Mechanics / Electrodynamics
September 25, 2023
For many years, there have been several attempts with various techniques to measure the speed of light, c. Several factors have contributed to challenges, most of which is the magnitude of the speed, currently set at 299,792,458 m/s. It is not the purpose of this paper to describe all these methods. The interested reader can readily find much information online. Not only is it difficult to measure c due to its high value. This process is further compounded by the typical assumption that the speed of light is constant. Then there is the question of legitimacy that emerges from measuring the speed of light, and that is whether or not one can reliably assume the most recent time unit measured at a time prior to a new c measurement is sufficient. Would there be systematic errors introduced by assumptions associated with recent, but not actually the current, distance and time standards? It is my intent to elevate the question of effects of a dynamic c on the measurement process and thereby focus only on how the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) currently regulates these measurements.