Sunday, May 14, 2006

Researchers Trip the Light Fantastic and Send It Speeding Backwards


Scientists at the University of Rochester in New York have done things Einstein said were impossible: They have slowed light down and somehow managed to speed it up to the point it actually travels backward.

It's little more than a trick really. The speed of light has not changed. It remains constant at approximately 186,000 miles-per-second. However, the dynamics of the way the light beam travels does change. Instead of flowing in a constant line along an optical cable, the beam skips to the end of the line and travels back to the beginning.
Making light travel faster than usual is nothing new. They've been doing that for years now. But this is something completely new and unexpected.

For full details, you're probably much better off reading the complete press release, but suffice to say, the more we think we know about the laws of the Universe, the more we realize we have left to learn...

1 comment:

Darnell Clayton said...

Just trying to figure out how this works makes my head hurt.

I think their "warped mirror" examples help me understand it a little bit, but it doesn't relieve the headache nonetheless.

Fact is definately stranger than fiction.