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Light Goes So Fast, Goes ... Backwards?

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#1 yano


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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:52 PM

This will make your head spin!

[quote]In the past few years, scientists have found ways to make light go both faster and slower than its usual speed limit, but now researchers at the University of Rochester have published a paper today in Science on how they've gone one step further: pushing light into reverse. As if to defy common sense, the backward-moving pulse of light travels faster than light.

Confused? You're not alone.[/quote]


From Slashdot:
[quote name='http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/11/2242210&from=rss']"Slowing down light used to be considered a neat trick for physics wonks. But researchers in New York now say they've pushed light into reverse. And as if to defy common sense, the backward-moving light travels faster than light." While there's not much use to come of it yet, it will be interesting if Einstein himself is proved wrong.[/quote]

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#2 cowsgonemadd3


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Posted 11 May 2006 - 11:01 PM

I saw that on slashdot just now on Google personal homepage.

I liked this quote

So Vader was right. You don't KNOW the POWER of the dark side!

I wonder, could this be used to make an unlightbulb? I've always wanted one of those. Too bright in the room? Don't walk over to pull the curtains, just switch on the unlight and voila, light just gets sucked into it and darkness speads into every corner of the room. Even better you get paid by the grid for the electricity you generate. Goodbye suncream, I've got my unlight with me, no need for trees to make shadows just hang it up and relax back in the shade. Imagine the tricks you could play on people with a 3000W unspotlight! Mwaahahaha. Who said science was boring?

And one guy said "yeah I have did it to its called a mirror!"

Or turn the flashlight the other direction.

On the Einstein thing
"Einstein said information can't travel faster than light, and in this case, as with all fast-light experiments, no information is truly moving faster than light," says Boyd.

Edited by cowsgonemadd3, 11 May 2006 - 11:02 PM.

#3 Nick_R_23


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Posted 12 May 2006 - 01:56 AM

Imagine if they used this in fiber optics--that'd be one heck of a fast internet connection.

(roboty computer voice) *You are now connected to the internet at 1,000,000gb per second.* :thumbsup:

On the Einstein thing
"Einstein said information can't travel faster than light, and in this case, as with all fast-light experiments, no information is truly moving faster than light," says Boyd.

Information can only travel as fast as light, using fiber optic data transfer methods. Because the data is turned into light when being sent, however fast that light travels is however fast the data travels.


#4 ddeerrff



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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:53 AM

Smoke and mirrors -it's more an illusion than anything else. No information is being transfered.

Similar to a fractal, all the info needed to reconstruct the optical pulse is contained in the leading edge of the pulse. The pulse is not reconstructed at the far end (and reflected back down the line) until the leading edge has entered the source end and had time to propagate to the far end.

#5 no one

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 03:17 PM

Theoretical talk of "Tachyons" (faster than light particles) has gone on for some time
and has been used a lot in "Star Trek" . It would seem the science is finally catching up
more on this at http://www.physorg.com/news5929.html
still a long ways away. Modern Science can only account for 4% of the universe at this time.
FTL(faster than light) communications is used in the sci-fi Gateway series by Frederik Pohl.

"They" have achieved teleportation in somewhat the same fashion by teleporting a photon
a few atoms from where it was using lasers.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"

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