Scientists Have Finally Discovered A New Way To Travel Faster Than Light

When you want to travel a long distance, say from one continent to another, you book a plane flight, hoping to spend a few hours in the air. However when it comes to space travel you need to travel faster because all points of interest are so far away! 

Space explorers have always been looking for a way to travel faster than light, which will allow them to get to deep space faster!

Basically all discovered methods have significant drawbacks, but scientists have found a new way! How it works? What are the requirements? How long will you be able to travel with him? We bring you a new way to travel faster than light!

The Speed ​​of Light

The speed of light, commonly denoted by the letter c, is about 299,792,458 m/s, that is, every second, light travels approximately 300,000 km when propagating in vacuum. The choice of the letter c is due to the Latin word celeritas, which means speed.

Travel at the Speed ​​of Light

The speed of light is used to define the meter, a unit of length used by the International System of Units (SI) as a measure of the space traveled by light in vacuum in a time of 1/299,792,458 second.

Who first measured the speed of light?

The propagation speed of light was a question of scientists since the most ancient civilizations. Empedocles believed that light had infinite speed. Ptolemy and Euclid believed that it was emitted by the eyes, and other great Greek philosophers and mathematicians, such as Aristotle and Hero of Alexandria, believed that light propagated by bodies through space with finite velocity. These views influenced the thinking of great scientists such as Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) and René Descartes.

In 1638, Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) performed an experiment to calculate the speed of light. To do this, he measured the time it took her to leave a lantern on top of a mountain and reach another one 2 kilometers away. His conclusions pointed out that the time for light to travel this distance was less than 10-5 s (0.00001 s), a very small interval to be measured with the technological resources available at that time.

Galileo Galilei

Shortly thereafter, in 1676, the Danish astronomer Ole Romer observed that the duration of eclipses of Jupiter’s moons varied according to the time of year. Romer suspected that the variation was due to light having a finite speed, considering that the distance from Earth to Jupiter’s moons changes according to their orbits.

It wasn’t until 1819 that an experiment was able to provide accurate measurements of the speed of light. By means of a semi-reflecting mirror and a revolving toothed wheel, the French physicist Armand Hyppolyte Fizeau was able to define the speed of light, with an error of just under 10% in relation to the current measurement.

Fizeau’s experiment worked as follows:

1. Light was emitted by a light source L. This light was converged by means of a convex lens and directed towards a semi-reflecting mirror P, with an angle of 45º in relation to the light rays. Part of these light rays passed through the mirror and part of them was reflected;

2. The part of the rays that was reflected passed through a rotating gear wheel. This light was reflected to an S-mirror about 8 km ahead and back. Fizeau regulated the speed of rotation of his wheel, since the reflected light took a little time to return to the semi-reflecting mirror P, until it was no longer possible to see the image reflected by the mirror S. first mirror.

What does the speed of light depend on?

The speed of light depends on a property of optical media called refraction. The more refractive a medium is, the slower the speed of propagation of light within it. Light undergoes refraction as it travels through a medium other than a vacuum, and the measure of its refraction is called the index of refraction.

The index of refraction is a measure of how much the speed of light in a given medium has been reduced relative to its speed in vacuum. It is defined, therefore, as the ratio between the speed of light in the medium (v) by the speed of light in vacuum (c).

We can take diamond as an example: its index of refraction is 2.4, which means that the speed of light in vacuum is 2.4 times faster than its propagation inside the diamond.

By merging the equations of Electricity with those of Magnetism, James Clerk Maxwell was able to develop the Electromagnetism equations that describe light as a transverse electromagnetic wave. Through his calculations, Maxwell was able to determine the speed of light based on even more fundamental physical constants: the electric and magnetic constants of the vacuum, called the permittivity (ε0) and permeability (μ0) of the vacuum. Thus, the speed of light can be obtained, through these two constants, by the expression:


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