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Speed of Light Exceeded? 393

PreacherTom writes "Scientists at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, NJ are reporting that they have broken the speed of light. For the experiment, the researchers manipulated a vapor of laser-irradiated atoms, causing a pulse that propagates about 300 times faster than light would travel in a vacuum. The pulse seemed to exit the chamber even before entering it." This research was published in Nature, so presumably it was peer-reviewed. It's impossible from the CBC story to determine what is being claimed. First of all they get the physics wrong by asserting that Einstein's special relativity only decrees that matter cannot exceed the speed of light. Wrong. Matter cannot touch the speed of light in vacuum; energy (e.g. light) cannot exceed it; and information cannot be transferred faster than this limit. What exactly the researchers achieved, and what they claim, can only be determined at this point by subscribers to Nature.

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department