The Extraordinary Properties of Light

051101Like many things that are always present in life, we take light for granted.  But scientists have discovered it has many extraordinary properties.

It was not until the 20th century that the real nature of light was revealed.  Albert Einstein proved that nothing can exceed the speed of light. Light establishes the speed limit for the entire universe.  It’s speed is the one constant in the universe we can rely on.

Out of Einstein’s equations came the startling result that time slows as speed increases, and that at the speed of light time stops. So every day we are surrounded by light which never ages.  Light is outside of time.

But the nature of light is a paradox, because it behaves as both a wave and a particle.  The smallest packets of light are called photons.  A 100 watt light bulb emits 200 million trillion photons every second.  About a trillion photons of light from the sun fall on every pin head sized area of the earth every second, as the light from the sun is delivered to us in tiny little energy packets.

Because time stops at the speed of light a photon shot out from the sun a thousand years ago will never get old.  At the speed of light the time of all events becomes compressed into an unending now.

So next time when you wake up to see the light dispel the darkness, be grateful that it will never be overcome by the darkness.