Articles

Speed of light barrier broken!

Aug 18, 2007

It's a speed record that is supposed to be impossible to break.
 
But two physicists claim they have propelled photons faster than the speed of light.
 
This violates a key tenet of Einstein's special theory of relativity that states that nothing can exceed the speed of light.
 
Günter Nimtz and Alfons Stahlhofen of the University of Koblenz, Germany, have been exploring a phenomenon in quantum optics called photon tunneling which occurs when a particle slips across an apparently uncrossable barrier. They claim they have tunneled photons "instantaneously" across a barrier of various distances from a few millimeters up to a metre. Their conclusion is that the photons traverse the barrier much faster than the speed of light.
 
Many physicists are wondering about the importance of this breakthrough.  The challenge of carrying information they say has yet to be achieved.
 
Perhaps we return the opening sequence of most of my keynote presentations about emerging technologies that "If man can imagine it, one day we will have it!"