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Thread: Einstein's special theory of relativity...blown to smitherines?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mike C's Avatar
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    Jul 2001

    Einstein's special theory of relativity...blown to smitherines?

    Not enough info in this article to fully agree, but interesting all the same. Hopefully more info will be available soon.

    'We have broken speed of light'

    By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
    Last Updated: 12:01am BST 16/08/2007

    A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.
    According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second.
    However, Dr Gunter Nimtz and Dr Alfons Stahlhofen, of the University of Koblenz, say they may have breached a key tenet of that theory.

    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.
    "So I have stayed as I am, without regret, seperated from the normal human condition." Guy Sajer

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2001
    Boca Raton, Florida, USA


    Remember that photons have no "rest mass." In classical mechanics,
    Energy = .5 M V^2, right? There is an equivelant relation in quantum mechanics, I'm sure...
    Eric Texley

  3. #3
    Senior Member wheelchairTITAN's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Oakville, ON ... Just North of the 43rd Parallel, SocialistLand
    If this new hypothesis is affirmed, it would seem to be impossible to have anything "blown to smitherines ".


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  4. #4
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    Jul 2001

    star trek

    I guess this is the precursor to the Star Trek "transporter."

  5. #5
    This article, whilst reporting the claims that the speed of light has been broken, also explains how this has been acheived without upsetting Einstein in a couple of different ways:
    How can this be explained" The Heisenberg uncertainty principle dictates that a particle's energy and the time it spends in any one place cannot both be known with absolute precision. This means particles can sometimes sneak over a barrier if the time they spend traversing that barrier is short enough. Bizarre as it may seem, quantum tunnelling is not only a commonplace phenomenon in the quantum world, it also lies at the core of many processes we take for granted.
    I find this analogy easier to understand:

    Aephraim Steinberg, a quantum optics expert at the University of Toronto, Canada, doesn't dispute Nimtz and Stahlhofen's results. However, Einstein can rest easy, he says. The photons don't violate relativity: it's just a question of interpretation.
    Steinberg explains Nimtz and Stahlhofen's observations by way of analogy with a 20-car bullet train departing Chicago for New York. The stopwatch starts when the centre of the train leaves the station, but the train leaves cars behind at each stop. So when the train arrives in New York, now comprising only two cars, its centre has moved ahead, although the train itself hasn't exceeded its reported speed.
    "If you're standing at the two stations, looking at your watch, it seems to you these people have broken the speed limit," Steinberg says. "They've got there faster than they should have, but it just happens that the only ones you see arrive are in the front car. So they had that head start, but they were never travelling especially fast."

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