ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Understanding Temporal Dilation: The Time Vs. Velocity Equation - Part 5

Updated on September 25, 2009

It seems that light pulses can indeed be made to travel faster than the speed of light. This is a special property of light itself, which is far different from a familiar object like a brick. Only because light has no mass can it exceed the speed of light. Although it would seem to be illogical that light has no mass whatsoever, it is technically pure energy. The laws which govern the velocity of energy are quite different from the ones which factor mass into the equation.

The speed of light has been thought of for years as the maximum speed possible, but recently physicists have found a way for light to actually go faster than the speed of light. The team designed a small tube filled with special gas that actually sped up the light, making it go 310 times faster than it normally would have. Using extremely precise equipment, the pulse of light was measured leaving the tube 62 nanoseconds [billionths of a second] before it arrives. In other words, the light exited the tube before it had even entered, in essence going back in time, although only a few nanoseconds. The results of the experiment, physicists agree, are mind-bending.

This experiment opens the door to the effective elimination of cause and effect. We can see that it is possible to have an effect precede a cause! Causality turned on its head! In the words of Arthur Eddington, the universe is not just not only stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we can imagine!

It is currently not possible to implement this kind of phenomenon to send information faster than the speed of light. If you could the results would be straight out of a science fiction movie. Imagine sending information about an impending disaster back through time to prevent it from even happening. Other scientists insist that it is possible. There's been a great deal of controversy among physicists over the prospect of information actually being sent back in time. If a message could be encoded into a series of light pulses and then sent back through time, it would be possible to change the present. Only time will tell if that is possible; for now that kind of information will have to remain in science fiction books, not textbooks.

Beginning with Albert Einstein's revolutionary paper in 1905, the perception of time has been radically altered. Using only two relatively simple postulates, Einstein created a whole new theory that was way ahead of its time, and even today the bizarre occurrences that resulted because of it are hard to comprehend. Numerous experiments have now confirmed exactly what Einstein had predicted: time is fluid and shifting, and at high speeds is experienced slower than when standing still. Two people moving at different speeds will measure different times between events. New experiments using Einstein's established theory are proving that it is possible to send light backwards slightly in time, remarkable as that may sound, but the implications of the experiments are still hotly debated among the scientific community. It seems as if science is continually breaking its own rules and establishing new ones as more amazing ideas emerge.

Who needs science fiction? Science fact is more than enough for me.

Back To Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Our understanding is velocity and even acceleration effects time; thus, time is fluid because velocity and acceleration is a variable. Given that, we have proven that flying two planes and using on board atomic clocks as a reference, moving with the rotation and against the rotation of the earth has resulted in a time difference between the to clocks and resulted in a time difference with the stationary clock. The conclusion is that our time is based on the rotational velocity of the earth and that at the center of the earth, where velocity is nil, time is moving faster than at the surface of the earth. Given that is our earth time based on the velocity of our earth revolving around our sun and is it based on our universe as it travels through space from the beginning of time I.E. the big bang? just some thoughts.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Ok, how about "Warp Factor 9 Mr. Sulu!" :)

      Actually there are a variety of c+ states including the Scharnhorst effect where the speed of light is greater than the speed of light and yes, it's DAMN confusing! I need an Aspirin! :)

    • Aya Katz profile image

      Aya Katz 

      9 years ago from The Ozarks

      Nicomp, ha, ha! Good point.

      Hal, I think he's just trying to tell you that light travels at the speed of light by definition.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      "It seems that light pulses can indeed be made to travel faster than the speed of light. This is a special property of light itself, which is far different from a familiar object like a brick. Only because light has no mass can it exceed the speed of light."

      When light travels faster than the speed of light we need a new identifying term.

    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Well, c is c is c, as my old astronomy prof used to say. No matter where you go or how fast you're travelling, the speed of light is the same. It is wholly counterintuitive but it's been proven over and over.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      9 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Whatever speed light is traveling is, by definition, the speed of light. We need new terminology.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)