faster than Light
( translated from the German by E. Habich) source: http://w3.zdf.msnbc.de/news/21931.asp
An experiment at the University
of Cologne is putting accepted scientific knowledge to the test.
to accepted teaching signals cannot be transmitted faster than light. Some even
believe that Einstein's Theory of Relativity could be broken if light moved faster.
At the University of Cologne physicists have begun to shake up this theory.
spectacular experiment took place in a laboratory of the second Institute of
Physics. Prof. Dr. Nimtz and Mozart's 40th symphony are our main protagonists in
this experiment. At first the music is put piggyback onto a carrier wave, in this
case a carrier wave of ten gigahertz. The carrier wave travels over a cable into a
funneling antenna then a little through the air and into the reception antenna.
It follows another short thin tunnel - where the signal should stop.
According to the laws of physics the microwave does not fit through the tunnel, it
ought to be reflected back. Despite this the signal mysteriously slips through the
tunnel. And in doing this moves faster than is possible by our present understanding
Experiment is based on one of those bizarre tunneling effects by which quantum physics
keeps confounding our every day experiences. If you kick a soccer ball against a
wall it bounces back. But a wave packet can reappear behind the wall. It will be
weaker but faster than before. This can't be explained but it is a measurable
effect. Information can also be transmitted like this.
Nimtz explains it thus: "We have sent such a signaling impulse through a
test range and measured: What is its speed in comparison to the speed through the air? The
speed we measured is 2.46 times the speed of light." The type of signals are
the same as in use in mobile communications devices or which are used for data transfer
between computers. It also works for the transmission of more complex
information like a whole symphony.
"What these experiments have shown is that you can in principle look into
the past. And it is also possible to reverse cause and effect", says Prof. Dr. Nimtz
and explains: "According to the theory of relativity a second observer in
another inertial system (frame of reference) can see my signal exit the target before it
was emitted by the source. This means you can look into the past because you are
moving faster than light, which is the speed at which the effect is moving, the
Guenter Nimtz is not claiming to have refuted Einstein. Other
physicists have repeated his tunneling experiments and confirmed that the experiment
works. The layman may believe this or not: "Faster than Light" has become
a hot topic in physics.