German scientists declare speed of light more of a guideline than a limit

I know it’s not HPC, but, c’mon. It’s the speed of light for crying out loud. Thought you’d want to know.

This from the DailyTech

According to modern physics, the speed of light is a fundamental, unbreakable limit. Yet two physicists are now claiming they have done just that, and propelled a stream of photons faster than the speed of light.

…The two scientists say they have now tunneled photons “instantaneously” across a distance of up to one meter.

…In a statement published sortly [sic] after the paper was announced, Nimitz claims, “For the time being, this is the only violation [of special relativity] that I know of.”

Clearly this is controversial

However, Dr. Aephraim Steinberg, from the University of Toronto, disagrees with the findings. He says its all just a matter of interpretation. The “wave packet” of the virtual photon exceeded the speed of light, but no actual information was transmitted that fast. Therefore, according to Steinberg, Einstein’s cosmic speed limit remains safe.

Who’s right? Decide for yourself; you can find the paper at http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.0681

Comments

  1. That’s it… I’m off this weekend to start mining my supply of Dilithium Crystals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilithium_crystals)
    ;)

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