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There was a young lady named Bright
Who travelled much faster than light.
She set out one day
In a relative way,
And came back the previous night. Anonymous, attributed to Arthur Buller
Light from a moving object travels at the same speed no matter whether the object is at rest or in motion. Thou shalt not add my speed to the speed of light. Also, no material object can travel at or beyond the speed of light. Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan, Cosmos: Journeys in Space and Time, PBS 1980
Nature and Nature’s laws lay hid in night:
God said, ‘Let Newton be.’ And all was light. Alexander Pope
To seek the light of truth while truth the while
Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look.
Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile. William Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost I i 75-78
He [Newton] wondered what light might be made of and wanted to know how vision worked. Genius of Britain: The Scientists Who Changed the World, Channel 4 2012
James Clark Maxwell, a Victorian scientist who was fascinated by light. Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design: The Key to the Cosmos, Discovery 2012
Light is an electromagnetic wave too. ibid.
There’s a cosmic speed limit. 186,000 miles per second. Also known as the speed of light. Nothing can exceed that speed. Stephen Hawking’s Universe: Into the Universe: Time Travel: Is Time Travel Possible? BBC 1997
He was complex and contradictory. A brilliant inventor and a bumbling businessman ... An extraordinary men who revolutionised modern living: Thomas Edison. Horizon: The Wizard Who Spat on the Floor, BBC 1972
Edison foresaw an age when his inventions would be mass produced. ibid.
In 1875 for example he discovered a previously unknown electrical phenomenon which he called Etheric Force. He stumbled across it accidentally ... Edison had discovered the foundations of wireless electricity. ibid.
Edison tried a great variety of substances against the membrane of the transmitter. Drops of water. Sponge. Paper. Felt. Some two thousand chemicals ... He scraped off the carbon, pressed it into a little cake and he tried it. It proved to be the perfect transmitter of electricity impulses to the membrane. ibid.
The transmitter was a microphone as we know it today ... The wizard’s most spectacular trick was yet to come. Those are the first sounds ever recorded. The phonograph. ibid.
There must indeed be some relation between the colour of an object and the amount of long, middle or short-wave light it reflects. Horizon: Colourful Notions, BBC 1985
The photons arrive at the slits one at a time. So those that get through the screen on the other side should make two bright lines. They shouldn’t interfere and make the full pattern of stripes, but they do. Horizon: The Time Lords, BBC 1996
He said that light could also be thought of as individual particles. His discovery that light was not only a wave but also tiny individual particles revolutionised the whole of Physics. And it would give birth to Einstein’s demon. Horizon: Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony, BBC 2005
Black holes are the most terrifying places in the universe. Created when a giant star dies, at their hearts is a point of infinite gravity so powerful nothing can escape it, not even light. (Black Hole & Star & Gravity & Light) Horizon: What is Reality? BBC 2011
Single photons ... What you get is something completely different: even though only single photons of light are being fired through the slits they don’t create two lines, they mysteriously create three. ibid.
If you put detectors by the slits, the mysterious behaviour stops. The photons behave just like bullets. Take the detectors away – the multiple stripes mysteriously re-appear. So what is going on? Rather astonishingly it seems we can change the way reality behaves just by looking at it. But this means reality has a secret life of its own. ibid.
According to this theory the photon of light faces two slits; it doesn’t split in two – it splits the world in two. Every photon in the double slit experiment creates a new parallel world. ibid.
It’s called the Observable Universe. We can only map what’s inside ... The light hasn’t had time to reach us yet. Horizon: How Big is the Universe? BBC 2012
The Doppler Shift also applies to light: by measuring changes in the wavelength of light emitted from galaxies Hubble was able to figure out that galaxies were flying away from each other. And receding galaxies could mean only one thing – the universe was expanding. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Lost Horizons: Big Bang, BBC 2008
Abu al-Haytham combined the two Greek ideas and defined our modern understanding of light and vision ... his Book of Optics. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Science & Islam: The Empire of Reason, BBC 2009
So how does light move through empty space? ... It would take the genius of Einstein in 1905 to reveal that this picture of light doesn’t need an ether. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Everything & Nothing: Nothing, BBC 2011
For much of human history, when the sun went down and the dark set in, we were at the mercy of the night. Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Light and Dark, BBC 2013
Light and dark is essentially the story of everything we know and everything we don’t know about our universe. ibid.
For centuries understanding what light really is has been one of science’s most enduring questions. ibid.
Euclid had discovered that light travels in straight lines. ibid.
Galileo went on to develop a more powerful telescope. And with it use the ability to bend light to change our perspective on the cosmos. ibid.
Through his telescope Galileo had seen evidence that overturned the accepted dogma that the earth was the fulcrum about which everything in the universe evolved. ibid.
Robert Hooke had taken the basic principle of the telescope and used it to build a microscope. ibid.
It travels at a finite speed. ibid.
Light behaves like a wave. But if it is a wave, what is it a wave in? ibid.
James Clerk Maxwell would become one of the leading lights of nineteenth century Physics. His work on electricity and magnetism was one of the great achievements of the age. ibid.
This is the wave equation ... the speed the wave is travelling. ibid.
300,000 kilometres per second: the speed of light ... an electromagnetic wave. ibid.
The vast majority of the cosmos can't be seen at all. ibid.
More than 99% of the universe lies concealed in the shadows. ibid.
If the Speed of Light never changes, then Time and Space have to. Extreme Universe: Speeding Through Space, National Geographic 2010
A light-year is about six trillion miles. ibid.
Nothing is faster than light. But even it takes billions of years to travel across the cosmic expanse. ibid.
But what if we could harness that same process of fusion of light? Extreme Universe: Explosive Force
Gamma Rays are the most powerful form of light known in the universe. The Universe s2e9: Supernovas, History 2008
Supernovas and the gamma ray bursts associated with them are the brightest beacons in the universe. ibid.