Science has gone and done it again. Once there was a time where light travel in a vacuum was about as fast as things could go but now that’s old news.
A group of scientists have tweaked some of Einsteins equations suggesting that faster-than-light travel may be within the realm of possibility
Einstein’s special theory of relativity was published in 1905 and was built on Galileo’s suggestion that all uniform motion is relative. Basically that there can never be a state of absolute rest. Since it’s possible to view a problem from a different frame of reference, one could see a stationary object as moving.
While Einstein’s theory went way beyond Galileo’s, the crucial thing is that the speed of light is the same for all inertial observes regardless of where they are or how they are moving. The speed of light, under this theory, could not be broken.
However, a team of scientists with the University of Adelaide in Australia have published a host of formulae that extend Einsteins work. The formulae suggest that modified versions of the old equations predict that travelling beyond the speed of light is a theoretical possibility.
All of the new work is base on the same principles used by Einstein but they now include a hypothetical infinite velocity. They have manages to extend the theory without the use of age old tricks like exotic physics or imaginary masses. The scientists approached the theories expansion as mathematicians.
“Essentially it sort of breaks the world up into two parts, we’ve got our Universe and then there is this place where everything is going faster than the speed of light and it could well be the key to understanding things like black holes and colliding galaxies.” Researcher James Hill said.
The theory is most likely not going to see a slew of Earth-bound experiments, nor will produce a warp drive. However, it could being explaining some of the complex physical phenomena we don’t fully understand like dark energy and black holes. Conventional laws of physics have a tendency to break down when dealing with such situations.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, keep in mind that the theory has not been tested as of yet. Einsteins theories, on the other hand, have faced a great deal of scientific scrutiny and held up.
Testing the theory is already proving to be difficult. Theoretical Physicist Craig Savage explained that “the theory doesn’t say anything new about the world as we know it.” The physicists are faced with the challenge of creating a workable environment to test the theory and then try and perform the experiments that will decide whether or not it hold water.
Either way, the future of physics looks like it’s about to get very interesting.
Do you think faster than speed light travel might be possible in our lifetime? or do you think the theory has too many holes in it already to begin with?