Although we might not always realize it, vacuum plays a role in countless aspects of our everyday lives. In this series, we take a closer look at just how much we rely on vacuum, from the way we breathe to our bicycle helmets to life-saving medical procedures.
What exactly is the speed of light? According to Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, the speed of light is currently measured at 186,282 miles per second. While this precise speed is known, how did scientists actually reach this number? The Scientific American explains that this speed of light measurement is actually measured within a vacuum and is attributed as “c” in a vast range of formulas, such as Einstein’s famous E=mc2.
“The speed of light is measured at 186,282 miles per second.”
Scientists established this precise figure by defining the number itself. What this means is, they use science’s preset definition of what constitutes a second and then they can define the meter, which is the length of the journey light travels inside a vacuum during a timeframe of 1/299,792,458 of that second, according to Forbes. Essentially, without vacuum technology, society would not be able to know what the speed of light is, as science does not currently have an external definition of what a meter is outside of a vacuum.
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