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WE HAVE BROKEN SPEED OF LIGHT" claims a pair of German physicists - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time, as Einstein's special theory of relativity claims 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 while investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling. 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 bizarre consequences such as an astronaut moving faster than light would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving
Dr Nimtz told New Scientist, magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."

ED.COM. It also means that if you can alter the speed of light then all calculations of the age of the universe based on belief in a fixed value for light are suspect. (Ref. Setterfield, Light, fact)

29th August 2007



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