The speed of light in a vaccuum is presently defined to be exactly 299,792,458 metres per second: In other words -pretty f^%$ing fast! The property of light that led to Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is that it can NEVER go faster than itself. In a vacuum, light will always travel at a constant speed, even between particles of a substance through which it is shining. If you have a spacecraft travelling at 99% of the speed of light and it flashes a light beam ahead of it, the light isn't now going at almost twice as fast-it is still travelling at 299,792,458 metres per second.
However, even though you can't make light go any faster than its fixed speed you can bring it to a total standstill! Two independent teams of physicists have been able to bring light to a total stop by passing it through a strange state of matter called a Bose-Einstein Condensate of the element rubidium.
Some theories as to the physical and metaphysical nature of light follow: In 5th and 6th century BC India, the Hindu schools of Samkhya and Vaisheshika began to develop theories about light. According to the Samkhya school, light is one of the five "subtle" elements (tanmatra) from which emerge the "gross" elements. The atomicity of these elements is not specifically mentioned and it appears that they were actually taken to be contiguous.
The Vaisheshika school posits an atomic theory of the physical world on the non-atomic ground of ether, space and time. The basic atoms of those of earth (prthivi), water (pani), fire (agni), and air (vayu), that should not be confused with the ordinary meaning of these terms. These atoms are taken to form binary molecules that combine further to form larger molecules. Motion is defined in terms of the movement of the physical atoms and it appears that it is taken to be non-instantaneous. Light rays are taken to be a stream of high velocity tejas (fire) atoms. The particles of light can exhibit different characteristics depending on the speed and that arrangement of the tejas atoms. Around the first century BC, the Vishnu Purana refers to sunlight as "the seven rays of the sun."
Indian Buddhists such as the Dignaga in the 5th century and the Dharakirti in the 7th century, developed a type of atomism that is a philosophy about reality being composed of atomic entities that are momentary flashes of light or energy. They viewed light as being an atomic entity equivalent to energy, similar to the modern concept of photons. Well ahead of their time, they saw all matter as being composed of these light energy particles. The Rigveda posits that light consists of three primary colors: "Mixing the three colors, ye have produced all the objects of sight!"
I hope to be back soon with more. I am kind of stumbling in the "dark" with how to proceed with this series-but when I feel that I am finally totally flummoxed, a great comment or link from one of my readers/blogfriends "lights" my way! To my straight men and lesbian readers-sorry about all the beefcake lately- I am quite sexually frustrated right now- so please bear/bare with me-my uhh SortofSO/FB is in Europe right now acting as an escort for a very wealthy man until about the first of August-so it might be "Hunkalicious" at MFM for awhile! Until meeting him in April, I had no idea how incredibly creative and life- sustaining the act of intimacy could be. When we touch, I feel as if a supernovae's worth of "electric light" is going through my body and soul. He has also earned a place in my memory banks with the rather memorable (to me anyway) statement "Devin, not all private jets are luxurious, some are real clunkers!" Heavens forbid any man who has touched my soul to fly on a "clunker" of a private jet! With much love to anyone stopping by, Devin AKA Vayu (will explain the "vayu" soon).The gentleman above is the stunning Nick Ayler. Lordy- what perfection! The gentleman for the "Keter" article is the Awesomely Astounding Anton Antipov. Anton and Nick remind me that God not only doesn't "play dice" but also allows a heavenly- sublime -ethereal- profound-beauty to echo through some of His MenCreatures!