Yes, Alice, we can travel faster than the speed of light!
New links to other Flash topics on FTL:
See our remarks on page above this one dated 4Jun2000.
See Doug's remarks on how barrier thickness makes light go faster!
See Doug's recent preliminary dialogue with Dr. Irving Stein re: Nature's 20Jul2000 FTL paper by Wang, et al.
See Doug's 7Aug2000 comments on recent Nature article by Wang and a related one in Physics Today by Andreas Mandelis.
Faster Than a Speeding Photon,
Written by David H. Freeman.
One way to go faster than light from one location in space to another is via worm holes. Here the idea is that electrostatic energy can form short circuits between warped layers of space fabric. The article tells us about Geoffrey Landis, a staff physicist at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland who is obsessed with this idea. Most physicists show little interest in the obscure 'electrostatic' worm hole concept, but Landis sees hope here. He wants to try the idea in the real world but says it will be tricky to try.
Marc Millis runs NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion program. He's looking at Warp Drives and has a web site at http://www.lerc.nasa.gov/WWW/PAO/warp.htm. His budget is small and his resources small, but he accumulates interested followers from all walks of life who range from nutso-weird to famous and credible. Some of his detractors are famous. This is not surprising since pioneers are almost always perceived as borderline insane before their ideas achieve fame. Millis says, "Look, it's easy to be visionary or to be credible, but it's hard to be both." Amen!
Of most interest to us here in Quantonics, is the work of Raymond Chiao at UC Berkeley. He regularly performs table top experiments with an optical rig that races correlated photons. One of the photons has to go through a barrier. The barrier is opaque to this photon's energy/frequency. So if it gets through the barrier, it had to perform a quantum tunneling feat. Chiao shows, and others have verified in independent experiments, that the photon tunnels through the barrier at 1.7 times the speed of light! He says, "It's surprising, and not everyone likes it, but it's true." Freedman tells us that theoretically the experiment applies to matter as well as light. Some of the other disclosures in this article are profound. Get a copy and read this!!
(Remember that David E. Pritchard recently diffracted sodium atoms at MIT! See the archived article at http://www.discover.com/, entitled, Beams of Stuff, By Robert Pool, in the December, 1997 issue.)
We leave the last (fourth) segment of the article to surprise you. It's about the 'Achy-Breaky Theory' and a guy named Bernhard Haisch who makes some really incredible claims. Wow!!
PDR - 17Jul98 (rev 24Feb2000 - add link to Chiao's group plus a comment: note how light 'tunnels' through a barrier in Chiao's experiment -- then consider Hey and Walters' picture of water waves 'tunneling' through a concrete breakfront (see their, The Quantum Universe, p. 56) -- then consider how sound increases its 'speed' as its transport medium's density increases -- see any similarities here? Does sound tunnel too? Are gas atoms proxies for Chiao's photonic barrier? Thanks for reading - Doug. Send comments on this topic to Doug.)