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What would you see if you could travel at the speed of light? © Getty Images

What would you see if you could travel at the speed of light?

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Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity was born from this very question, and the answer is as weird as you'd expect.

Asked by: Pete Groves, London


That's what Einstein asked himself as a schoolboy and it led him to his famous Special Theory of Relativity. Its equations show that objects look increasingly distorted as the speed of travel increases, with the view ahead becoming progressively brighter. Then truly bizarre effects start to kick in, with objects far ahead apparently moving further away, while those behind come into view.

Eventually, at lightspeed there's nothing but a dazzingly bright spot of light surrounded by complete blackness. Weird!

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Robert is a science writer and visiting professor of science at Aston University.


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