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Time travel physics in flux

5 Oct 2011, 02:03 UTC
Time travel physics in flux
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Something is rotten with the state of time travel/lightspeed physics.
To “c” (the symbolic designation for the speed of light), or not to “c”?
-That is the question plaguing physicists in a number of recent studies with apparently conflicting results.
The "Flux Capacitor," a fictional device enabling instantaneous, bi-directional time travel. (Credit: Universal)
Traditionally, the speed of light is viewed as a barrier to physical movement. According to conventional interpretations of Special Relativity, due to the time-slowing effect physical matter experiences as the speed of light is approached, movement through time is believed to stop at the very moment something hits “c.”
As a result, lightspeed appears to be a barrier to movement, (see: lightspeed barrier,) and many have come to speculate based on certain geometric and philosophical arguments that moving faster than light might equate to backwards travel through time.
So, here’s where things get interesting.
This summer, scientists at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology announced that in a meticulous data transfer experiment, they verified that photons don’t break the lightspeed barrier, and their effects don’t appear to even slightly precede their cause. Hence, lightspeed is a barrier and causality is confirmed, thus ...

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