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Reversing And Accelerating The Speed Of Light
Space Daily ^ | Jul 25, 2006 | Staff Writers

Posted on 07/25/2006 10:13:18 AM PDT by Ben Mugged

Physicist Costas Soukoulis and his research group at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory on the Iowa State University campus are having the time of their lives making light travel backwards at negative speeds that appear faster than the speed of light.

~snip~ This backward-bending characteristic of metamaterials allows enhanced resolution in optical lenses, which could potentially lead to the development of a flat superlens with the power to see inside a human cell and diagnose disease in a baby still in the womb.

~snip~ In addition, Soukoulis and his University of Karlsruhe colleagues have also shown that both the velocity of the individual wavelengths, called phase velocity, and the velocity of the wave packets, called group velocity, are both negative, which Soukoulis said accounts for the ability of negatively refracted light to seemingly defy Einstein's theory of relativity and move backwards faster than the speed of light.

Elaborating, Soukoulis said, "When we have a metamaterial with a negative index of refraction at 1.5 micrometers that can disperse, or separate a wave into spectral components with different wavelengths, we can tune our lasers to play a lot of games with light. We can have a wavepacket hit a slab of negative index material, appear on the right-hand side of the material and begin to flow backward before the original pulse enters the negative index medium."

Continuing, he explained that the pulse flowing backward also releases a forward pulse out the end of the medium, a situation that causes the pulse entering the front of the material appear to move out the back almost instantly.

"In this way, one can argue that that the wave packet travels with velocities much higher than the velocities of light," said Soukoulis.

(Excerpt) Read more at spacedaily.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: physics; science; speedoflight
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Einstein must be spinning like a top (all except his brain which wasn't buried with him).

Read the source article, this extract does not do it justice......

1 posted on 07/25/2006 10:13:19 AM PDT by Ben Mugged
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To: PatrickHenry

Ping.


2 posted on 07/25/2006 10:14:20 AM PDT by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
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To: SuzyQue

bookmark


3 posted on 07/25/2006 10:21:58 AM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: Ben Mugged
"""In this way, one can argue that that the wave packet travels with velocities much higher than the velocities of light,"

All this means is that the shape of the wave changed. The velocity of energy propagaiton in any material is always less than c. Here they are simply talking about phase velocities which are related to wave shape, not energy propagation.

4 posted on 07/25/2006 10:27:09 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: Ben Mugged

Allow me to reply to this.










...there.


5 posted on 07/25/2006 10:37:25 AM PDT by Fighting Irish (Béagán agus a rá go maith)
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To: Ben Mugged
I would suspect they are just observing some lesser understood quantum mechanic, and mis-characterizing it.

I never was totally comfortable with the whole "Light is both a wave and a particle" explanation. Seemed like a similar cop-out to the whole dark matter idea when calculating the mass of the universe, or the entire understanding of 'strong' and 'weak' nuclear forces.
6 posted on 07/25/2006 10:40:58 AM PDT by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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To: Junior

Goofy, but hey ... I'll ping the list.


7 posted on 07/25/2006 10:41:30 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
SciencePing
An elite subset of the Evolution list.
See the list's explanation at my freeper homepage.
Then FReepmail to be added or dropped.

8 posted on 07/25/2006 10:42:35 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (The Enlightenment gave us individual rights, free enterprise, and the theory of evolution.)
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To: Ben Mugged

Give me a practical application that will help the common man.......in the next 7 years.


9 posted on 07/25/2006 10:44:52 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Just another Joe
Give me a practical application that will help the common man.......in the next 7 years.

Read the article.

10 posted on 07/25/2006 10:46:58 AM PDT by js1138 (Well I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!")
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To: Fighting Irish

Very succinct. I concur.


11 posted on 07/25/2006 10:47:39 AM PDT by willgolfforfood
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To: js1138
I did, the only thing I see is the "superlens" that will allow looking into a cell. And they admit that the "superlens" is a long way off.

My original question stands.

12 posted on 07/25/2006 10:51:42 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Ben Mugged

It's a little misleading to confuse the phase velocity with the velocity of light, though it's hard to explain the difference to someone who has not been formally trained in physics.


13 posted on 07/25/2006 10:51:44 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Fighting Irish

HA! I replied to this YESTERDAY!.........


14 posted on 07/25/2006 10:52:50 AM PDT by Red Badger (Is Castro dead yet?........)
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To: Just another Joe

Of what importance is your original question? What is so special about seven years?


15 posted on 07/25/2006 10:54:49 AM PDT by js1138 (Well I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!")
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To: Ben Mugged
"the ability of negatively refracted light to seemingly defy Einstein's theory of relativity and move backwards faster than the speed of light."

That's nothing. I had some stocks recently that moved backwards faster than the speed of light.

16 posted on 07/25/2006 10:55:54 AM PDT by robertpaulsen
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To: Brilliant

The phase velocity of a wave is the rate at which the phase of the wave propagates in space. This is the velocity at which the phase of any one frequency component of the wave will propagate. You could pick one particular phase of the wave (for example the crest) and it would appear to travel at the phase velocity. The phase velocity is given in terms of the wave's frequency and wave vector k by

v_\mathrm{p} = \frac{\omega}{k}

Note that the phase velocity is not necessarily the same as the group velocity of the wave, which is the rate that changes in amplitude (known as the envelope of the wave) will propagate.

The phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation may under certain circumstances exceed the speed of light in a vacuum, but this does not indicate any superluminal information or energy


17 posted on 07/25/2006 10:56:31 AM PDT by FreedomNeocon (Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts -- Churchill)
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To: js1138
What is so special about seven years?

Because that's about the amount of time, IMO, that the comman man will wait for a revolutionary development, in even a trial environment.
After that it's forgotten about and loses funding.

18 posted on 07/25/2006 11:00:38 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Ben Mugged

(Pointless tangent)

Reminds me of...

Prosecutor: "Did you check for breathing?"
Defendant: "No."
P: "Did you check his pulse?"
D: "No."
P: "Did you, in fact, do ANYTHING to confirm whether the victim was, in fact, deceased?"
D: "No."
P: "Then how could you know he was, in fact, deceased?"
D: "His brain was sitting in a jar on my desk."


19 posted on 07/25/2006 11:02:40 AM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: FreedomNeocon

Yeah, I understand that, but what kind of an analogy can you come up with that the average guy would understand?


20 posted on 07/25/2006 11:03:55 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Just another Joe

That's unlikely to affect this research, any more than it affects research on superconducters.


21 posted on 07/25/2006 11:04:45 AM PDT by js1138 (Well I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!")
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To: FreedomNeocon
I never was totally comfortable with the whole "Light is both a wave and a particle" explanation.

It's not a cop-out.

It's that the universe fundamentally operates in ways a lot different that our extremely narrow perceptions indicate.

It's that "waves" and "particles" are in fact the same thing, just showing certain facets more promenantly than others (kinda like the outside of your head looks a lot different than the inside).

22 posted on 07/25/2006 11:05:28 AM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: Just another Joe

The Wright brothers were asked a similar question.


23 posted on 07/25/2006 11:06:02 AM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: FreedomNeocon

I guess it's sort of like when you see movies of automobiles and the wheels look like they are turning backwards. Of course, they aren't really turning backwards, but because the shutter speed of the video or movie camera is different from the speed that the wheels on the vehicle are rotating, they look like the wheels are moving backward.

Very rough analogy, but I don't know how else to explain it.


24 posted on 07/25/2006 11:09:10 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
Yeah, I understand that, but what kind of an analogy can you come up with that the average guy would understand?

I've illustrated the "photonic bandgap" problem as a long train leaving Washington D.C. for Baltimore, where the length of the train is a significant fraction of the distance between the cities. The train is not said to "leave" or "arrive" until the center of the train gets to the station. Just as the train is approaching Baltimore, the engine detaches from the rest of the train, and it "arrives" in Baltimore when the center of the engine gets to the station, which happens to be in record time.

25 posted on 07/25/2006 11:15:30 AM PDT by Physicist
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To: Ben Mugged
Einstein must be spinning like a top

No this is not strange.

Although somewhat counterintuitive, a negative index of refraction doesn't break any laws of physics because the math works out, said Schultz. In fact Russian physicist V. G. Veselago pointed this out in a little-known paper published in 1968, Schultz said.

All electromagnetic waves harbor both electric and magnetic fields. In order to have a negative index of refraction, a material must have both a negative electrical field, or permittivity, and a negative magnetic field, or permeability.

A material's index of refraction is the square of its permittivity times its permeability. The counterintuitive part is, because a negative number times a negative number is a positive number, it seems like the index of refraction is destined to remain positive. "When you go to take that square root, if you are a little sloppy you think of it also as positive. But because the negative of the square root can be positive or negative," it is mathematically possible to get a negative index of refraction, said Schultz.
http://www.trnmag.com/Stories/041101/Material_bends_microwaves_backwards_041101.html
26 posted on 07/25/2006 11:17:34 AM PDT by AdmSmith
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To: Just another Joe

"Give me a practical application that will help the common man.......in the next 7 years."

Did you read the article? No? Well why should we do your work for you?


27 posted on 07/25/2006 11:22:11 AM PDT by MineralMan (non-evangelical atheist)
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To: Physicist

Nice try. I'm not sure that would clear it up to the average guy, though.


Another way I've heard it explained is in reference to water waves... Drop a stone in the water and watch the waves. It's not just one wave, but several ripples which spread out in concentric circles from the point of impact. The wave front moves at a specific rate of speed, which is the group velocity analogous to the speed of light, but if you look at each ripple in the group, and follow it carefully, then you will notice that each ripple starts at the inside of the circle of waves, then slowly moves up the pack until it is on the outside of the wave packet. Obviously, the ripples are each moving faster than the wave packet as a whole. That is the phase velocity.

But it's still a little esoteric for the Bud Light crowd.


28 posted on 07/25/2006 11:25:59 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: MineralMan; ctdonath2; js1138
Did you read the thread before you posted to me?

If you did you would have seen that I did read the article and saw no practical application affecting the common man in the next X years.

I'm not saying the research shouldn't be done.
Great things have come out of research that no one thought was important.
I wanted to know if anyone saw a practical application for this in the next 7 years.

29 posted on 07/25/2006 11:55:00 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: MineralMan; ctdonath2; js1138
Did you read the thread before you posted to me?

If you did you would have seen that I did read the article and saw no practical application affecting the common man in the next X years.

I'm not saying the research shouldn't be done.
Great things have come out of research that no one thought was important.
I wanted to know if anyone saw a practical application for this in the next 7 years.

30 posted on 07/25/2006 11:55:35 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Ben Mugged

I'm proud to say that I passed Classical Physics at Iowa State. In my experience, the tests there were every bit as difficult to understand as this.


31 posted on 07/25/2006 11:56:20 AM PDT by IronJack
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To: MineralMan; ctdonath2; js1138

Sorry about the double post, my PC hiccuped.


32 posted on 07/25/2006 11:59:20 AM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Just another Joe

Time warp due to a negative index of refraction.


33 posted on 07/25/2006 12:03:27 PM PDT by js1138 (Well I say there are some things we don't want to know! Important things!")
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To: js1138
Time warp due to a negative index of refraction.

Would that be in the next 7 years, or the past 7 years? (jk) ;^)

34 posted on 07/25/2006 12:05:28 PM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Ben Mugged
I disagree with the next post. Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light and you CAN'T travel back in time!!!
35 posted on 07/25/2006 12:07:41 PM PDT by PMCarey
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To: Ben Mugged
I think faster-than-light travel would be great and I look forward to travelling backward in time! Comments?
36 posted on 07/25/2006 12:07:47 PM PDT by PMCarey
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To: Ben Mugged

mark it for later


37 posted on 07/25/2006 12:13:07 PM PDT by mike70
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To: FreedomNeocon
[I never was totally comfortable with the whole "Light is both a wave and a particle" explanation. Seemed like a similar cop-out to the whole dark matter idea when calculating the mass of the universe, or the entire understanding of 'strong' and 'weak' nuclear forces.]



Nobody should be satisfied with it. I think it's just a useful analogy physics teachers have come up with to try to help students solve physics equations. As far as I can tell, the analogy breaks down as a meaningful way of intuitively understanding just what's going on with the fundamental pieces of the universe. NOBODY intuitively understands that yet.
38 posted on 07/25/2006 12:17:31 PM PDT by spinestein (Follow "The Bronze Rule")
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To: Ben Mugged

186,000 miles per second. Its not just a good idea, its the law.


39 posted on 07/25/2006 12:19:24 PM PDT by LegionofDorkness (A Proud South Park Conservative)
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To: Ben Mugged
Mark for later read:


40 posted on 07/25/2006 12:19:29 PM PDT by AxelPaulsenJr (Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.)
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To: Just another Joe

Yes. The deduced implication, backed up by later posts, was "if nothing practical comes of this in 7 years then it's worthless, so don't bother."


41 posted on 07/25/2006 12:20:13 PM PDT by ctdonath2
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To: Red Badger

Already been posted... tomorrow!


42 posted on 07/25/2006 12:20:21 PM PDT by evets (God bless president George W. Bush!)
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To: Ben Mugged

Everybody knows that the Scientist will one day increase the speedlimit on light so that ships can go faster without breaking the law. Saw it on Futurama...so it must be true.


43 posted on 07/25/2006 12:26:31 PM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
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To: ctdonath2
"if nothing practical comes of this in 7 years then it's worthless, so don't bother."

And to a lot of people, that is the attitude.

"What has it done for me today?" is the way a lot of people look at it.
They don't see, or don't know, that a lot of things that they use in their everyday life took longer than 7 years to develop.

My original question was to FReepers interested in this type of thing to see if they had any insights into what might be developed out of this in the shorter term.
If it was misconstrued, I apologize.

44 posted on 07/25/2006 12:29:22 PM PDT by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: FreedomNeocon
The phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation may under certain circumstances exceed the speed of light in a vacuum

Does that cause Cherenkov (sp?) radiation or is that only for particles?

45 posted on 07/25/2006 12:32:47 PM PDT by techcor
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To: FreedomNeocon
I never was totally comfortable with the whole "Light is both a wave and a particle" explanation.

Once you understand relativity, it makes perfect sense.

46 posted on 07/25/2006 12:44:18 PM PDT by RightWingAtheist (Creationism is to conservatism what Howard Dean is to liberalism)
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To: Ben Mugged

Just, wow!


47 posted on 07/25/2006 12:47:05 PM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like what you say))
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To: techcor

Cerenkov radiation occurs when a particle plows into a substance such as water and momentarily exceeds the speed of light in that medium. That causes the weird blue glow around some nuclear reactors that are water damped.


48 posted on 07/25/2006 12:51:34 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale
Cerenkov radiation occurs when a particle plows into a substance such as water and momentarily exceeds the speed of light in that medium

Then the excessive energy that has to be disposed of during the velocity change generates radiation? Is this true of all mediums? When light transitions from water to air to space does it accelerate? Where does it get the energy to accelerate? Does it absorb it from the medium it is leaving?

49 posted on 07/25/2006 1:02:02 PM PDT by Ben Mugged
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To: PatrickHenry

this is deeply odd


50 posted on 07/25/2006 1:25:11 PM PDT by King Prout (many complain I am overly literal... this would not be a problem if fewer people were under-precise)
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