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Faster than the speed of light?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by TEG, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Silicon Valley
  2. edo

    edo Member

    Jul 23, 2008
    Ok I'm an electromagnetics guy so let me speak to this:

    1. This doesn't violate relativity outright, it doesn't even violate electromangetics. The reason it works (via EM) is that the (evanescent) field was always in existance (3ft or whatever) away from the reflecting surface.
    Quantum mechanically, the field is replaced by the probability of detecting a photon. On average (after many many photons) the result has to match the EM solution.

    These guys aren't even the first to do this. If you want to do this get a laser pointer and a couple of prisms. get the laser to make a total internal reflection in the first prism, then put the second prism a short distance away, parallel to the reflecting surface of the first prism.

    Ok, since the light can't be in the gap, it skips traveling through space in that gap so it instantly appears on the other side, and bingo! faster than light travel, right?
    Not so fast... The evanescent field only changes at the speed of light, so while the light "travels" a distance without taking any time, the changes in the field travel at the speed of light in the intervening medium. If the changes don't move faster than the speed of light then it isn't useful for, say, subspace communication.

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