Speed of light in a vacuum is the ultimate cosmic speed limit.

time lapse photography of northbound

As Known “c.”to our current understanding of physics, there are a few reasons why it is impossible for us, as ordinary matter, to achieve or exceed this speed.

Firstly as an object approaches the speed of light, its relativistic mass increases, meaning it requires an exponentially increasing amount of energy to continue accelerating. As we approach the speed of light, the energy required to propel an object further also approaches infinity, making it practically unattainable.

Secondly, Einstein’s theory of special relativity suggests that as an object approaches the speed of light, time dilation occurs.

This means that time appears to slow down for the moving object compared to a stationary observer. As we approach the speed of light, time would theoretically come to a standstill, making it impossible for us to “catch up” to the light itself.

Additionally, the concept of massless particles, such as photons (particles of light), traveling at the speed of light also plays a role.

These massless particles do not experience time and possess no rest mass. Therefore, they can achieve the speed of light. However, for objects with mass, as we increase speed, energy is transformed into additional mass, resulting in an apparent increase in mass.

Another factor is that as an object with mass accelerates, its energy and momentum increase.

At speeds close to the speed of light, the required force to continue accelerating becomes enormous, which would require extraordinary amounts of energy.

In summary, due to the increasing amount of energy needed for acceleration, time dilation, the nature of massless particles, and the immense forces involved, it is currently impossible for ordinary matter to travel at or exceed the speed of light.