Scientist break the speed of light : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

for fair use, educational, yada, yada,

Here's the only article I could find on this subject. Beyond interesting, imho Mar.

Eureka! Scientists break speed of light

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

SCIENTISTS claim they have broken the ultimate speed barrier: the speed of light. In research carried out in the United States, particle physicists have shown that light pulses can be accelerated to up to 300 times their normal velocity of 186,000 miles per second.

The implications, like the speed, are mind-boggling. On one interpretation it means that light will arrive at its destination almost before it has started its journey. In effect, it is leaping forward in time.

Exact details of the findings remain confidential because they have been submitted to Nature, the international scientific journal, for review prior to possible publication.

The work was carried out by Dr Lijun Wang, of the NEC research institute in Princeton, who transmitted a pulse of light towards a chamber filled with specially treated caesium gas.

Before the pulse had fully entered the chamber it had gone right through it and travelled a further 60ft across the laboratory. In effect it existed in two places at once, a phenomenon that Wang explains by saying it travelled 300 times faster than light.

The research is already causing controversy among physicists. What bothers them is that if light could travel forward in time it could carry information. This would breach one of the basic principles in physics - causality, which says that a cause must come before an effect. It would also shatter Einstein's theory of relativity since it depends in part on the speed of light being unbreachable.

This weekend Wang said he could not give details but confirmed: "Our light pulses did indeed travel faster than the accepted speed of light. I hope it will give us a much better understanding of the nature of light and how it behaves."

Dr Raymond Chiao, professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, who is familiar with Wang's work, said he was impressedby the findings. "This is a fascinating experiment," he said.

In Italy, another group of physicists has also succeeded in breaking the light speed barrier. In a newly published paper, physicists at the Italian National Research Council described how they propagated microwaves at 25% above normal light speed. The group speculates that it could be possible to transmit information faster than light.

Dr Guenter Nimtz, of Cologne University, an expert in the field, agrees. He believes that information can be sent faster than light and last week gave a paper describing how it could be done to a conference in Edinburgh. He believes, however, that this will not breach the principle of causality because the time taken to interpret the signal would fritter away all the savings.

"The most likely application for this is not in time travel but in speeding up the way signals move through computer circuits," he said.

Wang's experiment is the latest and possibly the most important evidence that the physical world may not operate according to any of the accepted conventions.

In the new world that modern science is beginning to perceive, sub-atomic particles can apparently exist in two places at the same time - making no distinction between space and time.

Separate experiments carried out by Chiao illustrate this. He showed that in certain circumstances photons - the particles of which light is made - could apparently jump between two points separated by a barrier in what appears to be zero time. The process, known as tunnelling, has been used to make some of the most sensitive electron microscopes.

The implications of Wang's experiments will arouse fierce debate. Many will question whether his work can be interpreted as proving that light can exceed its normal speed - suggesting that another mechanism may be at work.

Neil Turok, professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge University, said he awaited the details with interest, but added: "I doubt this will change our view of the fundamental laws of physics."

Wang emphasises that his experiments are relevant only to light and may not apply to other physical entities. But scientists are beginning to accept that man may eventually exploit some of these characteristics for inter-stellar space travel.

**************** Hope the link works...!

-- Not now, not like this (, July 12, 2000


Time travel is pretty cool. Without it, we never would have fixed that awful Y2K thingy. Believe me, drinking dog piss from rusty hubcaps was not nearly as appetizing as it sounds.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), July 27, 2025.

Here was the previous thread on the subject.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), July 12, 2000.

Oops, sorry "hmmmm" don't check in everyday. Thanks for the link! (So *that's* how they fixed it, ey? I knew it was *something* like that...grin)

-- Not now, not like this (, July 12, 2000.

I'll bet dollars to doughnuts the NSA and CIA jumped all over this story and trampled it out. "A flawed conclusion from the research," they will say. "There was a reflection of an outdoor light leaking through the crack at the top of the laboratory."

In the meantime, they will be setting up the equipment at Area 51 to see what kind of crazy weapons they can make for the Defense Department using this technology. Don't be suprised if Adolph Hitler comes back through some kind of wormhole in time through higher dimensions.

-- Hawk (flyin@hi.again), July 12, 2000.


If they develop time travel to the past in the future, those people would be here now (or were here in the past).

And Hitler was a LOSER as a conqueror. Why would anyone want to bring him back? Why not Caesar or Alexander?


-- Someone (, July 12, 2000.

i have a feeling of deja vu must have read about it before it happened

they must be onto something then

-- richard (, July 13, 2000.

If they develop time travel to the past in the future, those people would be here now (or were here in the past).

That would be a logical assumption. However, as it turned out, there wasn't much reason to travel into the past. Most people found it boring. Other than fixing the Y2K problem and preventing the Ecuadorian World Takeover, there wasn't really much to do anyway. Some people wanted to stop the Philbin assasination but it just wasn't deemed important enough.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), August 12, 2025.

Good to know.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), July 13, 2000.

I don't think there's any "time travel" considerations here.

I think the implications of breaking the speed of light will allow us to bend time (ala Micho Kaku's the 10th Dimension) and we will be able to travel much faster through space. There is an asteroid cluster that, for lack of a better word, "hangs" around between Mars and Jupiter. There are lots of metal in these astroids, perhaps some we don't know of yet. Possibly a new power source.

Instead of taking 3 years to get there and back, it may now only take 3 weeks.

Mankind needs new challenges and this looks like it could turn out to be one!!!


-- Not against time travel, though :-) (, July 13, 2000.

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