Speed of Light - NOT CONSTANT!!... Aug 22, 2005 20:56:30 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 22, 2005 20:56:30 GMT -6
Speed of light made faster
Swiss researchers have successfully demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to control the speed of light in an optical fiber.
On the screen, a small pulse shifts back and forth – just a little bit. But this seemingly unremarkable phenomenon could have profound technological consequences. It represents the success of Luc Thévenaz and his fellow researchers in the Nanophotonics and Metrology laboratory at EPFL in controlling the speed of light in a simple optical fiber. They were able not only to slow light down by a factor of three from its well – established speed c of 300 million meters per second in a vacuum, but they've also accomplished the considerable feat of speeding it up – making light go faster than the speed of light.
This is not the first time that scientists have tweaked the speed of a light signal. Even light passing through a window or water is slowed down a fraction as it travels through the medium. In fact, in the right conditions, scientists have been able to slow light down to the speed of a bicycle, or even stop it altogether. In 2003, a group from the University of Rochester made an important advance by slowing down a light signal in a room-temperature solid. But all these methods depend on special media such as cold gases or crystalline solids, and they only work at certain well-defined wavelengths. With the publication of their new method, the EPFL team, made up of Luc Thévenaz, Miguel Gonzaléz Herraez and Kwang-Yong Song, has raised the bar higher still. Their all-optical technique to slow light works in off-the-shelf optical fibers, without requiring costly experimental set-ups or special media. They can easily tune the speed of the light signal, thus achieving a wide range of delays.
More here: www.physorg.com/news5929.html
Now I'm more confused than ever. Doesn't this screw up all theories now? Light year calculations are no longer prime, and wide fluctuations possible. They claim to have stopped light all together, and this is in a lab. What about the influences out there...in the universe(s) that exert influences on the photons?
Why isn't this bigger news?