Skip to comments.'We have broken speed of light'
Posted on 08/16/2007 10:15:43 AM PDT by LibWhacker
A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.
According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second.
However, Dr Gunter Nimtz and Dr Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, say they may have breached a key tenet of that theory.
The pair say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons - energetic packets of light - travelled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft apart.
Being able to travel faster than the speed of light would lead to a wide variety of bizarre consequences.
For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.
The scientists were investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which allows sub-atomic particles to break apparently unbreakable laws.
Dr Nimtz told New Scientist magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."
One typical such “thought experiment” was called the “mirror clock experiment”. Thought experiments are not a rational basis for physics. There are any number of huge problems with relativity not least of which is the instantaneous propagation of gravity, and there are other more plausible explanations for the non additivity of light.
Well here is a piece of experimental evidence for you: I have personally measured muons with a scintillation detector. They travel at a extremely high speed and would decay before reaching the surface of the earth if it wasn't for relativistic time dilation.
Wright has an interesting mind. His droll humor always hits my funny bone. I had an uncle whose humor was very similar ... his name was Francis and he was a research chemist (no, he wasn’t a mule).
Gravity propagates instantaneously to within our ability to measure it and that has been known for several centuries. Every time you take five steps you are sending a gravitational message out into the cosmos and somebody on the far side of our galaxy with a sensitive enough instrument could read that message and it wouldn’t take him thousands of years to do it; he’d probably be able to read it inside of a second.
I am not an English major so I am by no means an expert, however, basic grammar tenets generally hold that “one should not end a sentence with a preposition when one has a graceful alternative.”
For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of. could have easily been stated this way: For the time being, the only violation of special relativity that I know of is this. or For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity of which I am aware.
YVW I knew it was off topic for your list, but thought it may be of interest anyway. Besides, I found many of the FReeper responses entertaining.
Seems to me someone else made a similar claim as the one made in this article... about a year ago, but I’ve been unable to find that article again. There was some kind of fiber optics connection included in it, with the “light” traveling through some kind of medium.
Yes. Also several threads about slowing light to a walking pace, and even stopping it temporarily.
Possibly one of the links / quotes seen above. :’)
Glad to know it wasn't my imagination.
If they narrow or widen a photon's frequency off of the scale...
What I want to know is what kind of radar gun were they using to measure the speed of those photons???? And if it means that those photons actually arrived before they left, then wouldn’t the radar gun read a negative number for speed or at most zero?
Harvard scientists say they’ve stopped light: Speed of light is zero
Source: Boston Glob
Published: 1/18/2001 Author: Douglas Bailey
Posted on 01/18/2001 14:18:46 PST by rface
Sit. Speak. Good Photon! (Scientists can make light stand still)
Posted on 04/10/2002 12:14:29 PM EDT by Texaggie79
Ultra-simple Desktop Device Slows Light To A Crawl At Room Temperature
Science Daily | 4-1-2003 | Editorial Staff
Posted on 04/01/2003 10:25:59 PM EST by vannrox
not really related:
Speed Of Light May Not Be Constant, Physicist Suggests
Published: 10-6-1999 Author: Bruce Rolston
Posted on 10/06/1999 07:24:31 PDT by boris
Faster Than the Speed of Light: E = mc2, Except When It Doesn’t
NY Times | 2/09/03 | George Johnson
Posted on 02/28/2003 8:57:55 AM EST by Boot Hill
I responded to this misconception in post #287. Gravity travels at or near the speed of light as far as experiments have determined. If you haven't studied quantum mechanics, electrodynamics, and optics then you should STOP NOW before you dig yourself a hole. The same bad logic that people use to say that gravity travels faster than the speed of light also works almost identically for electromagnetism, a force ~10^40 times stronger. And I don't think there is any doubt that electromagnetic interactions work at the speed of light.
Good point. When people talk about going faster than the speed of light, they generally mean taking something travelling slower than the speed of light, making it travel faster than the speed of light, for a time, then getting it back to less than the speed of light at a desired destination.
Shorthand for this generally incudes terms such as “breaking the light barrier”, etc.
You remind me of my favorite line in "Space Balls" , the movie.Something to the effect of:
Are we at hyper light speed?
She's gone to .....Plaid!
Utterly impossible and untrue. Its like the claim recently about creating ‘cold fusion’. Wait and see, they’ll be retracting this tidbit soon enough.