Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the timelessness of photons

By Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, March 14, 2013 19:03 EDT
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Neil deGrasse Tyson via YouTube screengrab
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In video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson explained why particles of light called photons existed outside of time.

You should know that if you study [The Theory of Relativity] that as you increase your speed, time ticks more slowly for you than it does for anyone who is watching you,” he said on StarTalk Radio. “This is the relativity of time. This is well known. We have measured this. It is not just your clock that is clicking slower, your metabolism is unfolding more slowly, your brain synapses are firing more slowly, everything about you is slowing down.”

Once you reached the speed of light, Tyson explained, time itself stopped.

“Photons, which is the carrier of light, exists at the speed of light. It doesn’t accelerate from zero to speed of light in 3.4 seconds. It exists at the speed of light, and because of it exists at the speed of light, any watch that it is carrying never ticks, which means if you are the photon… you will slam into whatever you are destined to hit, as far as you are concerned, instantaneously.”

Co-host Chuck Nice lamented that he didn’t have any marijuana on him, since Tyson had just blown his mind.

“Some people would have requested it in advance,” Tyson shot back.

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:

Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan
Eric W. Dolan has served as an editor for Raw Story since August 2010, and is based out of Sacramento, California. He grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and received a Bachelor of Science from Bradley University. Eric is also the publisher and editor of PsyPost. You can follow him on Twitter @ewdolan.
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