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Craig
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:52 pm    Post subject: We have broken speed of light Reply with quote

Living in interesting times...

Quote:
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.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ear.....eed116.xml
gc





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I'll have to read up on this when I get some more time. Anyways, apparently this isn't new:
Link 1
Link 2
Hasdrubal





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always been interested in future space travel, if man can break the speed of light & join the Cosmic frontiers of space as a race we can go forward & live that dream of exploration & peaceful colonization of new worlds. And if Earth does die as a result of Global Warming if we break that barrier mankind will survive, this is good news indeed. :)
gc





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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Humans are much heavier than light, so unless special relativity is flawed (and there's no reason to believe it is - it has withstood many experiments over the past hundred years) humans will never travel faster than light.
Craig
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
so unless special relativity is flawed (and there's no reason to believe it is - it has withstood many experiments over the past hundred years)


The THEORY (not law) has not withstood hundreds of experiments in the past 100 years. It has failed on many occassions including the one that forms the basis of this thread. There are many conflicts between quantum mechanics and special relativity - especially when dealing with super small constituents of matter (quarks, leptons, etc.).

Einstein himself, four decades after proposing the theory, found an error in it. And problems with it persist today...

http://www.taipeitimes.com/New.....2003250160

Quote:
"The findings suggest that there is a more fundamental theory of the way that light and matter interact; and that special relativity, at its foundation, is actually wrong," Murphy said.

Einstein's insistence that the speed of light was always the same set up many of his big ideas and established the bedrock of modern physics.

Murphy said: "It could turn out that special relativity is a very good approximation but it's missing a little bit."

"That little bit may be the doorknob to a whole new universe and a whole new set of fundamental laws," Murphy added.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:

The THEORY (not law) has not withstood hundreds of experiments in the past 100 years. It has failed on many occassions including the one that forms the basis of this thread.


Without learning more about how the experiment was actually conducted, other than a simple headline, it's pretty hard to comment on whether special relativity is actually violated (also assuming that the results are genuine and can be verified). Just because a couple of scientists believe that it violates special relativity does not necessarily make it true. It is possible to appear to travel faster than the speed of light without actually exceeding the speed of light, such as with wormholes or quantum entanglement.

Quote:
There are many conflicts between quantum mechanics and special relativity - especially when dealing with super small constituents of matter (quarks, leptons, etc.).


I'm not aware of any conflicts between quantum mechanics and special relativity, but perhaps you could be so kind as to point me in the right direction? I know that there are conflicts between quantum mechanics and general relativity, however that doesn't necessarily mean that general relativity is the one that is incorrect.
Craig
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
Craig wrote:

The THEORY (not law) has not withstood hundreds of experiments in the past 100 years. It has failed on many occassions including the one that forms the basis of this thread.


Without learning more about how the experiment was actually conducted, other than a simple headline, it's pretty hard to comment on whether special relativity is actually violated (also assuming that the results are genuine and can be verified). Just because a couple of scientists believe that it violates special relativity does not necessarily make it true. It is possible to appear to travel faster than the speed of light without actually exceeding the speed of light, such as with wormholes or quantum entanglement.


I'll assume the scientists used valid methods and that even if they presented their formulations you wouldn't be qualified to assess them (my wife has a Ph.D in physics with a masters in cosmology and I'm sure she couldn't make that assessment).

Quote:
I'm not aware of any conflicts between quantum mechanics and special relativity, but perhaps you could be so kind as to point me in the right direction? I know that there are conflicts between quantum mechanics and general relativity, however that doesn't necessarily mean that general relativity is the one that is incorrect.


Come on guy. Anyone who has read the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy would know the answer to this. Quantum mechanics predicts (and has produced evidence) that things happen faster than the speed of light. Stated more eliquently...

Quote:

Relativity and quantum mechanics are the two fundamental theories constituting modern physics. On one hand the standard model of particle physics, although incorporating aspects of relativity, is a quantum mechanical theory at root. On the other hand our understanding of the large-scale structure and evolution of the universe is basically relativistic. But the different perspectives from which the two theories are formulated have made it difficult to put them on one unified basis.

Despite impressive advances in mathematical machinery, a basic problem remains unanswered and usually even unmentioned. Quantum mechanics predicts, and experiments have well verified, that non-local (i.e. faster than light) influences are possible under certain conditions [1]. However, it is generally held that relativity precludes anything propagating faster than light, as this would seem to imply situations in which effects precede their causes.
gc





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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:

I'll assume the scientists used valid methods and that even if they presented their formulations you wouldn't be qualified to assess them (my wife has a Ph.D in physics with a masters in cosmology and I'm sure she couldn't make that assessment).


I'm not saying I can necessarily assess their results by learning more about their experimental procedure, but it would be a lot easier than trying to do so with a brief article in the media as my only source of information. As for their methods, I'll trust the reviewers of their article which I assume they are going to publish (if they have already published it, I haven't seen any reference to it).

Quote:

However, it is generally held that relativity precludes anything propagating faster than light, as this would seem to imply situations in which effects precede their causes.


Of course, faster than light travel does not necessarily contradict special relativity. Special relativity only says that stuff with mass or energy can not be accelerated to the speed of light. It says nothing about stuff that has no mass or energy being able to travel at the speed of light, nor does it say anything about stuff that has always traveled faster than the speed of light. Even the article you provided says "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of." I assume that this scientist would know better than you or I whether special relativity has been violated before. However, if you have any specific examples/experiments (other than the one that is the topic of this thread), I'd love to hear about them.
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
I assume that this scientist would know better than you or I whether special relativity has been violated before.


Hold on. There is neither solid reproducable proof for or against the theory (which is why it is a theory not a law). What we are seeing is evidence that may draw into question some of the postulates. You seem to be under the impression that relativity is infallble.

Quote:
However, if you have any specific examples/experiments (other than the one that is the topic of this thread), I'd love to hear about them.


"On philosophical, mathematical and empirical grounds, there are nevertheless many valid objections against the theory to be found. This article focuses on two of these, in an analysis of a popular derivation of the Lorentz transformation according to the theory of special relativity and by means of a philosophical argument showing a contradiction between the two postulates of special relativity."

http://www.physics.semantrium.com/relativity.html

I'm not saying that relativity is wrong. I'm simply saying that there are uncertainties about it. And this thread in particular illustrates one of those uncertainties.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
"On philosophical, mathematical and empirical grounds, there are nevertheless many valid objections against the theory to be found. This article focuses on two of these, in an analysis of a popular derivation of the Lorentz transformation according to the theory of special relativity and by means of a philosophical argument showing a contradiction between the two postulates of special relativity."

http://www.physics.semantrium.com/relativity.html

I'm not saying that relativity is wrong. I'm simply saying that there are uncertainties about it. And this thread in particular illustrates one of those uncertainties.


Thanks for the link, I'll definitely read it when I have some more time.

Quote:
Hold on. There is neither solid reproducable proof for or against the theory (which is why it is a theory not a law). What we are seeing is evidence that may draw into question some of the postulates. You seem to be under the impression that relativity is infallble.


I'm not saying that relativity is infallible, but as far as I know it has stood up to very rigorous testing, making it a very solid theory. If there are errors with relativity, and it's possible that there are, they will probably require only small changes to the theory. I think it's safe to say that special relativity is almost exactly correct, and that humans will never be able to travel faster than the speed of light.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it's safe to say that special relativity is almost exactly correct, and that humans will never be able to travel faster than the speed of light.


I saw Captain Kirk get the Enterprise up to Warp 9 before Scotty called up and said "Captain me engines can no take the strain"
Craig
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gc wrote:
I think it's safe to say that special relativity is almost exactly correct, and that humans will never be able to travel faster than the speed of light.


I guess I'm more of an optimist than you (or at least a dreamer). I like to think that there is far more that we don't know than we do know and that relativity could easily be viewed as a flat-earth theory in 100 years. Probable? No. Possible? Yes.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The United States patent office nearly shut down in the early 20th century because they thought everything that was of any value to be invented already had been. They thought that technology and our understanding of the world had peaked. I believe that many 'scientists' and 'educated' people have made the mistake of buying into far fetched hypothesis' too easily. After all, anyone who believes in macro evolution would have a tendency to adopt the same fascist mindset that we can't possibly do something like travel the speed of light with evidence to the contrary or no evidence at all.
gc





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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
I like to think that there is far more that we don't know than we do know and that relativity could easily be viewed as a flat-earth theory in 100 years.


That would certainly make things more interesting :) . Although, I'm sure there are many more interesting 'surprises' yet to be discovered, even if they don't contradict our current theories.
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