A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light:

The pair say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons - energetic packets of light - traveled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms that had been moved up to 3ft apart.

If true, the achievement would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.

Einstein's special theory of relativity requires an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at more than 186,000 miles per second - so it shouldn't be possible.

Can someone explain to me how you can determine whether something travels faster than 186,000 miles per second in three feet?

If you're going to express your ideas in terms of Einstein's train experiment (is that to what you are referring?) then you should find out about recent work in the history of mathematics which shows Einstein as an advocate of natural mathematics, and the way he incorporated natural mathematics into his formulation of the relativity of simultaneity via the train experiment. Above all I think you should read Garciadiego's book on Russell and the set paradoxes. Here is a comment on some of the latest work:

Ryskamp, John Henry, "Paradox, Natural Mathematics, Relativity and Twentieth-Century Ideas" (May 19, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=897085

Posted by: John Ryskamp | Friday, September 21, 2007 at 08:09 PM

I lean toward the space fold theory. Is it possible that they were able to manipulate space to eliminate the distance between A and B so that the photons, in effect, traveled instantaneously without violating the Theory of Relativity?

Think of how the Battlestar Galactica executing an FTL jump....

Posted by: Macker | Sunday, August 26, 2007 at 12:09 AM

Brett, thanks for the explanation.

Posted by: California Yankee | Friday, August 24, 2007 at 05:56 AM

This doesn't violate the speed of light rule. A pulse of light has length, like a train, and this experiment is like a train going from A to B, dropping off carriages from the back all the while. If you measure the speed as being the time it takes for the mid point of the train to go from A to B, then it appears that the train has travelled faster than any of the carriages have individually. But nothing physical has gone any faster than the individual carriages.

No idea how they measured the time in this experiment, but typically stable oscillators are used to provide clock pulses of the order of a nano-second - which corresponds to about 4" of light travel.

Posted by: Brett_McS | Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 08:57 AM