speed of light

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speed of light (plural speeds of light) (abbreviated as c)

  1. (physics) The speed of electromagnetic radiation, which in a perfect vacuum is equivalent to 299,792,458 metres per second.
    • 2008, BioWare, Mass Effect, Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →ISBN, →OCLC, PC, scene: FTL Drive: Appearance Codex entry:
      As the subjective speed of light is raised within the field, objects outside will appear to red-shift, eventually becoming visible only to radio telescope antennae.
    • 2011 September 22, Nick Collins, “Speed of light 'broken' by scientists”, in Daily Telegraph[1]:
      The science world was left in shock when workers at the world's largest physics lab announced they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light – a feat that Einstein said was impossible.
  2. (colloquial, figurative) A very rapid speed.
  3. (cellular automata) A rate of travel of a signal equal to one cell per generation, the fastest possible speed in the Moore and von Neumann neighborhoods.
    • 1992 August 14, David I. Bell, “Spaceships in Conway's Life (Part 1)”, in comp.theory.cell-automata[2] (Usenet):
      The translated distance divided by the period is the speed of the spaceship. Since the maximum speed of propagation of a signal in Life is one cell per generation, this speed is known as c (the speed of light). This speed is also the fastest possible growth of any finite object for a finite number of generations (think of a long line of ON cells). However, growth (or even just movement) of a finite object for an infinite time cannot occur at this speed.



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