Monday, June 28, 2010

Speed of light paradox

Just a simple question that probably has an answer I won't understand, but I am going to try and ask it anyway...

If speed is relative, then how is there supposed to be a universal speed limit? For example:

Two spaceships leave Earth.
One accelerates up to a high speed (doesn't matter what it is) relative to Earth.
The other spaceship is flying beside it matching its speed.

Now, let's say we forgot about Earth (cause it's so far behind us now) and all we have are the two spaceships and no other reference point. Wouldn't we just be back at where we started? The spaceships would have no speed relative to each other.

What's the point if speed is relative? Is it just impossible to go the speed of light relative to something and pass that something close by? Or is it just impossible to go the speed of light in relation to anything no matter how far away it is from you?