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Podcast: What Would Happen if I Reached Light Speed?

by Robert Meyers

April 20, 2016

Check out Episode 16 of of Completely Optional Knowledge, the podcast that answers questions you never knew you had. Some things in life are #CompletelyOptional, but why pass up the opportunity to indulge your curiosity.

Completely Optional Knowledge fan Tom Sortodden of Norway wants to know what would happen if he were able to travel at the speed of light.

We called up physicist Shohini Ghose of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Canada, an expert in quantum teleportation. Together, we explore (OK, she she painstakingly explains to us) the implications of Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which tells us that a human body reaching light speed on its own is not possible. Assuming that Tom can climb into an amazing space ship and hit the gas (and not talk about Star Trek), Dr. Ghose says looking out the window would be like being inside a Picasso painting — everything’s distorted. Also, Tom shouldn’t expect to find his dog waiting for him when he gets back.

Prepare to have your mind blown or a few circuits broken.

Beam on up to Completely Optional Knowledge! Find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Soundcloud.

Want more Completely Optional Knowledge? Have a question you’d like to hear answered on the show? Visit us at completelyoptionalknowledge.org! Don’t forget to tune into the conversation on social media using #CompletelyOptional.

By Robert Meyers

Robert Meyers is a senior photo editor at Greenpeace USA.

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