Scientsts slow the speed of light

by Gene on Jan. 23rd, 2007

Researchers at the University of Rochester have successfully slowed the speed of light by shooting it through a chamber filled with Cesium gas. This may one day lead to computers, telecommunication, and other technology transmitting information as light rather than as electriity -- a far faster and more efficeint method.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Gene's picture
Gene says:

A more detailed explanation of the experiment can be found here.

posted on Tue, 01/23/2007 - 3:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:


The NEC princeton experiment sped up the wave of light (310 time the speed of light), not slowed it down.

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 4:56pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Hmm, I was confused by your post until a did a bit more reading. Gene got this right. The research he was referring to did slow the speed of light.

However, you also got it right. There was another piece of research done by some folks at the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, New Jersey. They observed the peak of a laser pulse leave a chamber filled with cesium gas 20 nano seconds before it entered it. Wha wha??? I know I was confused also.

These give a more technical explanation of this experiment but I will try and simplify.

Essentially these folks haven't sped up anything with mass. The whole e=mc2 deal that tells us that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, really only applies to things with mass. Photos of light can travel at the speed of light while anything with mass can't. But light can also act like a wave. These scientists are using the wave aspects of light to speed up part of the light's wave as it passes through a chamber of cesium. Don't get me wrong I am grossly oversimplifying some complex science here. But they aren't really breaking the key law of physics that no thing can move faster than the speed of light.

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 5:22pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Not sure what you're referring to -- both articles linked above state they slowed down light.

posted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 5:23pm

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