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Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet

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this might be the biggest announcement in physics in the past 100 or so years (since Einstein's famous 1907 papers). Stay tuned for more, as it might be historical...

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Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen, according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity. The speed of light—186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second)—has long been considered a cosmic speed limit.

I thought I'd heard/read somewhere that going AT the speed of light was a big no-no. Going faster was OK, but you could never slow down TO the speed of light. And they theorized that tachyons were particles that went faster than, but not at, the speed of light.

So even if you found particles traveling faster than light, it still wouldn't violate relativity. It would just mean that the particles were going backward in time.

Which would kind of make symmetrical sense. At the big bang, matter and anti-matter were created out of nothing, so maybe time and anti-time were created out of nothing as well.

Which means these experiments spell certain doom for the universe, as time and anti-time as well as matter and anti-matter will collapse upon themselves into nothingness, starting the whole big-bag process over again.

Maybe that's why there's never been any communication with alien life forms. Every society in the universe that evolves gets to a point where they do these experiments and inadvertently erase everything and starts over.

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ebisen

IF it is substantiated by the rest of the scientific community. I'm very intreagued by this possibility myself but this is too significant a claim to acccept on face value alone.

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A particle reaching a certain distance at a certain time does not automatically mean it went faster than the speed of light. It may sound more strange but what fits within the present frame of physics is that the particle may have manipulated dimensional and/or gravitational field in which it achieved "Warp" which by the way does not violate Einstein's theory of special relativity and was predicted within general theory of relativity.

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If confirmed, this is big news. However, I will suspend belief until it is repeated a few more times. Although he has certainly been proven wrong before (the idea of a static universe comes to mind) you don't just throw Einstein out the window without serious proof.

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The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

Who would do that?!?! And out of all the possible scenarios why is that the one he/she comes up with?!?!

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The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

Better yet, one could go back in time and prevent any nuclear plants from being created in Japan or at the very least for warning those in power about what would transpire on 2011/03/11.

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Physicists wary of junking light speed limit yet

Wise move. What do they wanna do, make the universe like the German autoban? Particles need limits, just like everything else; take those away and they'll walk all over you, playing their "string theory" music and all.

It may sound more strange but what fits within the present frame of physics is that the particle may have manipulated dimensional and/or gravitational field

Good point, SB! It's known that light is affected to some extent by gravity, so its path around large bodies is slightly curved. Perhaps some particles are not affected by gravity at all: these would thus travel from point A to point B more quickly without necessarily being faster than light.

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Ah, one other point, SB: from what I understand, Einstein held that space-time is already warped by gravity. If you imagine your pillow as space-time and your head as a large body of matter, you can imagine the curve which light must travel around. So perhaps this particle does not warp time - it just ignores gravity's warp.

It's highly unlikely this will ever be harnessed for things such as, say, communication, but just imagine: "Hello!" I said, and then the phone rung.

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If this is true, does it mean time travel will be possible at least going backwards but not forward? Does it also mean you will be able to get an email reply before it is transmitted by going back in time?

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Gaijinfo: You are right. There are solutions for particle movement both for speed slower than light and for speed faster than light. At exactly speed of light, the mass of particles which have a mass goes to infinity, which would need an infinite amount of energy. Therefore particles without mass (like photons) can travel at speed of light, and particles without mass can travel at a speed different from light speed. Let's see if the data taken by J-PARC and Kamiokande can confirm this.

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Sorry, it should read:

... , and particles WITH mass can travel at a speed different from light speed.

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I wonder how knowing this all can be applied to anything? Can we travel to the end of the universe in a space ship? Not in my time.

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gaijinfo

If the idea of antimatter being a reversal of time is what concerns you then think that the longer we sit here contemplating it the further and further the antimatter universe is moving away from us on the time axis. If that is the case then moving backward in time would likely take more energy the further you tried to move back in time.

Localized creations of antimatter by high energy collisions are not part of the original Big Bang.

I am wondering if, since neutrino's are known to change types, on their way from the Sun, where they are produced, to the earth, then maybe neutrino's can also change between an anti-neutrino variant, in which case the backwards movement in time during the particles time spent as an anti-neutrino might account for the discrepancy in measured speed,

If information can be added to the neutrino then use of this might enable a faster information transmission as well as increased computational speed. I was wondering what the next Moore's law advancement in computing might be, LOL .

We live in interesting times!

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It seems impossible to "build towards" time travel. If the result is a success then we would already know about it since someone would have already arrived from the future. Or if it happens so far in the future that no one has traveled back far enough to our time or doesn't think we should know then the result is the same of not discovering it anyway.

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It sure is very complicated.

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Until this is independently verified a few times, I'm putting it in the same category as cold fusion in a Mason jar.

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"The average person, said De Rujula, could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born"

They could not, don't be ridiculous, De Rujula.

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Every person who follows the science world knows that there is this kind of "faster than light" announcement every 3 years or so, and every time it gets disproved as miscalculations/misinterpretations

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Woo hoo, maybe I'll get my 80s do-over after all....

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Better yet, one could go back in time and prevent any nuclear plants from being created in Japan or at the very least for warning those in power about what would transpire on 2011/03/11.

Yes, I am sure that is exactly what a group of physicists would do first if it were possible to travel in time.

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That's so quick that a particle could turn off the light and be in bed before the light went out. That's quick.

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The average person, said De Rujula, “could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born.”

I really hope he was severely misquoted for this embarrassingly nonsensical conclusion. Paradoxes aside, faster than light does not equal back in time any more than sliding down a tilted plane equals moving upwards.

And while we're waiting for the actual results to be unconfirmed, I expect GPS and particle accelerators to continue working as they've done hitherto.

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"The average person, said de Rujula, could, in principle, travel to the past and kill their mother before they were born"

Really! The father gets off scot-free? And what if the person who did this is the one who invented / was instrumental in creating the time machine? Then the time machine would never have come into existence and this person would never have been able to travel to the past to prevent their own existence. Right?

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dzimmerm56 - Superluminal transfer of information is possible according to the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen effect, but the information is unknowable according to Greene and Heisenberg.

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Rumors about that started to circulate some 10-15 years ago. I think scientists slowly preparing people's opinion, that Einstein was not fully correct. Science is always like that. Extremely hard to go against dogma. But I am pretty much sure that we will hear more and more about it.

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Having read the preliminary paper on ArXiv, the data analysis presented by the Opera group looks sound. Although the data suggests that some neutrinos are traveling faster than light, this does not mean that one can instantaneously transfer information using these neutrinos. The reason for this is that the data rate of detectable neutrinos is so low, that they had to check the full data set of several years to find this effect.

In other words, while there are neutrinos, who arrive 60 ns earlier than expected, still it takes in the order of a year (or in the future at least weeks or months) to accumulate enough events.

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Let's do the time warp again.

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what is it faster than my mamachari!?

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Experiments with dmt have proven faster than light travel to be a reality long before CERN was around!

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