Speed of light broken
June 5, 2001 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Speed of light broken... no biggy.
posted by GriffX (22 comments total)
That sound you hear? That's the sound of Einsteinian physics crumbling to the ground in tiny pieces :-)
posted by starvingartist at 12:43 PM on June 5, 2001

June 4th, 2000??? Hmmm.

Can anyone dig up some corroboration, because I really really want this to be true.
posted by thebigpoop at 12:43 PM on June 5, 2001

Um, old news. (that's June of 200)
posted by alana at 12:44 PM on June 5, 2001

Wow, I figured I wouldn't have to come back once Matt added the auto-search to the "post a link" page.

posted by DoublePostGuy at 12:46 PM on June 5, 2001

How long, on average, does it take for something to go through the review process before it hits the pages of Nature? This may already have been disproven...
posted by darukaru at 12:46 PM on June 5, 2001

alan: (that's June of 200)

talk about old news! ;)
posted by pnevares at 12:48 PM on June 5, 2001

That sound you hear? That's the sound of embarrassed and grumbling physicists patching up Einsteinian physics again ;-)
posted by starvingartist at 12:49 PM on June 5, 2001

I can't find anything more recent about this... what happened with this?
posted by tranquileye at 12:50 PM on June 5, 2001

Don't get all excited. There's a lot of experimental data to back up the usual assertions.

Here's Wang's home page.

Quote: It has been mistakenly reported that we have observed a light pulse’s group velocity exceeding c by a factor of 300. This is erroneous. In the experiment, the light pulse emerges on the far side of the atomic cell sooner than if it had traveled through the same thickness in vacuum by a time difference that is 310 folds of the vacuum transit time.

Further quote:Our experiment is not at odds with Einstein’s special relativity. The experiment can be well explained using existing physics theories that are consistent with Relativity.... Information coded using a light pulse cannot be transmitted faster than c using this effect.
posted by Twang at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2001

Scientific American carried an article that explains quite well the actual physics, if anyone's interested. And it's a bit less heavy than the original paper in Nature.
posted by chrismear at 1:36 PM on June 5, 2001

Here's a particularly ignorant gosh-wow paragraph from the article:

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.

posted by webmutant at 2:10 PM on June 5, 2001

Has anyone noticed that not only is this roughly a year old, it's exactly a year old. If you click the One Year Ago link in the MeFi sidebar, this link is listed.
posted by perplexed at 2:25 PM on June 5, 2001

Perplexed, are you suggesting some sort of warp in time? Cause if so, we're on the same page here.
posted by Doug at 2:35 PM on June 5, 2001

What I don't understand is that it's the EXACT SAME link. Meaning when it got posted, it should've popped up a warning saying "This link has been posted already, are you sure you want to do that?" Whatever.
posted by zempf at 3:00 PM on June 5, 2001

zempf, that happens too many times. I'd blame in on the force of habit, but this is only GriffX's second link.
posted by pnevares at 3:13 PM on June 5, 2001

Wow...maybe that explains why a lot of webloggers are fading away from the proverbial polaroids we are all holding. If we can just get the DeLorean's flux-capacitor working again, maybe we can go back and save them.
posted by Hankins at 3:14 PM on June 5, 2001

Actually, the events happened in "no time." Go out and find "The Non-Local Universe" by Robert Nadeau and Menas Kefatos for a discussion of our current Einsteinian perceptions and how this type of experiment is forcing us to look beyond our "local" reality.
posted by wiinga at 8:58 PM on June 5, 2001

SETI's been barking up the wrong deep space antennae. Oh we're being communicated with, but inconspicuously hidden under the fabric of spacetime. Might it be possible to communicate in realtime with beings somewhere tens if not hundreds of light years away? Indeed, how's it possible for something to "happen" before it's even really happened at all?

What this bodes, if true, would well. . .we think we've seen revolution before? Nothing in the history of humankind would even come close.
posted by crasspastor at 9:03 PM on June 5, 2001

What I don't understand is that it's the EXACT SAME link.

It is the exact same link because it is the exact same link. The link that appeared one year ago obviously traveled faster than the speed of light to appear on this year's version of Metafilter. Or was it last year's? Oh, my brain hurts.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:57 PM on June 5, 2001

We don't have to obey your rules, man.
posted by holloway at 11:54 PM on June 5, 2001

Monty Python warning:

alan: (that's June of 200)

pnevares: talk about old news! ;)

So that's what the Romans did for us!
posted by vbfg at 4:48 AM on June 6, 2001

Heh heh....I saw this one coming....
posted by nofundy at 5:21 AM on June 6, 2001

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