Light Speed! is an OpenGL-based program developed to illustrate the effects of special relativity on the appearance of moving objects. When an object accelerates to more than a few million meters per second, it begins to appear warped and discolored in strange and unusual ways, and as it approaches the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s) the effects become more and more bizarre. In addition, the manner in which the object is distorted varies drastically with the viewpoint from which it is observed.
These effects which come into play at relativistic velocities are:
- The Lorentz contraction - causes the object to appear shorter
- The Doppler red/blue shift - alters the hues of color observed
- The headlight effect - brightens or darkens the object
- Optical aberration - deforms the object in unusual ways
(The screen shots are here!)
To run Light Speed!, you will need:
- A Unix/Linux workstation running the X Window System
- A fast CPU (then again, what today doesn't require one? :-)
- OpenGL or Mesa3D libraries
Light Speed! also requires the GTK+ toolkit library. (Binaries with this library compiled in statically will be made available in the future)
- Lightspeed is an OpenGL program that shows what an object would look like as it travels closer and closer to the speed of light
- Lightspeed on Your Desktop | Linux Journal
- Lightspeed download linux - Google Search
- Light Speed!