Faster than the Speed of Light
By Hawa Irfan
Following Professor Ahmed H. Zeweil's studies, achievements and discovery last year in femtosecond spectroscopy, other intensive studies have been carried out intensively around the world.
The continued studies vary from the use of gases, processes on surfaces, liquids, solvents, polymers and biological systems, to practical applications of catalysts, molecular electronic components and medicine.
In July one such series of experiments at the private NEC Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, sent a laser pulse of light through cesium vapor.
The pulse left the chamber before it had even entered.
Cesium (Cs) is the most electropositive of all elements and is used in the manufacture of photoelectric cells, and as a radioactive isotope(Cs - 137) is a product of fission in nuclear explosions and nuclear reactors. Cs - 137 is one of the most dangerous waste products of the nuclear industry.
The Laser pulse traveled 310 times the distance it would have covered than if there were a vacuum in the chamber.
A device was developed that could fire a laser pulse into a glass chamber filled with a vapor of cesium atoms.
It acts as a light amplifier that can provide a powerful pump for the pulse ahead.
Previous experiments elsewhere raised doubts as to whether the exiting particle of light (photon) was the same light that entered but to some distortion.
However, with the NEC experiment, the exiting laser pulse maintained the same shape as when it entered the chamber.
The photon can leave the chamber before it has finished entering because the cesium atoms charge the properties of the photon, allowing it to exit more quickly than if it took place in a vacuum.
With a leading edge to the photon it is inclusive of all the necessary information to produce the pulse at the other end of the chamber, so the entire pulse does not need to reach the chamber. It exits out the other side with 60 feet before the main part of the laser pulse completes entering the chamber.
The research team Lijun Wang, Alexander Kuzmuch and Arthur Dogariu published their findings in the journal 'Nature'.
"Our experiment does show that the generally held misconception that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light is wrong," said Lijun Wang.
Wang added that the effect is possible only because light has no mass, unlike physical objects.
The experiment tests the limits of the Theory of Relativity developed by German physicist Albert Einstein in 1905.
Under the remits of the special theory of relativity, he first stated that the laws of nature are the same for all observers in unaccelerated motion.
Second, he states that the speed of light is independent of the motion of its source. Einstein postulated that the time interval between two events was no longer for an observer in whose frame of reference the events occur in different places than for the observer for whom they occur at the same place.
The Princeton experiment differs from others by the use of a cesium chamber rather than a vacuum.
The work can contribute to the development of faster computers that carry information in photons (light particles).
Physicist Aephraim Steinberg from the University of Toronto said the light particles coming out of the cesium chamber may not have been the same ones that entered, so he questions whether the speed of light was broken.
However, he admits its importance by saying that, "The interesting thing is how they managed to produce light that looks exactly like something that didn't get there yet."
Student of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff (1877 - 1949) PD, Ouspensky, said on this matter,
"It can be said with certainty that the finer the state of the matter the more energetic it is considered to be. That is to say that containing as it were is less substance and more motion.
If matter is opposed to time, it will be possible to say that each finer state contains more time and less matter than a coarser state.
There is more 'time' in a liquid than in a solid; there is more 'time' in a gas than in a liquid.
If we accept the possibility of the existence of still finer states of matter, they should be more energetic than the ones recognized by physics.
They should contain, according to the above, more time and less space, and still more motion and still less substance.