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TrekToday - Scientists Claim Light Speed Barrier Broken

Scientists Claim Light Speed Barrier Broken

By Christian
June 4, 2000 - 11:47 AM

Jonathan Leake, Science Editor at the Sunday Times is reporting that a group of American particle physicists claim to have shown that light pulses can be accelerated to speeds of up to 300 times as fast as the standard speed of light, 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second.

The exact details of the experiment are unfortunately not yet known, as they have been submitted to the science journal 'Nature' prior to possible publication. However, Dr. Lijun Wang, head of the experiment at Princeton's NEC research institute, said that the experiment consisted of transmitting a pulse of light towards a chamber filled with specially treated caesium gas.

During the experiment, it was observed that, before the pulse had fully entered the chamber, it had also already gone through it and travelled 60 feet further. In effect it existed in two places, which according to Wang happened because it travelled at 300 times the speed of light.

The results still have to be confirmed, but if they prove to be valid, they will likely cause a great controversy among physicists. Einstein's theory of relativity, for instance, which depends largely on the speed of light being unbreachable, would suddenly find itself shattered.

More details on the finding, as well as a look at the possible ramifications, can be found in the full article. It would appear the warp drive has come a step closer again.

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