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Speed of light may have changed recently
New Scientist ^ | 6/30/04 | Eugenie Samuel Reich

Posted on 06/30/2004 1:35:28 PM PDT by NukeMan

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To: El Gato
Hardly, that is the nature of science. New observations contradict old theories and lead, eventually, to new ones. The important thing is the observations.

Should have used one of my remaining </sarcasm> stickers. The people claiming that science is wrong about this and that are all over the map, seriously contradicting each other. They can hardly all be right at once.

101 posted on 06/30/2004 2:28:43 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: PatrickHenry
Dude, that's my line. You're screwing up the script!
102 posted on 06/30/2004 2:29:22 PM PDT by Shryke (Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.)
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To: Rockitz
Oh crap! Now I'm going to have to readjust the warp drive on my Toyota. There goes my holiday weekend.

See? That's what happens when you don't get that extended warrentee

103 posted on 06/30/2004 2:30:05 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter & a sense that the world was mad.")
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To: Shryke
It's also a known fact that I win the debate when you misspell "loser",

There is Webster's and there is FR. You loosers are setting off the beeber.

104 posted on 06/30/2004 2:31:05 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: El Gato
The observations that suggested this assumption were the Michelson-Morely eperiments that attempted to deduce the "true" motion of the earth through the "ether" by measuring differences in the speed of light in different directions. No difference was found.

Right. But I recall reading that Einstein said he probably wasn't aware of the MM experiment at the time he wrote his 1905 paper. It was Maxwell's work that got him going. Something about the results being the same regardless of the motion of the apparatus. I'm working off of an old memory, so I may have it wrong.

105 posted on 06/30/2004 2:33:48 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: PatrickHenry
this placemarker varies 4.5 parts in 108
106 posted on 06/30/2004 2:34:23 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: NukeMan
Can we use this article as proof that the cop's Laser speedtrap was inaccurrate, and therefore unreliable?
107 posted on 06/30/2004 2:34:26 PM PDT by Itzlzha (The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote!)
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To: RightWhale
You loosers are setting off the beeber.

I read the thread - so classic. I am still snickering.

108 posted on 06/30/2004 2:35:19 PM PDT by Shryke (Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.)
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To: El Gato
New observations contradict old theories and lead, eventually, to new ones. The important thing is the observations.

Theory is the attempt to transcend phenomena. Something is gained: the ability to make part of the world your bitch. The unexplained and uncontrollable part goes dark but may someday bite you in the butt.

109 posted on 06/30/2004 2:35:57 PM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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To: null and void
No Year 0. It'd be 6007 years.

Loser ;^)>

110 posted on 06/30/2004 2:36:45 PM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: mikrofon

I'll bet you'd Rather not.


111 posted on 06/30/2004 2:37:13 PM PDT by COUNTrecount
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To: mikrofon


"We could do the same thing with our cars if it wasn't for Big Oil..."

112 posted on 06/30/2004 2:42:28 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter & a sense that the world was mad.")
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Theory is the attempt to transcend phenomena. Something is gained: the ability to make part of the world your bitch

Engineers do that all the time, often with little or no theory, just observations, (and gut instinct) to guide them. Or they used to anyway. I'm more of an "apply the theory" guy myself, but I'm not slavish about it.

113 posted on 06/30/2004 2:43:17 PM PDT by El Gato (Federal Judges can twist the Constitution into anything.. Or so they think.)
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To: martin_fierro
"Posted AT THE EXACT SAME TIME! (Quantum mechanics at work!)"

Now that creates a dilemma. How can two objects occupy the same space at the same time? There must have been a collision, but I didn't hear the sirens.

114 posted on 06/30/2004 2:44:17 PM PDT by Eastbound
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To: longshadow

I stared pretty hard at that "4.5 parts in 108" in the article before realizing it was just the familiar effect of pasting HTML with superscripts. I would not have expected an over 4 percent decrease in the speed of light to be described as a "very small change."


115 posted on 06/30/2004 2:45:48 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Dahoser

LOL that was good , the things we dads think about...


116 posted on 06/30/2004 2:45:56 PM PDT by highpockets
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To: VadeRetro
If you read down in the article the lower alpha means a faster speed of light. In other words cdk. This has been coming from a gathering and diverse group for over a decade now.

There are a couple of guys over at Berkley and a Russian Physics dude...etc. This is just one more added to the list. It'll still probably take another 10-20 years before all the empirical evidence has enough weight to make it mainstream. But cdk seems to be the gathering momentum ,(for the moment,) as the most promising solution in the quest for the mythical universal constant.

117 posted on 06/30/2004 2:48:44 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: mrs tiggywinkle

ping


118 posted on 06/30/2004 2:52:13 PM PDT by Fidgit
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To: D Rider
OOPs!

I misread it. This seems to say that c is increasing. This seems to be going against the trend. As well as empirical evidence, such as the decay of the cesmium atom as compared to orbital time. Oh well, we'll have to wait and see. For now, I am going to leave my watch set as it is.

119 posted on 06/30/2004 2:53:46 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: NukeMan

global speeding?

(s)Bush's fault(/s)


120 posted on 06/30/2004 2:56:29 PM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: All

Dark matter did it - not Bush!


121 posted on 06/30/2004 2:57:47 PM PDT by jamaksin
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To: NukeMan

Setterfield Hypothesis says SOL is SLOWING

http://www.ldolphin.org/setterfield/simplified.html


122 posted on 06/30/2004 2:59:29 PM PDT by keithtoo
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To: NukeMan
"And in March, Flambaum claimed that the ratio of different elements left over from just after the big bang suggests that alpha(s) must have been different then compared with its value today (Physical Review D, vol 69, p 063506)."

Of course, there's that other conclusion...that the Big Bang Theory is simply wrong.

Oh no, lets pretend that the speed of Light is changing rather than throw out our precious Big Bang Theory!

< /SARCASM >

123 posted on 06/30/2004 3:03:53 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: D Rider
You're forgetting what CDK claims. CDK says light was 11 million times FASTER than now, 6000 years ago.

The article says light was slower and alpha was higher by a factor of 4.5 parts in 108, 2 billion years ago. Wrong magnitude, wrong timescale, wrong sign.

124 posted on 06/30/2004 3:07:07 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: <1/1,000,000th%; NukeMan; El Gato; Freesofar; Lijahsbubbe
And didn't Einstein originally just assume the speed of light as a constant?

Here's an explanation, take it or leave it as you will.

Two scientists named Michaelson and Morley conducted an experiment to measure the speed of the earth through the 'ether' - a material characteristic to space assumed to exist. After all, 'when light waves, what waves?' In other words, what propogates light through what appears to be a vacuum? The theory said there was something called ether that existed even in a vacuum.

In their experiment, they set up a right-angled apparatus, one leg of which was aligned with the direction of the earth's motion around the sun, and the other perpendicular to it. By measuring the difference in the time it took a light pulse to travel both legs, you could get a measure of the speed of the earth through the ether which is what 'waved' when a light wave went by (since the ether would drag the light along with it).

They didn't find any difference. A host of other similar experiments showed that, regardless of the circumstances, the speed of light (in a vacuum) was always the same to the limits of accuracy of the measurement.

So, Einstein didn't 'assume' the speed of light was constant. That's what the data showed.

Two other guys names Lorentz and Fitsgerald developed a relationship that quantified how much things at very high speed behaved differently than those at normal speeds. This 'Lorentz-Fitgerald contraction' was SQRT(1 - V**2/C**2).

Einstein came along and in his 'Special' theory of relativity showed that the speed of light as measured by an observer is constant regardless of his own velocity if the rate of time passes differently for the observer based on his velocity, using the Lorentz-Fitsgeral contraction to quantify the amount of change in perceived rate of time passage.

Then Einstein extended from the 'Special Theory Relativity' to the 'General Theory of Relativity' by devloping a mathematical expression for the curvature of the universe which related linear dimensions to time, with the units worked out by combining t (time) with c (speed of light). The mathematical expression is called a 'tensor', and it's as good an example of how you can't 'speak' real science without mathematics as I've ever bumped my head up against.

One good thing about the General Theory of Relativity is that it provided an explanation for gravity. It was always a challenge to conventional physics to explain action at at distance without an interaction phenomenon. How does the earth know the sun is over there pulling on us? And how does the sun manage to grab the earth and yank it around without a string between the two? The curvature of space described by solving the Einstein tensor for local conditions offers the prediction that the earth is following an equal-value (in the tensor) line around the sun even as it changes direction. In other words, the earth goes 'straight', but 'straight' is not straight in the Euclidean sense. Instead, the 'straight' travel of a body in motion is actually to follow an equipotential line in the Einstein tensor value for space.

The other good thing about the General Theory (okay, there are lots of them, but this is already a long note) is that it predicts that light itself obeys gravity, despite having no rest mass for the conventional Newtonian model to act upon. This is provable by lots of experimental data, so the General Theory gained a lot of credibility.

Now, to wrap it up, if the speed of light is not a constant, then the Einstein tensor doesn't provide a solution to the motion of bodies in space-time. There's another variable that makes it impossible to solve. There is an awful lot of observable data that would need another explanation. (Obviously, if the speed of light is almost a constant, then the Einstein tensor is almost right, and still very useful for lots of situations.)

I don't know if this data on the natural nuclear reactor proves the speed of light is variable or not, but there are lots of challenges with a totally constant, for all time, speed of light, too (as mentioned in the article), so it'll be interesting to see what happens.
125 posted on 06/30/2004 3:07:26 PM PDT by Gorjus
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To: jamaksin
"Dark matter did it - not Bush!"

Heh heh. Yer right. The unseen forces of evil seeping in through the ruptured bladder of the universe. Bush knew, but it was too late to vulcanize the hole. It was Slick Willie's fault.

126 posted on 06/30/2004 3:09:01 PM PDT by Eastbound
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To: Doctor Stochastic

My chart of the nucleotides has a section on that reactor. :-)


127 posted on 06/30/2004 3:11:04 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: Thud

ping


128 posted on 06/30/2004 3:13:13 PM PDT by Dark Wing
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To: COUNTrecount
Try this Experiment (not recommended for high school students)

Completely fill the top shelf of the refrigerator with beer.

Open the door and note how long it takes to see the front cans.

Start removing the cans one-by-one until there is just a few left in the back.

Note how long it now takes to focus on the cans in the back.

Multiply the number of missing cans by the number of days (in seconds) that you are going to miss work because of the hangover.

The result is the speed of Miller Lite.

129 posted on 06/30/2004 3:20:13 PM PDT by OSHA (Note to Self: They always suspect the husband first.)
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To: nuconvert

why dark?


130 posted on 06/30/2004 3:23:11 PM PDT by myword
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To: NukeMan
Speed of light may have changed recently

The speed of light, one of the most sacrosanct of the universal physical constants, may have been lower as recently as two billion years ago

I never considered 2 billion years as recent.

131 posted on 06/30/2004 3:25:46 PM PDT by AndrewC (I am a Bertrand Russell agnostic, even an atheist.</sarcasm>)
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To: farmfriend; blam

ping


132 posted on 06/30/2004 3:37:53 PM PDT by Thud
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To: VadeRetro
You're forgetting what CDK claims. CDK says light was 11 million times FASTER than now, 6000 years ago.

That's only one of the cdk theories out there. There is a much more diverse group looking that direction than 10 years ago. And from other angles.

133 posted on 06/30/2004 3:39:18 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: NukeMan

It's ok. Just wait until light gets it's second wind. Then you will really see something!!!!


134 posted on 06/30/2004 3:55:09 PM PDT by mcspur
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135 posted on 06/30/2004 4:08:20 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Don't shoot. It's Darksheare's Fault.)
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To: VadeRetro

"The important thing is that science has changed its story again, thus proving right all the people who say science is wrong."

What? That's just silly. The speed of light has always been variable, depending on the medium through which it travels. If that were not so, there would be no rainbows.

Perhaps you should take a moment or two and review your freshman physics book.


136 posted on 06/30/2004 4:49:03 PM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: Junior

Who asked you?

;^P


137 posted on 06/30/2004 4:49:36 PM PDT by null and void (The light pours out of me/It jerks out of me/Like blood/In this still life/Heart beats up love)
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To: null and void

"Looser!
"

Looser! Got dictionary? Loose what?


138 posted on 06/30/2004 4:51:13 PM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: VadeRetro
Wrong magnitude, wrong timescale, wrong sign.

Yeah, but other than that, a damm fine argument...

139 posted on 06/30/2004 4:52:23 PM PDT by null and void (The light pours out of me/It jerks out of me/Like blood/In this still life/Heart beats up love)
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To: D Rider
That's only one of the cdk theories out there.

CDK refers to the decay of "c." It cannot do what it set out to do with a speed of light that used to be slower and is speeding up. You see, what it set out to do is explain why we "think" we see objects millions or billions of years old. (They are apparently millions, even billions of light-years away. There would not have been time in a young universe for light from them to reach us in any manner unless light used to be much, much faster and not long ago.) If light had slowed down dramatically very recently, that should help cram quasars into a 6000 year old universe. If light is speeding up, the problem only gets worse.

Again, if light-speed is really changing, according to this study it has speeded up a tiny fraction in 2 billion years.

140 posted on 06/30/2004 5:12:53 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: MineralMan
What? That's just silly. The speed of light has always been variable, depending on the medium through which it travels. If that were not so, there would be no rainbows.

The argument is of course about the speed of light in a vacuum. I assume you forgot your own </sarcasm>.

141 posted on 06/30/2004 5:16:02 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: null and void
Yeah, but other than that, a damm fine argument...

The "wrong sign" part is crushing. He should have been a Capricorn.

142 posted on 06/30/2004 5:19:42 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Gorjus
"The other good thing about the General Theory (okay, there are lots of them, but this is already a long note) is that it predicts that light itself obeys gravity, despite having no rest mass for the conventional Newtonian model to act upon. This is provable by lots of experimental data, so the General Theory gained a lot of credibility."

No, no, and no.

Experiments in the last decade have managed to slow light down, in some cases to as little as ten miles per hour...but the light at those slower speeds isn't bent by Gravity.

At all.

143 posted on 06/30/2004 5:21:52 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: RightWhale
The speed of light and the color of light are related. If the speed of light has increased, would the old light from galaxies long ago and far away appear to be redshifted?

I actually sat down to do some calculations trying to figure that out assuming that light had changed speeds over history, i.e., c = c(t). I got up after my head started hurting. Ever since I went to an astronomy lecture about the red shift as a child, I have wondered whether there was another explanation for it and maybe this is it.

144 posted on 06/30/2004 5:22:04 PM PDT by Rockitz (After all these years, it's still rocket science.)
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To: VadeRetro

"The argument is of course about the speed of light in a vacuum. I assume you forgot your own </sarcasm>."

There is no vacuum. Not anywhere in the physical universe. Did you not learn that in your freshman physics class? An absolute vacuum is just a theoretical concept, which does not exist in nature.

Therefore, it is impossible to actually measure the speed of light in a vacuum, since no such vacuum exists. It stands to reason that estimations of the speed of light, in such a theoretical vacuum, might vary.

This article is silly, and misunderstand that science readjusts its constants, based on new information.

Do you really believe that the speed of light in a vaccum is actually known, down to the last decimal point? It is not, since no measurement can be taken in a medium that does not exist.

That said, the article misrepresents the actual findings, in my opinion. That's the trouble with popular science information.

Has the speed of light changed, or has the estimation of it changed?

I do not take this source as a scientific publication, any more than I take the National Enquirer as a news publication.


145 posted on 06/30/2004 5:22:15 PM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: NukeMan

I remember telling my wife a few months ago that our flashlights seemed faster.


146 posted on 06/30/2004 5:24:26 PM PDT by O.C. - Old Cracker (When the cracker gets old, you wind up with Old Cracker. - O.C.)
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To: Rockitz

I have always thought there was another explanation. Makes my head hurt, too.


147 posted on 06/30/2004 5:29:29 PM PDT by RightWhale (Destroy the dark; restore the light)
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To: MineralMan
Did you not learn that in your freshman physics class?

Not really. I had Chem, not Physics, in my freshman year back in 1967. I'm not sure they would have mentioned it in a 101 course then, anyway.

More importantly, changes in the dreaded Zero Point Energy, the quantum particle foam which exists in the absence of any "real" particles, are assumed to go with any change in c. The CDK-ers (Setterfield et al.) assume the vacuum used to be emptier when they say light was zipping around much faster. I'm sure this corresponds in some way to a fine-structure constant (alpha) being lower, except that from this study it seems to have been higher and light slower. Again, that's "if the find holds up."

148 posted on 06/30/2004 5:31:27 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Southack
Experiments in the last decade have managed to slow light down, in some cases to as little as ten miles per hour...but the light at those slower speeds isn't bent by Gravity.

You'll have to provide a source for that before I'll buy it.

Here's a source for mine, just to be fair. Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689 Warps Space

By the way, I'll want that to be a credible source.
149 posted on 06/30/2004 5:45:57 PM PDT by Gorjus
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To: DallasMike; GrandEagle

Unknown Stuff Bump


150 posted on 06/30/2004 5:54:29 PM PDT by DannyTN
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