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Speed Limit in the Universe
Is there a limit to how fast an object can move on Earth or anywhere else in our universe? To answer this question, we shall use the relativistic momentum equation. According to this equation, if a particle or object with mass m moves at a velocity that is greater than the speed of light, then the denominator of the equation becomes an imaginary number. Since imaginary numbers do not actually exist in the real world, we can conclude that an object cannot travel with a velocity that is greater than the speed of light. But can an object move at the speed of light? Once again, if we use the relativistic momentum equation and set the velocity equal to the speed of light in a vacuum, we see that the denominator goes to zero and the momentum becomes infinitely large. Since an infinitely large momentum can only be obtained by inputting an infinitely large amount of energy, we know that is is an impossibility and therefore objects that have mass cannot travel at the speed of light. Therefore, although subatomic particles can travel at velocities close to the speed of light, they cannot really reach the speed of light.