Researchers at CERN break “The Speed of Light”

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Scientists said on Thursday they recorded particles travelling faster than light - a finding that could overturn one of Einstein's fundamental laws of the universe. Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the international group of researchers, saidthat measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

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“We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing," he said. "We now want colleagues to check them independently.”

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a "cosmic constant" and that nothing in the universe can travel faster. That assertion, which has withstood over a century of testing, is one of the key elements of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works. The totally unexpected finding emerged from research by a physicists working on an experiment dubbed OPERA run jointly by the CERN particle research center near Geneva and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy.

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A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos - tiny particles that pervade the cosmos - were fired over a period of three years from CERN towards Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors. Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds - or 60 billionths of a second - less than light beams would have taken.

“It is a tiny difference,” said Ereditato, who also works at Berne University in Switzerland, “but conceptually it is incredibly important. The finding is so startling that, for the moment, everybody should be very prudent.”
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Ereditato declined to speculate on what it might mean if other physicists, who will be officially informed of the discovery at a meeting in CERN on Friday, found that OPERA's measurements were correct.

“I just don't want to think of the implications,” he said. “We are scientists and work with what we know.”

Much science-fiction literature is based on the idea that, if the light-speed barrier can be overcome, time travel might theoretically become possible. The existence of the neutrino, an elementary sub-atomic particle with a tiny amount of mass created in radioactive decay or in nuclear reactions such as those in the Sun, was first confirmed in 1934, but it still mystifies researchers.

It can pass through most matter undetected, even over long distances, and without being affected. Millions pass through the human body every day, scientists say. To reach Gran Sasso, the neutrinos pushed out from a special installation at CERN - also home to the Large Hadron Collider probing the origins of the universe - have to pass through water, air and rock.

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The underground Italian laboratory, some 120 km (75 miles) to the south of Rome, is the largest of its type in the world for particle physics and cosmic research. Around 750 scientists from 22 different countries work there, attracted by the possibility of staging experiments in its three massive halls, protected from cosmic rays by some 1,400 metres (4,200 feet) of rock overhead.

What has happened at CERN?

Scientists say they have clocked neutrinos – tiny particles smaller than atoms – travelling at 300,006 kilometres per second, slightly faster than the speed of light.

What does that mean?

Einstein's theory of special relativity says nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, because photons – light particles – have no mass. Proof that neutrinos, mysterious subatomic particles which have a tiny amount of mass, can travel faster would be inconsistent with Einstein's theory.

What are the knock-on effects?

Einstein's theory is critical to the Standard Model of physics that helps explain everything we know about how the universe works, from black holes to the big bang. If it is shown to be flawed, virtually everything in modern physics and the fundamental laws of nature would have to be rethought.

Have the results been proven?

The findings were such a shock that CERN's scientists spent months checking their data before making their announcement. But they have asked American and Japanese teams to confirm the results before they are declared an actual discovery. The data will also be put online overnight so that it can be scrutinised by experts across the world.

Does this mean E does not equal MC squared?

The theory of special relativity was used to spawn the theory that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared. It is premature to discount the most famous equation of all time, but the latest discovery suggests one key assumption it relies on – that nothing can accelerate faster than light – may not be wholly accurate.

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. This same article has been around since at least 2012 and the telegraph in the UK later printed one about how it all just a faulty wire. I'm thinking this was some nerds idea of an April Fool's joke, eh?

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    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light_neutrino_anomaly

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    3. Have you thought about how fast darkness travel? For light to push darkness out something must be going in front of the light? You cant turn darkness on but you can turn light on.? So light is a stronger force or energy form than darkness as darkness cant elimanate light but light elimanates darkness? Just some thoughts that flow throught my brain which l think is faster than light ?

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    4. MaxEffectUSA

      Darkness is merely the absence of light such as cold is the absence of heat.

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    5. What i wonder is, does the light appears as fast as it disappears?

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  2. it was posted April, 2nd wasn't it? post just appears faster

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  3. Replies
    1. Dark is faster than light. No matter how fast light travels, dark is already there.

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    2. Uh, no. Dark matter is already there until introduced with other matter such as light. The natural environment IS darkness. 65% of the universe is darkness , waiting, waiting, for an introduction, an infusion of light.

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    3. Uh, no. Dark matter is already there until introduced with other matter such as light. The natural environment IS darkness. 65% of the universe is darkness , waiting, waiting, for an introduction, an infusion of light.

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    4. No, that's not what was said -- one implies that 'dark' is faster moving. The other state's that isn't that it's moving more quickly, but already present. Why does it have to be faster than something it wasn't competing with in the first place? It's hard to beat something already waiting at the finish line. If we're considering this in the above context anyways.

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    5. If you have to explain it, you totally missed the joke.

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    6. There are two kinds of darkness. One creates light and one bends it. Dark matter bends light and is pure density. Black hole. Antimatter creates light and is pure space. Aether.

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  4. If the photon is traveling at a light frequency - that is, a sine wave - it's speed would be faster than 'light' which is measured in a straight line.

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    1. The sine wave motion is up-down, that is, 90 degrees from the direction of travel, so in essence, the photon is not traveling faster than the speed of light . . . . it is light. Good thinking though, there is a correlation as to the strength of the signal, but no change in speed in the direction of travel.

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    2. I think what he was trying to say is that if you measure a particle traveling the length of the waveform itself it's longer than the length travelled on the x axis, so a particle following this waveform would go farther than X in the same amount of time making it faster than light.

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    3. Phil Watts, the possessive pronoun is spelled without an apostrophe: its, as in its speed... Only the abbreviated verb to be is spelled with an apostrophe: it's (from it is).

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    4. or "it's" = it has (informally)

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    5. 暗子,與光子同時存在,速度比光快,因為還沒有觀察儀器可以進行研究,他留下軌跡證明他的存在

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    6. It is false. Later the team reported two flaws in their equipment set-up that had caused errors far outside their original confidence interval: a fiber optic cable attached improperly, which caused the apparently faster-than-light measurements, and a clock oscillator ticking too fast.[3] The errors were first confirmed by OPERA after a ScienceInsider report;[4] accounting for these two sources of error eliminated the faster-than-light results.[5]Reich (2012c)

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  5. it doesn’t break the laws of physics as long as they never travel slower than light

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. It's an old matter: 2011. Antonio Ereditato resigned after wrong speed measurements were found and proved

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  8. Note the keywords at the bottom of the article. One of them is "April Fools." I hope they take this down soon.

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  10. have you checked the batteries ? - you never know......

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  11. Mar. 30, 2012 , 1:15 PM
    ROME—Two leaders of the OPERA collaboration, which stunned the world in September when it announced data suggesting that neutrinos could travel faster than the speed of light, have stepped down. The resignation of Antonio Ereditato as spokesperson and Dario Autiero as physics coordinator of the study followed a vote of no confidence, held yesterday by leaders of the individual groups within the collaboration, according to a source at OPERA who asked not to be identified. The vote came several weeks after it was revealed that the hotly debated result was probably caused by a faulty cable connection. http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/03/leaders-faster-light-experiment-step-down

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  12. It's an April Fools post, that said here's a question: If light gets trapped by black-holes and swallowed, wouldn't that mean that the force pulling them would be stronger than the speed at which it would normally go and in that regard that opposing force would be more pulling light or the absence of light at speeds faster than light?

    Another question, whatever happened to the whole discussion on Tachyons and FTL communications? : https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080813/full/news.2008.1038.html

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    1. My apologies, I cannot edit the post above but I attempted to write:

      "If light gets trapped by black-holes and swallowed, wouldn't that mean that the force pulling them would be stronger/faster than the speed at which light photons would normally go?"

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    2. Yes, because it would be in an environment of negative energy, no friction, no resistance; all matter is essentially just light condensed by resonant vibrational frequencies to produce mass, so the light would become a fiber optic pathway in which matter protected within a magnetic field could theoretically use to travel faster than the speed of light, in the same manner that data packets are sent in fiber optic communications.

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    3. I don't think the relationship of force has anything to do with it. Since black holes are the opposite of photons in being essentially infinite mass vs zero mass,and the black hole does not directly act on the photon, but on space-time, and the photon is merely continuing its path through a distorted space-time. its like if an ant is traveling on a piece of paper you could oppose it with your finger, making it a contest, or you could alternately bend the paper to make it go where you wanted, and the ant is none the wiser. Black holes do the latter.

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    4. I think of a black hole as what happens when matter is so condensed it overlaps on itself (we've done the same at nano-Kelvin temperatures with a few particles - just replace the the extreme cold with intense pressure from gravity). Think of having so much mass concentrated so that its gravity causes it to fall in on the very space containing it - infinitely overlapping any additional matter it comes into proximity with.
      Around this singularity are horizons where unusual phenomena occur: an event horizon and an inner horizon. These I consider "space quakes" due to the infinite folding of space around a point. Perhaps the reason light does not escape a black hole is simply because normal space (required to propagate light) ends at the singularity, and the zone where we see the change (the event horizon), which we associate with the "size" or dimension of the black hole, is just a phenomena - just the way it looks to us from the outside - disappearing at the edge of the singularity's influence on the surrounding space.

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    5. I probably should not have used the term "quakes" as they are things which propagate. Perhaps a better term is "warp".

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    6. A black hole doesn't grab and pull light at all, so it's force is not 'stronger' than lights speed. A black hole simply bends space into an infinite loop. So light isn't pulled in by some force, but simply follows the bend in space, which happens to be infinite. In effect, you could probably almost say that when light crosses the event horizon, it ends up in an 'orbit' of sorts around the black hole, infinitely following the path of space that the black hole creates. Whether that path be a circle, or as the above suggests, folds.

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  13. Everyone knows, there is a way around this speed barrier. It's called "The Flux Capasitor."

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  14. The light was not travelling in a vacuum nut in the atmosphere. Did that slow the light down more than the neutrino?

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  15. i knew it was possible speed of light is slow, it must be the sci-fy me that thinks different. LOL

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  16. Ah, but remember El Barco!!

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  17. Don't forget, the Falcon will make .5 past light speed.

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    1. I've been reading too much legit science news lately, because I read this comment and the first thing I thought was, "wait a minute, that can't be right. When did Space-X announce this? What did I miss?"

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  18. Ahh! Thats why i ended up at this date and not3018 ah well back to the future

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  19. It is the Force that excited the X factor BS neutrino to out run the proton light particle for fear that if the proton light caught up with the BS neutrinos it would be revealed they weren't wearing any pants

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  20. Doesn't anyone bother to dig deeper and click the green links in the text?

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  21. They obviously did not refill their blinker fluids. Happens all the time.

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  22. Particle beats lightning speed and threatens Einstein's theory
    Particle hit the speed of light, considered by Einstein a "cosmic constant"
    >>>> By access_time September 22, 2011

    https://exame.abril.com.br/ciencia/particula-supera-velocidade-da-luz-e-ameaca-teoria-de-einstein/

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  23. Now bear with me on this:
    The reason that the speed of light is not affected by the speed of it's carrier (compare to pitching a ball from a moving car) is because NOTHING is actually moving. That's right. It's because waves don't MOVE, they PROPAGATE through a medium. When you hear someone speak, it is not the same molecules excited by their lips that reaches your ears - and if they were approaching you in a speeding car, their pitch would shift, just like red and blue shift with moving light sources.
    ►Consider this experiment:
    Tie a rope to a wall and snap a wave at the free end. You will see it travel down the rope toward the wall...but the rope is not moving toward the wall. You are observing a DISTURBANCE in amplitude that is PROPAGATING along the rope. You are watching moving crests, which are actually different parts of the rope in separate increments of time.
    ► SO what then is a photon? (remember it is treated to have "zero" mass). I believe that a photon is the particle representation (manifestation) of the energy of the disturbance in an electromagnetic wave - to the tune of E=mc². It's the "m" in the equation, where "E" is the energy of the photon by Plank's formula E=hv, where "v" is the frequency of light, and "h" is Plank's constant 6.626(10)^-34 Kg m²/s.
    So the energy of a photon of green light (560THz or 5.6(10)^14 cycles/second) would be 3.711(10)^-19 Kg (m/s)²
    The speed of light is 3(10)^8 m/s
    c² is 9(10)^16 m/s
    And the corresponding mass of that photon (m=E/c²) is 4.123(10)^-36 Kg
    By comparison, the rest mass of an electron is 9.11(10)^-31 Kg
    ►So, although we consider the mass of a green light photon to be zero (perhaps because it it one half of one ten-thousandth the mass of an electron) it meaningfully related to the equivalent mass, by Einstein's and Plank's formulas, of the energy of a DISTURBANCE in the fabric of space which PROPAGATES at the speed of light.
    ►OK, so when I said "nothing" is moving, I wasn't entirely correct, because the ENERGY is "moving", by PROPAGATING. This is a very different concept than imagining a particle moving up and down sinusoidially as it travels forward. Please never think of it that way again ☺

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    1. Very astute observation, Domenico. And of course you are quite right.

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    2. Excellent math! Thanks for the equations!!

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  24. Could the Neutrino represent a boundary condition for Gravity?

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  25. There is actually a summer kids camp which shares new scientific developments as fuel for world building and creative endeavors (original art, music, dance, writing. www.campdemigod.org a nonprofit children's overnight camp in Leavenworth, WA NASA award winning STEM+ARTS+MOVEMENT curriculum Camps look at the science behind Dr. Who, Harry Potter, etc. We discussed CERN a few summers ago.

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  26. "Much science-fiction literature is based on the idea that, if the light-speed barrier can be overcome, time travel might theoretically become possible."

    Just like we're now able to hear what people are going to say ... before they say it because we broke the sound barrier?

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  28. Let's suppose a gun is travelling at the speed of light what will happen to it's bullet when the trigger is pressed? Remember the gun is already travelling at the speed of light this so called speed limit. BUT the bullet will have to travel even faster as the speed of the bullet exiting the barrel is travelling faster than the gun.

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    1. You have to account for time dilation and the increase in mass of the gun and bullet.

      By time dilation theory, there would be no bullet ejected as the time needed to burn the powder would be near infinite.

      By increased mass theory, the mass of both the gun and bullet would be near infinite and therefore the burning powder would never be able to create enough pressure to push the bullet from the cartridge, much less from the gun's barrel.

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  29. so what about quantum entanglement? is that not surely the fastest (being absolutely immediate) 'force'? '[It] has been shown to occur even when the measurements are performed more quickly than light could travel between the sites of measurement: there is no lightspeed or slower influence that can pass between the entangled particles.' 'Recent experiments have measured entangled particles within less than one hundredth of a percent of the travel time of light between them. According to the formalism of quantum theory, the effect of measurement happens instantly.'

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  30. Interesting co-incidence, although it may be an April Fool's joke, this article. Here's what I'm looking into now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LaIMTe6mkQ&t=13s
    With later in the presentation an explanation of how the speed of light and force of gravity may be without limits. We need to keep in mind, that our mind in 3D conditions is a limited mind, without the ability to jump out of that box. It's as Albert Einstein said "We can't solve the problem that is created by the same mind with which we try to solve it" See what I mean?

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  31. Correction quote Einstein: "We can't solve the problem with the same mind with which we've created it" Slight difference of nuance.

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  32. I doubt this is correct...many old posts from 2011 and 12 that are about the same thing...

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  33. hahaha give me back orbital atomic reshercher wher your science destruct my ideology : closed emdrive plane you shit at people go touch this dont kick

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  34. you fools, there is no such thing as a "speed of light", its a RATE OF INDUCTION and limit of transverse field phenomena.
    More nonsense from the cult of Atomism

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  35. Law of conservation of energy. This law means that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed from one form to another. So...... when we die our energy goes somewhere.

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  36. Bad journalism. This is old news, when you were in pre-school ! It was rebuked weeks later. Why do ppl keep believing what they read as actual an factual an keep talking and discussing...it amazes me, the naiveness...

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  37. The squared velocity of a particle is reciprocal to it's rest mass, Photons have mass, and electron Neutrino have less restmass and therefore they go faster.

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  38. Broken wire is all they found! Einstein wins again!

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  39. I am not convinced yet, mostly due to the distance between cern and Sasso. I think it should be repeated using the moon - I am sure someone, NASA or ESA or another country would be willing to put a neutrino detector on the moon.
    And also take into account the question of how do you make sure the instrument is actually detecting the neutrino stream from Earth, since neutrinos are so prevalent throughout the universe. Well, just a thought....

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  41. Science is just another religion.

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  42. Just as the maunder cycle is proving global warming/climate change believers wrong so is the above article

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    1. Funny you should mention. Maybe you should see the study cern did on global warming before you say that.

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  43. This is a universe of particles.Darkness is not absence of light,photons. Dark photons produces darkness emitted from dark star. Imagine a massive black hole giving off dark photons, they travel like miniscule black holes taking up energy from dark as they travel so they keep on escalating. Photons gives off energy,light and slows down eventually but this effect visible over very large distance. We recognize it as relativity as different photons slows at different rate. Escalating dark photons escapes our observation because they need darkness to be seen. How can we see dark in darkness?

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  44. Comment may be replied on page:Kitabulmaknoon

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  45. What about tangled particles? How do they fit in the question? They "communicate in some unknown way, much faster than light, as has been proven.

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  46. The article is wrong: Einstein merely said that nothing can travel "AT" the speed of light and faster than light particles have long been postulated, they even have a name for them: Tachyons. Faster than light travel is theoretically possible for this class of particles, though they also cannot travel exactly at the speed of light.

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  47. I don't get it. How can the speed of light light be a considered a cosmic constant if it is decreased in a medium such as water as everyone knows. Something goes faster by a few nanonseconds, what's the deal?

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  48. Maybe they just found a more accurate measurement of the speed of light.

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  49. I'm pretty dumb when comes to.things like this but light gives off heat on some level becouse of its frequency so even in darkness wouldn't there be some level of heat becouse of of vibration or frquency therefore giving off light on some level

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