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Offlinellamaboy
the weasel thatsnagged the bee

Registered: 11/08/03
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slowing the speed of light
    #2218678 - 01/04/04 05:15 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

So, i was reading something in popular mechanics, and it was talking about slowing the speed of light...most people know that when light passes through different media that the light slows or speeds up, and they call this the refractive index. but this is just a minor slow down in the speed of light. what i had read was that they were able to slow the speed of light down to a creeping 150 miles per hour. they're able to do this by passing a laser through a special gem that is cooled to almost 0K..my question is this: how does the theory of relativity hold up to light that's only traveling as fast as i can drive in my own car? if the media were moving at 150 miles per hour relative to the light what would happen? what if you were immersed in the slow light and through a baseball at 100mph? would the theory of relativity still work?


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OfflineToxicManM
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2220556 - 01/05/04 02:50 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Relativity uses the speed of light in a vacuum. The speed of light in various other media don't have any significance with relativity.


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: ToxicMan]
    #2220588 - 01/05/04 03:00 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

It is also possible to travel faster than 'slow light'. The effect can be seen as a bluish glow at the core of water cooled reactors. The particles given off by the nuclear reactions travel faster than the speed of light in water (as opposed to the speed of light in a vacuum).


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Offlinellamaboy
the weasel thatsnagged the bee

Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 563
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: ToxicMan]
    #2220641 - 01/05/04 03:25 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

so, would the theory of relativity not hold true on earth, or any terrestrial planet? any articles/journals you could point me to?


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2220713 - 01/05/04 04:05 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

They have actually stopped light now

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3308109.stm

.


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OfflineSeussA
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2222347 - 01/06/04 06:30 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

> so, would the theory of relativity not hold true on earth

Relativity claims that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant regardless of the observer. Any other slower speed of light is irrelevant to the theory. If you want to know what Einstein thought about things as the cooled (slow light, etc), then do a search for superatoms.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2222509 - 01/06/04 10:18 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

On the other end of the spectrum, scientists have been able to send electrical pulses in the lab faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. Not only that, but it was done with cheap "off the shelf" parts.

Off the top of my head, it was done by creating a double-helix (hmm...) configuration of two coaxial wires and then using a signal generator to produce two separate frequencies. As the frequencies interact they create a pulse of electrical energy which moves down the wire at phenominal speeds, I think several times faster than light in the vacuum.


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2222914 - 01/06/04 01:24 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

No. Light moves at the speed of light which is constant.

The reason it appears to slow down once it goes through a medium is because once it hits it there is a very, very short period of time before it's re-emitted. It still travels the speed of light. The experiment that apparently slowed light down (or "stopped" it) is simply because this, coupled with supercooling makes it appear that way -- the results are very often misinterpreted.

You can't speed light up, either. There is a theory that tachyons can be created if they were to be created with a faster-than-light velocity, but they have yet to be proven, to my knowledge. The experiment that supposedly sped light up is also press bullshit -- the experiment used a very specific pulse of light to measure sensitive changes when it goes through a medium. The medium amplified the leading edge of the wave and decreased the amplitude of the trailing edge which apparently makes it look like a shift in position/time relative to that in a vacuum or whatever.

Just what I've heard from some very knowledgable people.... I'm not a physicist (although astrophysics does interest me.)

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OfflineFlux
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Registered: 06/04/03
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: micro]
    #2223320 - 01/06/04 03:52 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I agree with micro, this seems to be the effect of light with a material not actually an effect of the light itself. Sometimes I wonder though, if gravity is an effect of bending space due to it's presence then wouldn't most of the light we see, having traveled around countless objects, be slowed down to a marcked degree? I am not talking of it's magnitude of speed being decresed but rather an in increase in the distance traveled by following the course of space it travels though thereby increasing the time taken to reach our planet. I wonder what effect that might have on the estimation given to the age of the universe. Radio waves follow the same rules as the visible spectrum, and I also wonder what effect this has on using doppler measuremnets on various other stellar objects. I think I need to brush up on some of my quantum physics.


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: Flux]
    #2225242 - 01/07/04 09:02 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Light bends, but we take this into account. There is a frequency shift when a beam of light encounters a relatively massive moving object and there are equations to solve this.

We can't account for *all* the dark matter, though, but this is why we're constantly staring at the stars.

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Offlinerdizzle
cool, and white
Registered: 12/23/03
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2233112 - 01/10/04 01:31 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

This kinda has something to do with this, but not really. They (by they i mean i don't remember who) transfered a song at 4.7 times the speed of light.


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: rdizzle]
    #2236620 - 01/12/04 10:21 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Nothing goes faster than the speed of light.

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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: micro]
    #2236660 - 01/12/04 10:49 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Actually the Standard Model predicts a faster-than-light particle, as has already been mentioned, called the "tachyon".


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Invisiblemicro
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: trendal]
    #2236917 - 01/12/04 01:12 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

True -- I meant to say nothing we have discovered, yet.  I think I was the one who mentioned that above :wink:

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Offlinepattern
multiplayer

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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: llamaboy]
    #2237421 - 01/12/04 05:32 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I thought that light passing through a dense medium only "slows" it because the light is bouncing off shit, and has to travel farther to reach its destination. The light is still travelling at the same speed, but taking a longer path.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: pattern]
    #2237446 - 01/12/04 05:43 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Exactly, it has to be noted that the presence of mass causes spacetime to warp (=gravity) and that light will follow this warped path through spacetime. What looks to us like a "straight line" through the substance is actually a meandering path for any light passing through.


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Invisiblewhiterasta
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: micro]
    #2237755 - 01/12/04 09:29 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

check  this for references on Quantum Tunneling and FTL information transfer.It appears to me the Photon is not the 'K'onstant once thought.One needs to realize the photon is a virtual particle much like an electron, observation has effects on the way it manifests.
WR :rasta:


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: micro]
    #2237885 - 01/12/04 10:30 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

So what goes faster than the speed of nothing.


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Offlinerdizzle
cool, and white
Registered: 12/23/03
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Loc: Texas
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2243009 - 01/15/04 01:56 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

they destroy atoms with a proton accelerator (those big as circle things in the ground) and when an atom is destroyed, quarks fly out many times the speed of light.


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InvisibletrendalM
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Re: slowing the speed of light [Re: rdizzle]
    #2243359 - 01/15/04 07:15 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

!!?!?!?!?!

Actually...no. First off, they've never seen a quark to my knowledge, quarks cannot exist in unbound states for long enough to detect - they always recombine into a new particle right after being liberated from the proton/neutron being smashed.

Second...quarks cannot travel faster than light. They are bosons, with mass, and as such cannot even travel at the speed of light.


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