Finitude of Light Speed

finitude-of-lightWhere is the way to the dwelling of light? And darkness, where is its place, that you may take it to its territory, that you may know the paths to its home?” – Job 38: 19 – 20

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1.  The Lord, in talking with Job, speaks of a “way to the dwelling place of light”

  • The term used for “way” is the Hebrew transliteration “derek” meaning a road, path, or direction 1

2.  Job is conveying that light travels on a path – in other words, it goes from one location to the next

  • This is significant from the standpoint of electromagnetism and physics as it is an acknowledgement that light does not have infinite speed
  • And of course, science has demonstrated this to be the case

3.  In the 1670’s, the Danish astronomer Ole Romer uses data from the eclipses of Jupiter’s moons to get the first reasonable value for the speed of Light

  • Up until this time, many scientists believed the speed of Light was Infinite
  • Though he underestimated light’s speed by roughly 26%, science had definitive proof of the Finitude (i.e., non-instantaneous) of the speed of Light 2

4.  In the 1850’s, two French physicists Hippolyte Fizeau and Léon Foucault demonstrated that Light traveled slower through denser media

  • This is done primarily with water experiments and Light
  • The experiments with a water medium further propel the idea of Light as Wave
  • Their efforts went a long way in establishing the speed of light (within a vacuum) 3

5.  Experiments have taken place throughout the 20th Century to more accurately define the speed of Light

  • Speed of Light is roughly 186,282.397 miles per second 4