Thursday, August 16, 2007

Laws of physics repealed

If the political news of the last few days wasn't quite enough to shake you up, two German scientists are claiming to have broken the speed of light.

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.

Being able to travel faster than the speed of light would lead to a wide variety of bizarre consequences.

For instance, an astronaut moving faster than it would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.

The scientists were investigating a phenomenon called quantum tunnelling, which allows sub-atomic particles to break apparently unbreakable laws.
For the record, I think I've heard enough crap about how impossible it is to end our dependence on fossil fuels. If we can break the speed of freaking light, it shouldn't be that hard to develop an energy alternative to the liquefied carcasses of dead dinosaurs. A little imagination, people!