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"OH WATERS, TEEM WITH MEDICINE TO KEEP MY BODY SAFE FROM HARM, SO THAT I MAY LONG SEE THE SUN." - Rig Veda
When resolving why electrons can never beat the speed limit set by light, it might be best to forget about time. Thanks to insight from studying movement inside a biological cell, it seems that light itself -- not the relativity of time -- may be the traffic cop, according to a Cornell biologist.
Any space with a temperature above absolute zero consists of photons. As a result of the Doppler effect, the moving electron experiences the photons crashing into the front of it as being blue-shifted, and the photons colliding with the back of it as being red-shifted. Since blue-shifted photons exert more momentum than red-shifted photons, the photons themselves exert a counterforce on the moving electron, just as the cytoplasm in a cell exerts a viscous force on the moving organelles. The viscous force that arises from the Doppler-shifted photons prevents electrons from exceeding the speed of light, according to Randy Wayne, associate professor of plant biology.