Time Travelling Light Waves

Light Lab at NEC Research Institute in Princeton, N.J.

This is a bit of old news, but it’s interesting.

Back in 2000 Scientists figured out a way to make a pulse of light travel faster than the speed of light. Wait until you hear exactly what they did; it might have been a few years ago but it will still blow your mind.

Scientists from the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, N.J did an experiment which caused a pulse of light, a group of waves with no mass, to come out the other side of a specially prepared chamber before it was even done entering.

From CBC News:

Inside a chamber, they changed the state of a vapour in a way that light travelling through it would travel faster than normal.

When the pulse of light travelled through the vapour, the pulse reconfigured as some component waves stretched and others compressed. As the waves approached the end of the chamber, they recombined, forming the original pulse.

The key to the experiment was that the pulse reformed before it could have gotten there by simply travelling through empty space. This means that, when the waves of the light distorted, the pulse traveled forward in time.

I’m not sure that it means anything in the grand scheme of things because they say they don’t know of any way to turn this phenomena into a way to carry data.

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