Dimensional Analysis


The Speed of Light


The speed of light is a universal orfundamental constant.


It's a fundamental constant because itsvalue cannot be explained or derived from other constants. This is different,for example, from the atomic mass of an element that can be derived by addingup the mass of all its fundamental components.


It's a universal constant because it isrelevant for describing phenomena throughout the universe. This is againdifferent from the atomic mass of an element that could provide valuableinsights in the specific outcomes of a chemical reaction. But both the elementand the reaction might only be found in very few places. However, you willencounter the speed of light not only in explanations about light itself, butalso about energy, time, distance, gravity etc.


Because the speed of light is present inthe description of various phenomena, it can also suggest that there existssome underlying unity between them.