The Superluminal Velocities of Electromagnetic Radiation
And the Speed of Light in a Vacuum

©2 January 2014

            Electromagnetic radiation that travels at the speed of light in vacuum, c, 299792458 meters per second travels, in fact, above that velocity.
            The proof of this statement rests within today's science literature where it becomes quite obvious and needs no new experimentation. The requirement only now is to compute the maximum velocities per distance traveled by all known electromagnetic radiation waves ---including and especially the speed of light in vacuum.
            In the science literature, the speed of light in vacuum is given as exactly 299,792,458 meters per second.
            However, the 299,792,458 meters/second value is chosen in relation to the abstracted axis of the reference frame in which the electromagnetic wave-particle travels.
The electromagnetic wave-particle actually travels a greater distance than the 299,792,458 straight linear measurement of distance of the reference frame. The greater distance obtains due to the fact that the electromagnetic wave is a sine wave, a sinusoidal wave, which represents a curved spiraling path along the straight-line axis-path measured between the zero to 299792458 meters linear distance of the reference frame's axis.
            The distance traveled by a photon wave-particle is said to be 299792458 meters in one second. This relation is used in fact to define the meter.

distance traveled by a photon wave-partic

Were the photon wave-particle to travel along a straight path without variation this distance, then this would be acceptable as the exact numerical value offered as its definition today.
            All of the textbooks and science writing on this subject illustrate the path of the photon wave-particle to be precisely a sine wave, or senusoidal wave, i.e., a curved line. In fact, the electromagnetic photon wave-particle line of travel is given as two curved lines united as one. One wave line represents the electric field and the second one represents the magnetic field, hence, the concept electromagnetic wave. It is stipulated that these two lines at right angles to one another are materially inseparable. [Drawing not to scale, for illustrative purposes only.]

electromagnetic wave

Now, whether the lines/paths are drawn as a 2-dimensional drawing or as a spiraling 3-dimensional one matters not. In both cases, in order to cover the distance implied by the curved composite line, the photon wave-particle must travel faster than that determined by the straight-line abstracted axis. I say "abstracted" because the light wave-particle does not follow the straight line. The straight axis is only a demarcation for the distance A-B and does not exist in reality. Only the curvilinear path exists.

the photon wave-particle

The so-called speed of light is defined, however, as of the abstracted straight-line axis A-B, the end points of the measured straight line, which represents 299792458 meters. The straight-line axis pertains to the reference frame of the photon path.

straight-line axis

What has been measured to define the meter is the abstracted axis of the reference frame, not the actual path traveled by the photon wave-particle.

abstracted axis
longitudinal axis

In the three previous illustrations it must be noted that the measurements are of the longitudinal axis of the reference frame, and not of the actual curvilinear path of the electromagnetic wave-particle. Numerical values for distance and velocity are thus offered with regard to a straight-line measurement, when what requires knowing is the curvilinear path. The definition of the wavelength as of the concepts of peak-to-peak and trough-to-trough measures do not consider the amplitude, minima|maxima, of the wavelengths actual physical length. Differently structured and sized electromagnetic wave-particle paths may have the same peak-to-peak and/or trough-to-trough wavelength, which is misleading and must be adjusted by considering the maxima|minima distances of the curvilinear path.
The nature of the photon wave-particle curvilinear path has already been discovered and determined by scientists. Its interpretation regarding distance traveled and velocity have been confused with the abstracted axis of the reference frame to which it has been assigned for purposes of measurement.
            Based on these measurements, when it is then stated that light travels at 299792458 meters per second, this statement is inexact. The actual photon wave-particle travels faster and farther in order along its curvilinear path in order to be able to traverse the A-B axial line in one second's time.
It is said that the photon travels on a spiraling, curved path that is longer than the cited straight-linear axis. The photon then necessarily develops a speed greater than the maximum limit currently defined for the velocity of light in vacuum, 299,792,458 meters per second as marked off by the reference frame's longitudinal axis (A-B).
Moreover, the photon does not travel 299792458 meters per second. Rather it travels a much greater distance during that measured second of time. This means that the actual speed of the photon is superluminal as generally defined, i.e., over and above the so-called maximum limit of 299792458 m/s that matter-energy is supposed able to attain.
            In order to run the 299792458-meter dash in one second, the photon, with its curved-linear path must attain speeds and cover distances over and above that figure. The actual curvilinear distance covered by the photon and the actual speed that it attains varies according to the type of sine wave and its corresponding measurements.  Invariably it will be > 299792458 m/s.
            The aforementioned reasoning establishes the superluminal velocity of the photon wave-particle and is confirmed by the extensive science literature in physics, together with all of the diagrams regarding the physical structure of electromagnetic light/radiation waves.

In conclusion, the superluminal velocity attained by the photon wave-particle, as established in this analysis, harbors numerous implications for today's science studies in physics and chemistry.
Foremost, the many definitions based on the supposed maximum limit for matter-energy velocity are inexact and essentially misstated or incorrect. Various corrective tasks regarding the electromagnetic wave radiation spectrum and the actual speed of light in vacuum arise thereof:
1) The value for the supposed limit that matter-energy can reach in terms of maximum velocity must be adjusted to the higher values [superluminal] represented by the distances traveled along the curvilinear path of the electromagnetic waves|particles. The electromagnetic wave radiation spectrum requires its range of velocities and distances to be adjusted. The adjusted values must be computed for the entire electromagnetic radiation spectrum and not limited to the visible light spectrum.
2) The definition of the abstracted axial distance of the Astronomical Unit needs to be adjusted. This obtains especially with regard to the determination of the definition of the light-year and the actual distances and times traveled. The theoretical and practical implications affect the composition, structure, size and age of the Universe. All data and statements concerning the distances traveled by the photon wave-particle in the Universe require said adjustment. The light-year may represent another abstraction of axial distance for measuring the Universe, but it does not reflect the actual distance traveled by a photon wave-particle during the 13.7 billion years postulated as the age of the Universe.
3) The definition of the meter may remain the same as long as it is consciously based on the measurement of one of the reference frame's axes and not on the distance traveled by the photon. Further, it is necessary to understand and explain the new values in relation to units of time measurement.
4) The definition of the second needs to be modified as the understanding of the cycle may undergo modification. Although it is defined as of frequency and not distance, it is still time-related, one second. Instead of the abstracted limited measurement of the wavelength from peak-to-peak and/or trough-to-trough, the measurements of the actual curvilinear paths of the photon wave-particle will produce different numerical values. The lines of force lie along the actual curvilinear path that the photon wave-particle takes and not as of the abstracted spaces in between the composite paths. Peak-to-peak and trough-to-trough are theoretical abstractions of measurements.
5) The scientific explanations offered with regard to the cited definitions [AU, meter, second] need to be modified to take into consideration the different measurements and data sets resulting from the computations based on the actual path of the photon wave-particle radiation, and for all other electromagnetic wave radiation.
6) The definition of the wavelength needs to be based upon the numerical values corresponding to the electromagnetic waves' actual linear lengths of distance traveled and velocities attained by the wave-particle. The current definition is based upon the peak-to-peak, trough-to-trough and axial relationships, which are abstractions of the reference frame's axis itself.
            Scientists in general take pride and strive to attain the highest levels and degrees of precision and exactness in their research. This essay follows along those purposes in science writing.

            The generally accepted statement that the maximum velocity attainable by matter-energy is 299,792,458 meters per second is recognizably incorrect. The maximum speed attained by the electromagnetic waves is said to be that of the light photon, against which all velocities are measured. However, from this analysis it is evident that those speeds of the electromagnetic waves are superluminal in most cases, or at least always greater than the straight-line axis drawn for scientific illustration and measurement in the science literature.
            Obviously, from an analytic point of view, it easier to choose the straight-line measurement of the axis of the reference frame than to compute the actual velocity and distance traveled by the wave-particle. However, that first choice represents a theoretical abstraction, while the second one represents the possibility to be materially exact in the measurement. The straight-line axis of the reference frame, A-B, represents a shorthand method for computing numerical relationships and products of the events under study.
            In conclusion, the photon wave-particle does not travel at the speed of 299,792,458 meters per second for the axial line A-B, but rather at a speed above that cited threshold. The electromagnetic wave-particle [light included] travels the distance and velocity represented by its curvilinear path drawn between points A-B in the previous illustration. Light travels at a faster speed and covers much more ground than the supposed maximum stipulated in the science literature [299792458 m/s].
            It is necessary to know that the electromagnetic wave-particle does not travel at the cited maximum speed of light today precisely in order to derive and know what is the maximum speed of matter-energy in the Universe.
            Hence, a primary conclusion is to know that matter-energy can and does actually travel faster than the currently defined speed of light. Electromagnetic wave-particles, the light photon among them, travel faster than the defined light speed velocity in a vacuum.
            Once the previous recognition is made about distance and velocity for electromagnetic wave-particles, then it becomes necessary to compute the various superluminal speeds of the electromagnetic wave radiation based on their curvilinear paths for the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
The question is how fast does the photon wave-particle have to travel on its curvilinear path in order to cover the 299,792,458 meters per second along the abstracted straight linear path/axis? The answer to this question [which may be an average/mean] will indicate the maximum velocity by matter-energy in the Universe as measured at this time. The current measurement of 299792458 meters per second is deficient in its theoretical and practical application.
            We have yet to know what is the actual velocity of the photon wave-particle or the actual velocities of other electromagnetic radiation wave-particles. I for one am extremely interested in knowing these numerical values [or their mean], as it pertains to my studies of ancient science and artwork.

©2014 Copyrighted. Charles William Johnson. All rights reserved.