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slowing down the speed of light

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posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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everyone talks about traveling at the speed of light or near the speed of light for space travel.
what im wondering is could we use something like the hadron collider to trap light and slow it down to see what effect it would have or if we could harness it for space travel..
i know it sounds nuts but i have to know how nuts ...




posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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www.washingtonpost.com... Scientists have already cracked it.I think another time they passed it through a certain gas and the light slowed down.



posted on Oct, 13 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by Solomons
 


i just want to add that you are a fine example of why i love this site. efficient and knowledgeable


and i learned something new today



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 02:39 AM
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can we slow it enough to see what properties are needed to travel at light speed .. im thinking that matter traveling at light speed gives of high frequency pulses , allowing it to move at light speed with out any friction...



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 02:42 AM
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reply to post by fatdad
 


i think the link's information covered that. o.o



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:13 AM
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reply to post by platipus
 


they only talked about using light instead of electricity in computers \sending data..
i want to use the properties of light to slipstream a spaceship to light speed with out any friction or enormous rocket engines



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:25 AM
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I've always found the topic of light interesting actually
I have no gift in Physics but
If light was slowed down before we observed it, how would that appear to us?
Would things not appear to take longer to the observer, if light was slowed down?
I mean in the same way, light from the stars takes x amount of years at the speed of light to reach us. If that was slowed down somehow would the stars appear to live for longer?
So, If we observed light at a slower rate on the earth, would things appear, even on a minute scale to take longer than they actually are?


[edit on 14-10-2009 by IrnBruFiend]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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Originally posted by Solomons
www.washingtonpost.com... Scientists have already cracked it.I think another time they passed it through a certain gas and the light slowed down.


Your right we can slow down the speed of light and discovered that light resumes its previous speed again once it passed through the gas. This still confuses me where does light get the energy to speed back up again?



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by fatdad
 


the speed of light in a vacuum is what is being referred to as "lightspeed" but light slows down as soon as it travels through anything other than a vacuum. electrons travel through water faster than light travels through water. in water, electrons travel faster than light.

the speed of light in a vacuum is referred to as c, as far as i understand, this value, c, is a like a speed limit on a road, except it's a speed limit for everything in the universe (except space itself).

rather than saying "nothing can go faster than light" they should say "nothing moves across space-time faster than c, light travels across space-time at c when it can".

if i remember right, the property that allows a photon, a light particle, to travel at c is that it has no mass.

[edit on 14/10/09 by pieman]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by dragonridr
...we can slow down the speed of light and discovered that light resumes its previous speed again once it passed through the gas. This still confuses me where does light get the energy to speed back up again?


That's because slowing down the speed of light DOES NOT mean slowing down the speed of photons.

The way light slows down in a medium is this:

- Light (photons) traveling the "normal" speed of light enter the medium and get adsorbed by the atoms in that medium. This absorption of a photon increases the energy of the atom, which will then emit another photon -- and this photon is also going the "normal" speed of light, until it hits another atom which absorbs it/increases energy/emits another photon.

- This absorbtion/emitting of photons by the atom takes some time. The accumulated time delay is what makes the light slow down. However, the individual photons never slow down -- they are always moving at the "normal" speed of light.

- The last atom on the other side of the medium absorbs a photon then emits a photon, and that photon is traveling the "normal" speed of light.
THEREFORE on the other side of the medium, light continues at its normal speed.

The photons are not really "passing through" the medium. They are getting absorbed by each atom and identical photons are being emitted.

So the photons themselves are not really slowing down -- it is just taking longer for the energy wave of the light to pass through the medium.

The slowing down of a light wave is not new and its not hard. We see it happening all the time in water and eyeglasses. The refraction (bending) of the light in water and lenses is caused by the light slowing down through the medium. What these scientists are doing is controlling the speed more accurately.

[edit on 10/14/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by dragonridr
...we can slow down the speed of light and discovered that light resumes its previous speed again once it passed through the gas. This still confuses me where does light get the energy to speed back up again?


As a continuation of my post above explaining how the light wave speeds up again, here is a graphic:


Of course this is a very simplified graphic, and the photon emitted does not keep going in the same direction it was absorbed. However, enough "bouncing around" allows some of the photons to exit in the direction they entered, sort of like the way light bounces around inside a fiber optic cable, but still goes one general direction.

[edit on 10/14/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]




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