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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: Gorjus
LIGHT NORMALLY moves through a vacuum at about 186,000 miles per second. Nothing in the universe moves faster, and Albert Einstein theorized that nothing ever could. (Click here for some caveats.)
       However, light waves can slow down as they pass through a medium. Last year, a research team at the Rowland Institute for Science and Harvard University, headed by Danish physicist Lene Hau, brought light waves down to a 1 mph crawl by putting them through a specially prepared haze of ultracold sodium atoms (http://www.msnbc.com/news/242698.asp)
Slowing a beam of light to a halt may pave the way for new optical communications technology, tabletop black holes and quantum computers
By Lene Vestergaard Hau

  1   2   3   4   5   6   next »
Everyone knows of the speed of light as one of the unshakable properties of the universe. It's not surprising, then, that experiments to radically alter light's speed require some serious equipment and hard work. Running such an experiment requires first a careful tune-up and optimization of the setup and then a long period of painstaking data gathering to get a consistent set of measurements. At the Rowland Institute for Science in Cambridge, Mass., our original slow-light experiments typically took place in stints lasting 27 hours nonstop. Instead of breaking for meals, we learned to balance a slice of pizza in one hand, leaving the other clean to flip mirrors in and out on the optics table during 38 seconds of total darkness at a crucial stage of each run.

freezing light
FREEZING OF LIGHT begins with a process in which a carefully tuned laser beam renders an opaque material transparent to a second laser beam.
Our goal was to drastically slow down light, which travels through empty space at the universe's ultimate speed limit of nearly 300,000 kilometers a second. We saw the first sign of light pulses slowing down in March 1998. As happens so often in experimental physics--because it can take so many hours to get all the components working together for the first time--this occurred in the wee hours of the morning, at 4 A.M. By July we were down to airplane speed. At that time I had to go to the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen to teach a class. I remember sitting in the plane marveling that I was traveling "faster than light";--that I could beat one of our slow pulses to Denmark by a full hour.
 
Needless to say, I was restless during the week in Copenhagen and eager to get back to Cambridge to continue the light-slowing experiments. In the next month we reached 60 kilometers per hour and decided that it was time to publish. The real payoff for the hard work, prior to those results, was sitting in the lab in the middle of the night and observing the slow-light pulses, knowing that we were the first in the world to see light go so slowly that you could outpace it on a bicycle.

Late last year we took this process to its logical but amazing conclusion: we brought pulses of light to a complete halt within tiny gas clouds cooled to near absolute zero. We could briefly keep the pulses on ice, so to speak, and then send them back on their way.

As well as being of great intrinsic interest, slowing and freezing light have a number of applications. At sufficiently low temperatures the ultracold clouds of atoms used in our slow-light experiments form Bose-Einstein condensates, remarkable systems in which all the atoms gather in a single quantum state and act in synchrony. New studies of Bose-Einstein condensates will be made possible by, for example, sending a light pulse through a condensate as slowly as a sound wave, which we expect will cause a wave of atoms to "surf"; on the light pulse.

The slow and frozen light work also opens up new possibilities for optical communications and data storage and for quantum-information processing--that is, for quantum computers, which would utilize quantum phenomena to outperform conventional computers. The freezing-light system essentially converts between motionless forms of quantum information and photons flying around at the usual speed of light.

Getting Atoms into a State

Many ordinary materials slow down light. Water, for instance, slows light to about 75 percent of its velocity in a vacuum. But that type of speed reduction, associated with a material's refractive index, is limited. Diamond, which has one of the highest refractive indices of a transparent material, slows light by a factor of only 2.4. Reducing light's speed by factors of tens of millions requires new effects that depend on quantum mechanics. My group produces the conditions for these effects in a cigar-shaped cloud of sodium atoms--typically 0.2 millimeter long and 0.05 millimeter in diameter--trapped in a magnetic field and cooled to within a millionth of a degree of absolute zero.


151 posted on 06/30/2004 7:02:38 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: DannyTN

Sounds interesting. A bit late tonight, I'll try and read it tomorrow. Thanks for the ping!


152 posted on 06/30/2004 7:13:15 PM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: Conspiracy Guy

GOD BOUGHT A FASTER PROCESSOR... and ditched the windows OS...
We were getting too close, so He upgraded back a few centuries ago.


153 posted on 06/30/2004 7:19:20 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2 (the madridification of our election is now officially underway.)
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To: NukeMan

If you've seen one angstrom, you've seen them all.


154 posted on 06/30/2004 7:20:00 PM PDT by Old Professer (Interests in common are commonly abused.)
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To: Gorjus
Article excerpts from:
The Remarkable Slowness of Light

The fact remains that everything we know about electric and magnetic fields requires electric charges, in other words, a medium, as a focus for the fields. If there is to be a wave, there must be something to wave!

We know that the “vacuum” of space is teeming with neutrinos. Countless trillions of the ghostly particles pass through each square centimetre every second. Maybe neutrinos constitute the medium of “empty” space? It makes sense if, as I suggest elsewhere on this site, all particles are composed of orbiting massless electric charges. And neutrinos are the most collapsed form of particle.

This brings us to the speed of light, “c.” We know from experiment that “c” varies depending on the medium. More particularly, “c” varies depending on the electrical characteristics of the medium. The speed of light in a vacuum cannot then be simply declared a universal constant, because a vacuum is not empty space ­ it is filled with vast but varying numbers of neutrinos and some other particles.

It seems more reasonable to suggest that the speed of light is the speed with which an oscillating electrical disturbance is transmitted through a dielectric medium. The speed of light is highest in a medium where the rate of charge polarization in the particles of that medium is greatest. Neutrinos, having the lowest mass, or inertia, of any particle, have the fastest rate of internal charge polarization and response to an electric field. Therefore “c” is a maximum in a vacuum, paradoxically full of neutrinos.

The notion that c was considerably faster in the past has appeal to both cosmologists and creationists. Both camps have severe difficulties in explaining the observed universe, even with their vastly different time frames, unless things happened much faster initially. Cosmologists would like to see a near infinite speed of light immediately following the big bang and creationists about 10^11 times “c.” Both are misled by their misunderstanding of the creation myths. It was no accident that a Belgian priest, Georges LeMaitre, proposed the big bang theory, as it came to be known. Science is as much driven by culture and religion as any other human activity.

Proof that the cosmologists are mistaken both in their speculations about light-speed and the big bang hypothesis comes from the very source referred to in the above report ­ the light from a quasar. The above-quoted article says that the quasar is 10 billion light years distant. That is based on the most peculiar big bang theory that the volume of the universe is increasing. It follows the observation that faint objects have their spectrum shifted towards the red. The discoverer of this phenomenon, Edwin Hubble, was careful to not attribute this “redshift” to the Doppler effect of the velocity of recession of the object, but theorists were not so circumspect. The redshift ­ velocity - distance equation quickly became another of the many dogmatic assumptions of cosmology.

155 posted on 06/30/2004 7:24:50 PM PDT by Light Speed
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To: COUNTrecount

Thanks for the marshmallow demo!

I have to confess that the lead article boggled me severely.


156 posted on 06/30/2004 7:31:39 PM PDT by headsonpikes (Spirit of '76 bttt!)
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To: MineralMan

Actually the speed of light (in a vacuum) is a fixed constant that is used as a reference for all other measurements.


157 posted on 06/30/2004 8:17:13 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: NukeMan
I guess that explains why I have to press the button on my remote a few times before the channel changes on my TV.

-PJ

158 posted on 06/30/2004 8:19:02 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (It's not safe yet to vote Democrat.)
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To: Gorjus
And how does the sun manage to grab the earth and yank it around without a string between the two?

No strings attached? What's all this brouaha about String Theory then? Violin tunings?

159 posted on 06/30/2004 8:23:09 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: MineralMan

Rule of debugging: Constants aren't; Variables don't.


160 posted on 06/30/2004 8:26:47 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: VadeRetro

Being a Capricorn would make him less of a Cancer. At least may have stuck to the Tropic at hand.


161 posted on 06/30/2004 8:30:37 PM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: VadeRetro; DannyTN
The article says light was slower and alpha was higher by a factor of 4.5 parts in 108, 2 billion years ago.
Not exactly a big help for the Young Earth Creationists, is it?

162 posted on 06/30/2004 9:02:13 PM PDT by DallasMike
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To: Gorjus

Thanks for the explanation.(125) I didn't know that.

It stands to reason that light would be subject to the law of entropy also


163 posted on 06/30/2004 9:14:09 PM PDT by Freesofar (FREEDOM !)
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To: Gorjus
So, Einstein didn't 'assume' the speed of light was constant. That's what the data showed.

My understanding is that Einstein insisted that he did not know of the Michaelson-Morley results when he wrote his paper.

Einstein's assumption was that the laws of physics, including Maxwell's theory, are the same in every reference frame. That assumption results in the speed of light being constant in all reference frames.
164 posted on 06/30/2004 9:30:42 PM PDT by ScuzzyTerminator
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To: VadeRetro

Like , I said in my follow up "Oops, I misread and went another direction. That's an easy mistake to make since scientists around the world have been debating the other direction for over ten years. And frankly this would be the first bit of opposing, as in the opposite direction, theorizing that I have seen. I'll have to wait on peer review for this one. And like I said, the momentum is sliding towards cdk not "c speed up."


165 posted on 06/30/2004 9:47:48 PM PDT by D Rider
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To: Light Speed; RadioAstronomer; Physicist; ThinkPlease
Here's what JPL physicist Tim Thompson has to say about Wal Thornhill's "Electric Universe" (whom you quoted above):

The electric universe hypothesis is the brainchild of Australian neo-Velikovskian physicist Wallace Thornhill, by which he seeks to eliminate gravitation altogether and explain all of nature by electromagnetism. The result is some pretty bizzare stuff, including the electric star hypothesis. This hypothesis holds that the source of solar (and stellar) heating is at the suface, and not in the interior. Surface heating is caused by a heavy bombardment of relativisitic electrons accelerated towards the sun by its extremely large excess positive electric charge. There are a lot of reasons to be suspicious of such an argument, which I discuss in this rather long transcribed mailing list message from 1998.

link to Thompson's e-mail exchange with Thornhill: http://www.tim-thompson.com/grey-areas.html

further comments by Thompson regarding Electric Sun theory: http://www.tim-thompson.com/electric-sun.html

In short, the electric sun/plasma Universe stuff is based on the presuppostion of the validity of ancient myths, and its true believers torture science to no end in their efforts to bend it to their will. Thornhill offers no model, only prose, in support of his beliefs.

Contrast this with some of the people on this website who have genuine science credentials; who is more believeable -- some guy from Australia with a BS in 1964, and who has bought into the Velikovskian mythology, or the scientists we have here on FR, who are more than happy to address reasonable questions and explain how science can explain all those things that Thornhill keeps telling you it can't?

166 posted on 06/30/2004 10:15:55 PM PDT by longshadow
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To: PatrickHenry
Logic is the devil's tool. I am impervious to its effects.

At last...the admission we have all been waiting for. ;)

167 posted on 06/30/2004 10:56:05 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: RadioAstronomer
Actually the speed of light (in a vacuum) is a fixed constant that is used as a reference for all other measurements.

And it works well enough for us to "get from one planet to another".

168 posted on 06/30/2004 11:05:52 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: longshadow
who is more believeable -- some guy from Australia with a BS in 1964, and who has bought into the Velikovskian mythology, or the scientists we have here on FR, who are more than happy to address reasonable questions and explain how science can explain all those things that Thornhill keeps telling you it can't?

You know what my vote is...as for the rest, it is much easier to pretend to understand Velikovski, than real science.

169 posted on 06/30/2004 11:09:18 PM PDT by Aracelis
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To: longshadow
To put it midly..Wal Thornhill is sarcastic to whatever,
buts thats him.
I am aware of many others who see Electric Universe as a reasonable construct..they are not like Wal in the attitude dept.

Some who follow E.U. are *Saturnists..the premise that the Earth was once in orbit around Saturn..then moved to its current address.

Some who follow Halton Arp join E.U...

many are just tired of vague answers to reasonable questions.
Carl Sagan ..*Super Greenhouse and other quotes just don't cut it anymore..allong with *Dark Matter etc.

Some who follow E.U. are like myself.
See Electrical flow in greater import of working..as a medium..as a catalyst.

My personal interest in posting E.U. links and article excerpts is to invite others to go seek for themselves....draw their own conclusions.

Wal is not the only forwarder I visit...theirs individuals at Goddard...EX and current JPL/NASA types who chat E.U. on the internet on forums.
I have collected PDF H1 assays from Aricebo..with Electrical continuity comment concerning background ...comment on Redshift that leans toward Halton Arp.
As mentioned in some posts..I ran a CNC Plasma gantry..underwater cut..steel and alloy on huge scale.
Nitrogen and Cryo nitrogen base.
did ultrasound testing....X,ray..and welding.

E.U. makes sense to me....yet I do not totally discard *Gravity.
Victor Clube of Armagh observatory and his partners forward *catastrophism as a catylist sequencer in our Solar system.
Nasa has regressed debrie trains and forwarded hypothesis that one or more moons has fragmented in times past.
Nasa even admits Mars had a different orbital configuration in times past.

Today..went googling to refresh on orbitor Galileo.
so ya..Galileo passed to close to IO and got Radiation..then encured chip damage in its computer.

Others comment that Galileo's onboard system wheir damaged by electrical current..which is flowing between Jupiter and Io....5 Million Amphere's I believe the recorded figure.

Each swing by ..by our orbitors only sustains the Electrical reality at work in planets and output of electricity.

You can google on Neptune and Uranus and get all kinds of varied data assay's and depth measures.
yet both have nearly liquid metal slurry's inside whirling at great speed with offset magnetic axis's.

Their is the resonance debate...how many worlds are *capture..which directs debate concerning the accretion disc theory.

E.U. is sure to be wrong at many points.

Its a new construct....I'm comfortable...I'm in for the long haul.
Velikovsky was mocked to derision by the academic.
yet his perception of Catastrophism driving change on worlds..and causing planetary movement is not so stupid after all.

Our Sun/Solar system porpoises up and down the galactic plain.
We are presently some 8 degree's above the dense mid Galactic plain.
For some great length of time our Sun was inside a Spiral Arm of Orion..we are presently just above the inner edge of the spiral arm....having passed thru a disintegrating Giant Molecular Cloud...the young Blue Stars of the Gould belt..part of the disintegrating GMC.

Passage thru boundry zones such as these forward the possibility of energy exchange..gravametric distortions.....bombardment episodes.
From the revision drafts I have read from Arecibo..to NASA/JPL forwards....we are still learning.

we live in a time of revision and awe.
I will enjoy it..and stand with Velikovsky,Clube,Napier..Arp and others......even sarcastic Thornhill : )

170 posted on 07/01/2004 12:20:06 AM PDT by Light Speed
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To: Robert_Paulson2

Did they put up new signs. I've been driving around at the old speed. This explains why everyone blows their horn and flips me off even though I'm in the right lane.


171 posted on 07/01/2004 4:15:58 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (Drove my Jaguar to the Quagmire. But the Quagmire was dry.)
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To: RightWhale
Bump!

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?

A darned good question that I hope someone with a good understanding of the physics of light will answer for us.

172 posted on 07/01/2004 5:25:23 AM PDT by ngc6656
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To: Light Speed
If there is to be a wave, there must be something to wave!

Bizarre that anyone still, er, waves this around. There is a limit to which light is a wave. The first such limit was noticed in the Michelson-Morely experiments, in which light absolutely refused to act like a wave propagating through a static medium. (One's motion through space should make a difference when measuring the speed of light in such a case and it does not.)

Einstein in 1905 observed that light sometimes still acts more like a beam of little thrown rocks than a wave. It became necessary to resurrect the particle theory with the concept of the photon. It was further observed in various diffraction-grate experiments with one-at-a-time photons that light will act as a wave (propagating on a broad front and forming interference fringes) in some cases and a stream of particles in others depending entirely upon whether one is keeping track of which path the photon takes.

One ignores a lot to still be telling people that light is ripples in some kind of ether.

173 posted on 07/01/2004 6:00:10 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: AndrewC
I never considered 2 billion years as recent.

Agreed. A billion years here and a billion years there and pretty soon you are talking about a lota time.

174 posted on 07/01/2004 6:02:34 AM PDT by Colorado Doug
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To: ngc6656; 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?

As best I can figure, the speeding of light in "recent" times (i.e, post-emission along the way) would BLUE-shift the light as we see it here and now compared to how it would have looked to someone near the emitting object back when.

175 posted on 07/01/2004 6:03:43 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: aruanan
Assuming, of course, a big bang to begin with.
As usual they have the right idea, just the wrong time. The "Big Bang" is at the end

2 Peter 3:
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away
with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Regards,
GE
176 posted on 07/01/2004 6:05:29 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: Gorjus

Very nice.


177 posted on 07/01/2004 6:08:30 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: VadeRetro
Einstein in 1905 observed that light sometimes still acts more like a beam of little thrown rocks than a wave.

But I should mention that the Michelson-Morely experiment had already proved that you can't just use particle theory, either. You don't get the Newtonian addition-of-velocities predicted by particle theory any more than you get the relative-to-the-medium velocity predicted by waves-in-ether theory. You don't get any difference at all no matter how you're moving or where you aim the light beam.

It was the opening for various theories leading in a few decades to Special Relativity.

178 posted on 07/01/2004 6:09:37 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: RadioAstronomer

Hi!

Did you follow the Cassini SOI last night?

None of the cable channels showed it so I ended up in my son's room watching NASA TV on the computer.


179 posted on 07/01/2004 6:09:43 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Light Speed
I will enjoy it..and stand with Velikovsky,Clube,Napier..Arp and others......even sarcastic Thornhill : )

I take it you're "Holden" out for something to turn modern physics on its head...

180 posted on 07/01/2004 6:10:31 AM PDT by Junior (FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC)
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To: NukeMan

So the Bible is right again?


181 posted on 07/01/2004 6:11:56 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: null and void; Shryke
4004 BC

Assuming James Ussher was correct.
Facinating book : Annals of the World
Have either of you read it?
182 posted on 07/01/2004 6:12:42 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: Light Speed
E.U. is sure to be wrong at many points.

In this you are already proven right. I wouldn't bet on the rest of your post.

183 posted on 07/01/2004 6:14:37 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Billthedrill
Two billion years ago. I didn't get the memo.

It was right after "Drink More Ovaltine" on the decoder ring message.

184 posted on 07/01/2004 6:15:33 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedy family legacy - can't skipper a boat, can't fly, can't drive, can't ski)
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To: VadeRetro
Lower? Wasn't it supposed to have been faster 6000 years ago?

From the Article:

Horizon problem

Some physicists would happily accept a variable alpha. For example, if it had been lower in the past, meaning a higher speed of light, it would solve the "horizon problem".

Cosmologists have struggled to explain why far-flung regions of the universe are at roughly the same temperature. It implies that these regions were once close enough to exchange energy and even out the temperature, yet current models of the early universe prevent this from happening, unless they assume an ultra-fast expansion right after the big bang.

However, a higher speed of light early in the history of the universe would allow energy to pass between these areas in the form of light.

185 posted on 07/01/2004 6:23:22 AM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: ngc6656; RightWhale
The speed of light and the color of light are related.
I know I'm opening myself up here, but IF I remember my physics correctly the color's visible have to do with the frequency, of oscillation, not the speed of travel.
Be easy on me, I've not been through this stuff in quite a while AND my memory is pretty full. Consequently, when I have something new to store in memory, I have to find something old and unused to throw out. I could have thrown this information out.
186 posted on 07/01/2004 6:28:13 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: P-Marlowe
However, a higher speed of light early in the history of the universe would allow energy to pass between these areas in the form of light.

IOW, a faster light-speed (lower alpha) would be useful in the very earliest (pre-inflation) nanoseconds of the universe, yes. Useful in explaining the large-scale uniformity of the universe we see now. However, this does not help what some people are trying to do with this story.

187 posted on 07/01/2004 6:30:02 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: DallasMike
Not exactly a big help for the Young Earth Creationists, is it?
Very interesting article. Again, thanks for the ping.
It's not a problem at all. Everything that the scientists are saying is based on their (commonly accepted assumptions I'll agree) assumption. I'll reiterate, they were not there and do not know. I'll still accept Gods word on it, which has NOT changed, before I'll accept the word of scientists who don't even know how much there is to know, much less how much they do know.

Regards,
GE
188 posted on 07/01/2004 6:33:00 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: GrandEagle
I know I'm opening myself up here, but IF I remember my physics correctly the color's visible have to do with the frequency, of oscillation, not the speed of travel.

Other things being held equal, a change in the speed of light would change the frequency of arrival of the peaks and valleys in the waveform.

Other things are not exactly equal, however, as it appears space and the light waveforms within have been stretched over time. Assuming the speed of light to be constant, that would red-shift light in transit so that objects appear redder the farther away they are. Since we indeed see a correlation between distance and redshift, it appears the universe has been expanding.

189 posted on 07/01/2004 6:37:18 AM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: Cap Huff
"I'm waiting to be enlightened."

The speed of enlightment has changed....

190 posted on 07/01/2004 6:37:33 AM PDT by azhenfud ("He who is always looking up seldom finds others' lost change...")
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To: GrandEagle

I have not read it. What does it discuss?


191 posted on 07/01/2004 6:40:16 AM PDT by Shryke (Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.)
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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...

Ah ha! This would explain why I am having greater difficulty driving at night. I just need faster headlights. And all this time I thought I needed glasses or something. hmmm . . . and maybe all this time has not really been that much time.

192 posted on 07/01/2004 6:40:23 AM PDT by Colorado Doug
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To: NukeMan
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 - and not in some far corner of the universe, but right here on Earth.

Must be global warming... Oh, yeah, caused by the Bush Administration. (hee hee)

193 posted on 07/01/2004 7:10:56 AM PDT by fortunecookie
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To: Shryke
It was written in the 1500's by a Bishop James Ussher. It is generally considered the basis for the 4004 b.C. creation date. He took Gods word and put it in historical context. He took biblical events and historical events and wrote a history book that chronologically discusses both historical and Biblical events; putting them on a time scale. For example, you can see what was happening in the rest of the world when the Jewish people left Egypt for the promised land.
It is extremely fascinating to me. I am still reading it and have only finished about 1/3'rd of it.
It had not been printed for several hundred years until AIG (Answers In Geneses) reprinted it (with updated English - the English of the 1500's is nearly unreadable today). They have two bindings - the leather one is very expensive, but the regular hardback is around $60.00 or so.
194 posted on 07/01/2004 7:14:57 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: Gorjus
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).

Actually, it was Heaviside who first calculated the distortion of the electromagnetic fields of a moving charge.

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?

Heaviside published the first serious post-Newtonian gravitational theory in 1893, his "A Gravitational and Electromagnetic Analogy" in Electromagnetic Theory Vol I. He introduced the concept of mass currents, gravitomagnetic fields, and gravity waves. Not coincidentally, Einstein's GR reduces to Heaviside's theory in the weak field limit.

195 posted on 07/01/2004 7:15:04 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: VadeRetro
Thanks for the memory update. It's a bummer getting old...
But for the present, it beats the alternative.
196 posted on 07/01/2004 7:17:02 AM PDT by GrandEagle
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To: VadeRetro
However, this does not help what some people are trying to do with this story.

I think the point of the article and what we need to take away from it is that there is evidence that the speed of light itself is relative and variable. There is evidence that it at one time was faster and at another time was slower than it is now. So the real possibility exists that it was, at one time in the history of this universe, infinitely faster than it is now and that at another point, the brakes could have been put on it and it could have slowed to a level perhaps significantly if not infintely slower than it is now. But at all times the speed of light was the speed of light.

Now if the speed of light was at one time faster than it is now, what would that do to time? If the speed of light is variable, as is suggested by this article, then what, if anything, is constant?

197 posted on 07/01/2004 7:23:37 AM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: VadeRetro; GrandEagle
As best I can figure, the speeding of light in "recent" times (i.e, post-emission along the way) would BLUE-shift the light as we see it here and now compared to how it would have looked to someone near the emitting object back when.

My understanding is very different. Light moves at the speed of light (in a vacuum), and this is true regardless of its color. The color we see is the result of the wavelength, and that's determined by whether the source of the light is moving away from us (stretched out, thus red) or moving toward us (compressed, thus blue).

If light has been speeding up, but not the rate of expansion of the universe, then the degree of redshifting (or blueshifting) probably wouldn't change (I'm winging it here). There is also the independent line of evidence provided by the brightness of Cepheid variables. This always corresponds with observed redshifts, and it was Hubble's big clue that redshift and distance were related. Yet another line of evidence is the absorption of light as it passes through the Lyman alpha forest, which I don't fully understand, but I'm told it independently confirms all the other observations about the distance of stars and the rate of expansion of the universe.

198 posted on 07/01/2004 7:24:23 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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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 think it would depend on how the observer is affected by the changed speed of light. Put yourself in the position of a omniscient being who is unaffected by the change. To you, the speed of light has changed and you could measure the difference in light travel time from point A to point B. But to the non-omniscient who are affected by the light speed change, their concept of distance would change with the speed of light. I think the change in distance would be proportional to the change in the speed of light: ie. no net change in measured frequency. Think of the Doppler Effect where only relative motion can be detected (to the first order).

I think a far more interesting concept is the idea of an anisotropic speed of light. Local differences could be measured.

199 posted on 07/01/2004 7:29:38 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: GrandEagle
Perhaps I will read it! I usually stick to fiction, but who knows?

I wish to clear something up that may be confusing, which is my fault. I am a firm believer in evolution. On earlier posts I was simply joshing some of the regular posters on these threads - spicing things up if you will. If I have misled you, forgive me.

200 posted on 07/01/2004 7:29:39 AM PDT by Shryke (Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.)
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