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Is faster than the speed of light possible?  –

Is faster than the speed of light possible? –

They say: The speed of light in a vacuum is a universal constant of nature and apparently insurmountable. However, in physics there are certainly faster-than-light effects. The bild der wissenschaft reports on these rapid phenomena in the September issue. Some of them are already being used technically, others are predicted by astrophysicists and others are highly speculated.

“Space, endless expanses …”: When it comes to the speed of light, many people will surely think of the fantastic stories of science fiction authors. Some have come up with very interesting ideas about how lightning-fast interstellar travel or teleportation might be possible. In doing so, they often play lavishly with scientific concepts that mainly go back to the great teacher of modern astrophysics: Albert Einstein.

A critical view of the light wall

In the first article of the two-part cover story “Faster Than Light!” bdw author Rüdiger Vaas first talks about the origins of light-speed research and the question of how far it really is an upper speed limit. Einstein found that it is a universal natural constant that always has a value of 299,792.458 kilometers per second in a vacuum. As is known, this played an important role in his theory of relativity: the speed of light is the link between space and time, matter and energy.

The theories at first seemed to show that there could be no faster-than-light motions. This theoretical limit is sometimes referred to as a light wall. But then eminent physicists—including Einstein himself—questioned just how far it was, at least in some respects. He, too, finally comes to the conclusion: faster-than-light sounds paradoxical—but it’s possible. Meanwhile, the actual existence of faster-than-light phenomena is becoming increasingly apparent. Scientists also speculate about solutions to the equations of relativity that are beyond even Einstein’s imagination, according to the article “Einstein and the Light Wall.”

Faster than light theory and practice

In the second sub-article of the title topic, Vaas deals in detail with possible faster-than-light releases. In principle, not only should a distinction be made between different forms or causes, but also what is affected in each case, the author explains: are they physical particles, fields, or information? And what are the effects? After a corresponding classification, Vaas then presents ten possible types of ultra-bright speeds.

The speed ride of the amazing effects of physics includes, among others, quantum teleportation, space explosion, and teleportation. Some species have already been documented, some remain elusive and others are only discussed in theory or mere conjecture. One form of faster-than-light phenomena in physics is now technologically usable: the “radiation” of quantum states may one day play a central role in a new kind of internet that is secure against eavesdropping.

You can read articles related to the topic title “Faster Than Light!” Online as part of a bdw+ subscription, or you can find them in the June issue of bild der wissenschaft, which will be available in stores from August 15th.