course of events, you'll see, is in place.

But is there even such a thing as darkness? More precisely, the concept is there, but if there is the phenomenon itself? Even if you "turn off" the sun, the earth does not sink into total darkness besproglyadnuyu. The light from the stars, nebulae, and even the Big Bang itself will cover your palate in this case. The planet itself and all that is on it, including our bodies, too, emit light. And it will be seen in the infrared. Even if you somehow found a way to "turn off" the sun, even in this case, it will emit a certain level of emission almost forever. At your age, and for many centuries forward just enough. That is, until we have an opportunity to see, we'll see. None of the optical sensor is not able to determine the total darkness, because even if there's no light sources, the available quantum fluctuations will also produce very light flash light. Or take at least a black hole - the darkest of the proposed facilities. Even they are able to emit a certain percentage of light, according to some theories. In physics, as opposed to the sphere of interpersonal relations, the light is always "wins" the darkness. Darkness - is not a physical category, but rather a relative state. Not even so. It is the subjective perception of the state. The photons may be displayed or may not be reflected, retinal cells can trigger the memory processes, but can not explain the subjective feeling of the dark, as well as the wave can not be represented something more than our experience of observing the color or sound. Our subjective experience varies from time to time, but separately taken part of this experience are timeless. And in this sense we can say that the darkness itself does not have the speed.

That is, the rate in the general sense? And whether it is at all? It presupposes the existence of a space in which it can be measured. However, many scientists working with quantum physics - a world where the usual concepts of conventional physics are often useless - believe that in itself space is one of the derivatives of a more fundamental level of reality where there is no such thing as the position, the distance or the same speed".

Avi Loeb

What is darkness and what is its speed?

Harvard University professor of astrophysics, founder of Project Black Hole Initiative study of black holes (BHI)

"is attracted to the center of the black hole matter reaches a speed close to the speed of light. Everything that falls within the so-called black hole event horizon, is not able to escape. Even the light permanently sealed inside the event horizon. With this in mind, the black hole can be regarded as a kind of prison of eternal darkness. But this is not the case.

Star like the sun, may be "spagettifitsirovana" in the gas stream, pass alongside it with solid black hole, such as one that is at the heart of our Milky Way and whose mass is equal to 6 billion solar masses. However, when falling into a black hole matter can create friction between themselves and heated. The end result of this friction becomes radiation. If the rate of accretion (mass increment process) will be sufficiently large, the outgoing radiation pressure will potentially be able to save additional surrounding matter from falling. Many of the most massive black holes in the universe with mass of billions of suns, there is the maximum possible rate of accretion. "

Neil deGrasse Tyson

What is darkness and what is its speed?

Astrophysicist, Ph.D. in physics, author and popularizer of science, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Leading the popular science series "Space: space and time"

"Speed ​​of Darkness, so ... Given the fact that the very darkness is a result of the termination of the light? If the speed of light is represented by a constant, the speed of darkness will be directly opposite the constant speed of light. If the light - it is a vector, it has magnitude and direction, then ... talking about his negative value, we will talk about it backwards. Darkness in this case is the reverse direction, not straight. I would say that the darkness has the opposite negative value of the speed of light. "

Sarah Caudill

PhD from the Center for the study of gravitation, cosmology and astrophysics named Leonard E. Parker of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"The gravitational force of black holes is so strong that even light is not able to avoid it, after falls in the range of its event horizon - the invisible boundaries, creating a point of no return. Since black holes have such strong gravity on the surveillance carried out outside of the strong gravitational field will influence the effect of time dilation. Suppose that the distance from the black hole is an observer who sees the black hole falls a luminous object. From the standpoint of the observer, this luminous object initially slow down your speed and then "go out", becoming so dim that it can not be seen. The observer can not even see how the object will cross the event horizon, the boundary.

If we consider the situation from the point of view of matter falling into the black hole. We now represent a black hole surrounded by a cloud of glowing gas. This cloud formed torn apart a star held too close to this black hole. This gas cloud will be presented in the form of a flattened disk, also called an accretion disk. So, this drive gas will eventually be completely absorbed by the black hole, but this will not happen immediately.

The fact that there is a speed limit, which depends on the radiation pressure forces hot gas, which would resist the action of the internal gravitational force of the black hole. In the final result, as soon as all of the gas is absorbed by the black hole, its size will increase. For example, if you take a black hole, whose initial mass is 10 times greater than the mass of our Sun, and its rate of accretion of mass will reach the maximum limit (the so-called Eddington limit), then after about a billion years the mass of the black hole reaches a mass of 100 million times greater than the mass of our sun. "

David Reitz

What is darkness and what is its speed?

Supervisor Laser Interferometric Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO)

"Basically, everything will depend on whether you are of the matter, which is absorbed by the infinite abyss of the black hole, or you are far enough away from the place of events, and a dispassionate observer of the fall event of someone or something else in this very deep. If you are lucky and you find yourself in the place of the first, it will be a very large speed. Most likely, it would be a performance close to that of light. If you were on the second place and are far enough away from the black hole, the rate at which the matter will be absorbed by the black hole, will seem considerably reduced due to the effect of gravitational time dilation. According to him, the "clock" under the influence of the gravitational field are slower, and under the influence of very strong gravitational fields - even slower, it's fair to just approaching the event horizon of a black hole.

By the phrase "far enough" I mean that you are in your local coordinate system will remain stationary with respect to the black hole (ie, will not it be attracted) and your local system time will not be affected by the gravitational field of the black hole. In this case, a person who is outside the influence of the black hole, it would seem that the object or matter will move to the event horizon of the black hole indefinitely. "

Nyaesh Afshordi

What is darkness and what is its speed?

Astrophysicist Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo, and the Head of Department of Cosmology and Gravitation at the Institute of Theoretical Physics "Perimeter" in Canada

"I think that the rate of" darkness "is infinite! In classical physics, under the overall concept of the cosmos darkness can be considered just an empty void. However, thanks to quantum mechanics, we know that in fact there is no darkness, and there is no empty space. Even if you think that there are no sources of light that we could see, this source can be fluctuations in electromagnetic fields. Even within the gravitational waves that cut the space-time and found LIGO laboratory recently, must be present, these quantum fluctuations. The problem is that the level of gravity in this quantum ripples - endless. In other words, at the moment there is not quite convincing theory of quantum gravity, which could accept the majority of scientists. The right answer to the question may be hiding in the possibility of "darkness" rate, ie quantum ripples reach the infinite value (or become arbitrarily large), particularly on a small scale and for a short time. Of course, this is just a guess, but it seems to me that in this is an effective way to understand the principle and spirit of the Big Bang, black holes, dark energy and quantum gravity. "