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Scientist John Singleton insists that Albert Einstein wouldn't be mad at him, even though at first blush Singleton appears to have twisted the famous physicist's theories about light into a pretzel.
Most people think Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, but that's not really the case, Singleton said.
Einstein predicted that particles and information can't travel faster than the speed of light — but phenomenon like radio waves? That's a different story, said Singleton, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow.
Singleton has created a gadget that abuses radio waves so severely that they finally give in and travel faster than light.
The polarization synchrotron combines the waves with a rapidly spinning magnetic field, and the result could explain why pulsars — which are super-dense spinning stars that are a subclass of neutron stars — emit such powerful signals, a phenomenon that has baffled many scientists, Singleton said.
"Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that emit radio waves in pulses, but what we don't know is why these pulses are so bright or why they travel such long distances," Singleton said. "What we think is these are transmitting the same way our machine does."
And beyond explaining what has been a bit of a mystery to the astronomical community, Singleton's discovery could have wide-ranging technological impacts in areas such as medicine and communications, he said.
"Because nobody's really thought about things that travel faster than light before, this is a wide-open technological field," Singleton said.
One possible use for the resulting speedy radio waves — which are packed into a very powerful wave the size of a pencil point — could be the creation of a new generation of cell phones that communicate directly to satellites, rather than transmitting through relay towers as they now do.
Those phones would have more reliable service and would also be more difficult for hackers to intercept, Singleton said.
Another application could be in very targeted chemotherapy, where a patient takes the drugs, and the radio waves are used to activate them very specifically in the area around a tumor, he said.
If Einstein were still alive, he probably wouldn't be all that surprised by the discovery, Perez said, even if it does seem on the surface to conflict with some of his theories.
"He might have thought, 'why did this take so long,' " Perez said.
According to LaViolette, pulsars are not naturally occurring objects, but rather, they represent an intelligent design. One intended for timekeeping, navigation and which serves as a faster-than-light warning system for events called galactic superwaves. At best, these superwaves are an annoyance to industrialized societies. At worst, they can and do trigger extinction level events (ELE). LaViolette tells that there have already been numerous ELE cataclysms on Earth and that our planet is now moving into the cross-hairs of yet another.
Originally posted by MichaelMysteries
What does this mean for science?
I thought our best understanding was that "nothing is faster than the speed of light"?
Originally posted by rocksolidbrain
FTL ? Not so fast , I'm sorry
That article is written by a very very less educated person probably for 5 year old audience and people are jumping to conclusions. In other words this is called "sensational hype to sell some boring news".
A more straight forward article is here :
This explains that nothing is moving faster than light, he is only firing the radio pulses very fast through an array of antenna, so that all pulses seem to arrive at once at the receiver. It does produce some nice effects but its not FTL.....
John Singleton of Los Alamos and his collaborators have built a radio transmitter that incorporates a radio wave source that moves superluminally (faster than light). The emitted waves have several unusual properties. For example, they lose much less power over a distance than do ordinary radio waves; thus, they show promise for long-distance, low-power broadcasting applications.
The amplifiers can be triggered in such a way that this source moves the length of the transmitter faster than the speed of light.
Faster Than The Speed Of Light?
NEW YORK, July 19, 2000
(AP) Scientists have apparently broken the universe's speed limit.
For generations, physicists believed there is nothing faster than light moving through a vacuum -- a speed of 186,000 miles per second.
But in an experiment in Princeton, N.J., physicists sent a pulse of laser light through cesium vapor so quickly that it left the chamber before it had even finished entering.
The pulse traveled 310 times the distance it would have covered if the chamber had contained a vacuum.
Researchers say it is the most convincing demonstration yet that the speed of light -- supposedly an ironclad rule of nature -- can be pushed beyond known boundaries, at least under certain laboratory circumstances.
Source : cbsNews.com