Thursday, August 16, 2007

Space/Time Travel is Here

'We have broken speed of light'

By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent

Telegraph U.K.

12:01am BST 16/08/2007

A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.

According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, 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.

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 a wide variety of bizarre consequences.

For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.

The scientists were investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which allows sub-atomic particles to break apparently unbreakable laws.

Dr Nimtz told New Scientist magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."


If you arrive at a destination before leaving, then aren't you in the past, and you still have somewhere to go? Then you try and leave again but end up further in the past? I can't think about the implications of this too hard right now. Kevin?

"Instantaneous data transfer is keen." - D. Deutsch


  1. ROFL at the Deutsch quote.

  2. The multiverse factors in here somehow, which makes things more complicated. Apparently there is no difference between the future of our universe and the 'present' of other universes.

    If I can arrive at my destination before I leave, then do I have a choice to make the trip? Maybe Kant was right and there is no time. No thats a cop out.

  3. Sometimes after several beers, a man will find his johnson to have quantum tunneled into a woman before he even noticed that she was hot.

    Einstein had actually experienced this and formulated an all-encompassing, nappy dugout tunneling theory. However, admitting that he had copulated with the waitress would have meant having to hone up to his paternal responsibilities, so he decided to keep it on the down low.

  4. Maybe Philip K. Dick is right and we are all stuck in the year 50 A.D., but there’s some evil spiritual force trying to make us forget that the Kingdom of God is imminent.