I made this mini-animation with 4 scenes; each scene shows a different scenario of how Dr. John Von Foolish sees a ball(or light beam) pass by on Timothy the Train. In the 1st scene, Derek dribbles a basketball. In the 2nd scene, Sally kicks a soccerball in the opposite direction of Timothy’s path. In the 3rd scene, Candy kicks a soccerball in the same direction of Timothy’s path.  In the 4th & final scene, Patience clicks on a flashlight; this scene is unique compared to the other 3! Can you explain why?

Her’s the link to the animation: http://www.blueworldcartoons.com/Relativity.swf P.S.: You’ll need Macromedia Flash Version 6.0 or later to see it.

For physical objects & people, you add the speed of the moving vehicle to the speed of the object or person if he/she/it is moving in the same direction as the vehicle; you subtract the speed of the object or person from the speed of the moving vehicle if he/she/it is moving in the opposite direction as the vehicle. However, if it’s a light beam, no math is necessary since the speed of light is the same for all observers! It doesn’t matter if an object emitted light while it was on a moving vehicle!

The speed of light is considered the cosmic speed limit since no physical object can exceed it. Light travels 300,000 km/s (or about 186,000 mph) and the fastest speed a spaceship can possibly move would be about 99.999% of the speed of light; it can move close to the speed of light but not exactly at the speed of light. 300,000 km/s times .99999 equals 299,997 km/s; 299,997 is less than 300,000 since it’s just a percentage of 300,000.