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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Faster than the speed of light?

Using their Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS) method, the group was able to slow a light signal down by a factor of 3.6, creating a sort of temporary "optical memory." They were also able to create extreme conditions in which the light signal travelled faster than 300 million meters a second. And even though this seems to violate all sorts of cherished physical assumptions, Einstein needn't move over relativity isn't called into question, because only a portion of the signal is affected.
I dunno--I learned in physics class that NOTHING goes faster than the speed of light; even a portion of a signal. Did they lie to me again?

(Via Bionic Octopus, who claims she knew it all along. She must have gotten the message via faster-than-light communication, I guess.)