Science Photons flout the light speed limit

Roanapur

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http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19526173.500

IT'S a speed record that is supposed to be impossible to break. Yet two physicists are now claiming they have propelled photons faster than the speed of light. This would be in direct violation of a key tenet of Einstein's special theory of relativity that states that nothing, under any circumstance, can exceed the speed of light.

Günter Nimtz and Alfons Stahlhofen of the University of Koblenz, Germany, have been exploring a phenomenon in quantum optics called photon tunnelling, which occurs when a particle slips across an apparently uncrossable barrier. The pair say they have now tunnelled photons "instantaneously" across a barrier of various sizes, from a few millimetres up to a metre. Their conclusion is that the photons traverse the barrier much faster than the speed of light.

To see how far they could make photons tunnel, Nimtz and Stahlhofen sandwiched two glass prisms together to make a ...
The complete article is 795 words long.
I sadly can't get the rest of the article because I don't have the money to subscribe to the site. -___-'

But really, this gets the gist of it.

This is a big "f*** you" to Einstein and quantum physics theorists everywhere. XD
 

ezxx

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i'm not convinced for some odd reason
 

TechnoMagus

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Classical Newtonian physics held for about 300 years until Einstein and a host of others made it a "special case" and "generalized" it in quantum mechanics. If this is true, quantum mechanics may be another "special" case and just held for about a century. Mind you, both of them were mostly theoretical when first developed and took some experimentations before being generally accepted. But this latest is a "result" from actual experimentation!

Now what does the most famous contemporary theoretical physicist from his wheelchair have to say in his trademark synthetic robotic voice? :D

"Günter and Alfons...beam me up!!!" :grin
 

rabb

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This is a big "f*** you" to Einstein and quantum physics theorists everywhere. XD
not quantum physics theorists. thats what gunter and alfons are. and that was a rule i could never agree with. im mean, i know Einstein is a how hell of a lot smarter than me, but why should things stop accelerating once they hit a certain speed? that'd be like saying it is impossible for cars to go faster than mach 1.... but its been done...
 

TechnoMagus

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Well explaining it without equations....quite hard actually...:grin

You can pick up a copy of "A Brief/Briefer History of Time" by that famous wheelchair-bound with a synthetic robotized voice physicist i mentioned...Stephen Hawking. Trust me it's an "easy" read...:p (it has only one equation, E=mc^2)

in a nutshell, it involves violating causality--you actually know (that is actually see since we are talking about light) something happened BEFORE it happened!!! makes sense once you read a math free version description of it! :D

an example...there is a lightning and you "KNOW" there is a lightning with this shape, color and other characteristics at this place at this point in time and then you actually SEE (occurring at the speed of light) it occurring and then hearing the thunder last, in that order.

researching...there are other instances of experiments involving "faster-than-light" but with a fine-print attached....but heck, i don't want to give a physics lecture....:p
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light
 

Roanapur

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Oh no, by all means, if you don't mind, I'd like to learn as much as you could teach as possible.
 

Absolutio

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not quantum physics theorists. thats what gunter and alfons are. and that was a rule i could never agree with. im mean, i know Einstein is a how hell of a lot smarter than me, but why should things stop accelerating once they hit a certain speed? that'd be like saying it is impossible for cars to go faster than mach 1.... but its been done...
Well.. to explain it simply.. There are two kynemathic physics (movement physics) in the universe => at "normal" speed, and at a close to light speed.
What you said about a car "breaking its limits" is at a normal speed physics. But when an object moves close to the speed of light, there occurs a phenonemon - its mass increases. I don't forget how it goes exactly in the equation, but it generally goes to the point that no object can move faster than the speed of light. I really didn't do physics for a too long time, I'm too rusty.. :(
 

Bouland

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i did a research paper in my university days regarding a body that moves in the speed of light. from what i recall, after a body reaches that speed any increase in thrust will not result an increase in speed. instead the mass of the body will start increasing and the speed remains the same. so i have to say that i agree with Absulutio here

but anything is possible these days =P
 

segua

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Apparently when you start getting into Quantum Physics, you could go faster than the speed of light or was it another specific area by a similar name? But anyway, how is this relevant to my life as it is?
 

patrick_tambu

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Apparently when you start getting into Quantum Physics, you could go faster than the speed of light or was it another specific area by a similar name? But anyway, how is this relevant to my life as it is?
Well, if this "faster than light" thing is true, we won't be able to see its utility for some time, i guess. But speculations has been made in every direction. Maybe they'll find a way to teletransport people or (and it'd be even better!) perhaps finally make possible to get on other planets through the galaxy!!!!
Can you see now that, even if it isn't relevant at the moment, it surely could get in the near future..
Btw, it's not true there wasn't anything faster before... (Assuming this one is!!) We know that even the light, with its speed, cannot escape the gravity attraction of a black hole..maybe we'll even be able to dissipate black holes' secrets!!!:D
 

bax

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Apparently when you start getting into Quantum Physics, you could go faster than the speed of light or was it another specific area by a similar name? But anyway, how is this relevant to my life as it is?
I'm taking my PhD for Quantum Physics now, and what I can say is, faster-than-light travel exists in theory. It is possible in theory, but then, there are things that are needed for it, but so far, the needed things don't exist (at least not found yet).

********************

It may be a surprise for many physicists that even within the framework of general relativity faster-than-light speed is allowed, provided that the space-time metric of the universe is globally hyperbolic. This condition simply implies that closed time-like paths in space-time (and thus time-travel) are excluded, so that causality is again preserved. (In this framework, the cosmological time parameter can be again interpreted as the absolute time of the universe. However, in order to construct a propulsion mechanism for faster-than-light travel, exotic matter (with imaginary mass) would probably be needed in order to produce negative energy densities in space. Unfortunately, exotic matter is not known to exist, although negative energy densities have been shown to appear in quantum field theory. But, of course, such a hypothetical propulsion mechanism just provokes to be given the familiar name of the warp drive.

Reference: M. Alcubierre: "The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity". Classical and Quantum Gravity 11 (1994)

This appears in one of my study readings, which may look interesting. Although it's a remark copied from somewhere (too lazy to browse through the book :p It's thick >_>)
 

patrick_tambu

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Btw, as amatter of facts, if we get a way to push something to a faster-than-light speed, or even double it(600.000 kmph-wow), that won't be enough to travel through the univers, you know...distance is our real limit!!! By travel at twice the light speed, to reach the nearest star, it'd take something as 2 years... I think that won't be the way... Keh! Wouldn't be easier if some alien gets on earth and tells us humans how's the deal????!!!???lol
 

skeith20

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I've read somewhere about a theory in physics that our universe is composed of multiple dimensions, 11 in total, 1 being time 3 being your conventional spacial dimensions and the other 7 being something else I don't remember.

What if, and this is a big if, since all those dimensions are wrapped together, a distance "x" in our dimension was actually shorter between the same points that correspond to the distance on one other(s) dimension(s). what if you could travel along the lines of this dimension instead of conventional 3 dimensions. Even at slower than light speed, from an observer's point of view it would still be faster than light.
 

patrick_tambu

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I've read somewhere about a theory in physics that our universe is composed of multiple dimensions, 11 in total, 1 being time 3 being your conventional spacial dimensions and the other 7 being something else I don't remember.

What if, and this is a big if, since all those dimensions are wrapped together, a distance "x" in our dimension was actually shorter between the same points that correspond to the distance on one other(s) dimension(s). what if you could travel along the lines of this dimension instead of conventional 3 dimensions. Even at slower than light speed, from an observer's point of view it would still be faster than light.
Yeah, i've read that stuff too... It's about "cosmic strings", and what this theory says, is as possible as any other theory the best scientists have made this far!!!
 

DemonDays

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Well so far it's only a claim, nothing has been proved yet.
But i think its not completely unbelievable.
 
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