Sunday, January 21, 2007

Today Vs Yesterday Vs Tomorrow

I remember when my parents said that things are moving so fast as compared to when they were children. Now, we say the same things to our children.

But, I think time really is moving faster now than even a second ago, at least to my internal clock. Time is a dimension. And, it is not a constant as some have said.

Ever feel like time moves very quickly and sometimes very slowly? Like how the hours fly by when you're hanging out with a close friend, or how seconds drag on endlessly when you're stuck in traffic on a hot day? But you can't actually speed time up or slow it down—it always flows at the same rate, right?

Albert Einstein didn't think so. His idea was that, theoretically, the closer we come to traveling at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), the more time would appear to slow down for us from the perspective of someone who, in relation to us, was not moving. He called the slowing of time due to motion time dilation.

NOVA | Einstein's Big Idea | Time Traveler | PBS

Now that we discussed Time, what about the speed of light? Is the speed of light speeding up or slowing down. Don't fall into the trap thinking that the speed of light is a constant.

Speed of light slowing down after all?

Famous physicist makes headlines

by Carl Wieland

9 August 2002

Headlines in several newspapers around the world have publicized a paper in Nature by a team of scientists (including the famous physicist Paul Davies) who (according to these reports) claim that 'light has been slowing down since the creation of the universe'.

Light that travels faster than the speed of light
From Science Blog

Light A team of researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has successfully demonstrated, for the first time, that it is possible to control the speed of light – both slowing it down and speeding it up – in an optical fiber, using off-the-shelf instrumentation in normal environmental conditions. Their results, to be published in the August 22 issue of Applied Physics Letters, could have implications that range from optical computing to the fiber-optic telecommunications industry.

Now if those two articles don't get you thinking about what you thought was a constant, the following will throw you backwards altogether.

Light's Most Exotic Trick Yet: So Fast it Goes ... Backwards?

In the past few years, scientists have found ways to make light go both faster and slower than its usual speed limit, but now researchers at the University of Rochester have published a paper today in Science on how they've gone one step further: pushing light into reverse. As if to defy common sense, the backward-moving pulse of light travels faster than light.

Confused? You're not alone.

If you are interested in reading more about light that travels faster or slower, click the Science Blog, light that travels faster search link.

Jim Warholic

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