Can light break it's own speed limit ?

or it's just a star trek-'warp 9' form ,

of fictional expresion language?

16 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    the speed of light is a constant.

    well, so everyone thought.

    Its now proved that the speed of light is not a constant.

    I dont think anyone in their right mind will agree with me, but it is possible, not theoretically alone, but practically as well.

    Here is a link of scientists who increased its speed:

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/epf...

    and here is one where its slowed down to an UNBELEIVABLE 38km/hour:

    http://www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/1999/02.18/ligh...

    its new stuff, but nevertheless true.

    hope i helped.

  • 1 decade ago

    Indeed It Can But It Would Take Awhile!

    Scientists have long believed nature has a speed limit.

    It's the speed of light -- 186,000 miles (299,300 kilometers) per second. And the principle that nothing can go faster would mean most science-fiction tales of interstellar travel are impossible. At that speed, it would take us many generations to reach even the closest galaxies.

    Now, however, physicists are coming closer to finding out how, in some situations, light may actually travel faster than that. But there are doubts as to whether the discoveries will have any practical use. An experiment by physicists in Florence, Italy provided what some call the clearest demonstration to date that light can indeed break its own speed limit.

    "It's very counterintuitive, but under certain circumstances you can have light travel in a vacuum in a mode which is faster than light," said Raymond Chiao, a physics professor at the University of California at Berkeley.

    Light adores a vacuum

    The study, published in the May 22 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, was the first to show light apparently behaving this way in a vacuum -- that is, empty space -- experts said.

    Several previous experiments had involved shooting light beams through a thin piece of material. The light waves, while crossing through the material, were slightly distorted in a way that forced them to arrive ahead of schedule.

    The new experiment, led by Anedio Ranfagni of the Italian National Research Council, involved no such barriers. It involved shining light beams at a mirror, curved like the inside of a bowl. The mirror shot the beams back toward an instrument that measured the speed of the rays. The beam at the "axis" of the set-up -- that is, coming from the center of the mirror -- was clocked going at between about 5 and 7 percent above light speed.

    Warp-speed machine: Faster-than-light travel will probably remain science fiction, but under special conditions pulses of light can outpace light waves in a vacuum.

    However, the authors said, this effect only works over relatively short distances, like the 1 meter (a bit over a yard) covered in their set-up. Most physicists, however, say that while a beam may travel faster than light, such a beam cannot carry a signal, that is, information. A signal is a sudden change in the character of light waves within the beam -- for example, a change in the wavelength, the length of the wave.

    Causality reversed

    That's a key point for two reasons. First, if the light beam cannot contain a signal, it has no special practical use. Second, it rescues our common-sense understanding of causes and effects. That's because tried-and-tested physical equations show that if signals could outpace light speed, then causality would be reversed -- the results of an event would happen before the event itself.

    In the study, the authors themselves don't claim the beams they created contain a signal.

    "It's very counterintuitive, but under certain circumstances you can have light travel in a vacuum in a mode which is faster than light."

    Nevertheless, the effects seen in the experiment are "promising candidates" for future research, the authors said. They added that the work "strongly simplifies the problem" of creating faster-than-light phenomena, by eliminating some of the complexities of previous experiments. Chiao, who led some of the previous research, claimed there is a limitation to both his own work and that of the Italian physicists, which lends a quasi-illusory character to all their results.

    If you shine a searchlight into space and spin it very quickly, the beam's far reaches will slice through space at faster-than-light speed. But there is no actual object moving at that speed.

    The situation is somewhat similar for faster-than-light experiments to date, Chiao said. The beams contain a mathematical entity, called modes -- the patterns by which the waves hang together -- that outpace light. But there is no physical entity that does so.

    "In one sense, it's accurate," he said. "In another, it's very misleading."

  • Melvin
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    In physics, the speed of light is the "ultimate" speed. Nothing can break this speed limit, so the term "warp 9" is of pure fiction. However, we can go around this limitation if usable worm holes in the universe exist. If you shine a flashlight through a worm hole where the other end opens in another galaxy far, far away, then you could say that light broke its speed limit by crossing a huge distance in a short period of time.

    Source(s): college
  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with REV. TWO BEARS. I think gravity would play a huge roll in the characteristics of light. A good example would be a black hole. Gravity so extreme made by an imploding star, that even light cannot escape its grip. If there was ever an equation made to explain the wonders of the Universe. Gravity would be one of its main components, as well as light....I think.

    I also like the theory of the worm holes. its like taking a plastic straw . You enter in one end to reach the other end. But if you bend the straw in half, you can just step from one opened end to the next open end in the blink of an eye. How much do we really know?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Except for the quantum effect that gives us some slower and some faster photons the speed of light will remain constant.

  • Bharat
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The speed of light is constant. However, I remember having read once about particles called tachyons, which travel at speeds faster than that of light. Below the speed of light, their mass is imaginary.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    nope....speed of light is constant in a particular medium.....infact ...suppose u were sittin a train travellin at half the speed of light and u threw a stone out of the window at a velocity "v"...then the velocity of the stone to a stationary veiwer becomes "v + ( half the speed of light ) "......but when the same thing is tried out with light rays ..then it is noticed that light dosent increase its speed to 1.5 times the speed of light....but still appears to move at 3 x 10^8 m/s.......

    therefore i guess it proves thatlight always travels at the same speed no matter what

  • 1 decade ago

    Einstein believed that light speed was a constant 186,000 miles per second.

    I believe the speed of light varies according to two factors

    1. gravity.

    2. the medium light is passing through.

  • 1 decade ago

    With help yes..its already been done (read back issues of New York Times), but no practical application yet on how this new discovery could be productively harnessed.

    Source(s): NYT
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No it cannot. You might want to look up a theory known as:

    "The Composition of Velocities."

    A while back I asked a similar question, you might want to check it out........

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=ArT4V...

    Einstein stated that the speed of light (c) will always remain constant in a vacuum. Of course its speed will vary in different mediums, that is irrelevant.

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