Speed of Light May Not be a Limit After All

Guest_Jim_* - October 12, 2012 06:10AM in Science & Technology

An important part of science is the questioning of accepted rules. Last year researchers at CERN reported that neutrinos had traveled at faster than the speed of light, which has never been observed before and is not allowed according to the Theory of Special Relativity. It was later discovered that the speed measurement was the result of a systematic error (but proving that did give us the most accurate measure of the speed of a neutrino). At the time of the initial discovery though, many scientists started questioning the validity of the Universe's speed limit, and now researchers at the University of Adelaide have found that limit may not exist after all.

The reason why even theoretical superluminal travel has been considered impossible is because to travel that fast would break the mathematics of the formulae involved. Basically every measurement in the Universe should always return a real number, but when you exceed the speed of light, some measurements would take on imaginary values (square roots of negative numbers). What the researchers have done though is reexamined the theory and extended in such that the formulae no longer break down.

Sadly it must be stated that the researchers worked on this purely from a mathematical perspective, which makes sense as they are mathematicians. What that means is while they may have found it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light, they can offer no solution for achieving such speeds. Looks like science fiction remains fiction for a bit longer.