• Details
  • Transcript
  • Audio
  • Downloads
  • Extra Reading

The speed of light has fundamental significance. 

This talk will explain how the speed of light was first measured, and how an obscure but brilliant patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland by the name of Albert Einstein deduced that the speed of light is the upper speed limit for everything in the Universe. 

Interesting effects occur when particles are accelerated and achieve speeds close to that of light; these unusual phenomena take place not only in particle accelerators here on Earth but out in space that we can observe using our telescopes. It is even possible for things to be measured as travelling faster than the speed of light and the lecture will explain how that is permissible and understandable in an Einsteinian worldview.

Download Transcript

Part of:

This event was on Wed, 02 Oct 2019

Professor Katherine Blundell OBE

Professor Katherine Blundell OBE

Professor of Astronomy

Katherine was appointed Gresham Professor of Astronomy in 2019. She is a Professor of Astrophysics at Oxford University and a Research Fellow at St John's College.

Find out more

Support Gresham

Gresham College has offered an outstanding education to the public free of charge for over 400 years. Today, Gresham plays an important role in fostering a love of learning and a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Your donation will help to widen our reach and to broaden our audience, allowing more people to benefit from a high-quality education from some of the brightest minds.