Pants and Physics

Well, first it looks a lot like scientists may have managed to exceed the speed of light, but only sort of. Senior NoGators physics correspondent Dr. Carla Finch points out that:

“This sounds kind of fishy to me. It seems to use a similar phenomena to that was used to ‘stop’ a light pulse. This whole methodology requires using pulses of light, not beams of light. A pulse or a wave packet of light or of matter is a whole different creature from a basic beam or ray. A pulse actually consists of several different light waves superimposed to create a discrete package.

“The apparent time travel described has all the markings of aquantum mechanical effect. As much as we would like to describe the worldof matter and light as ball and stick figures, we know that in realityposition and momentum are quite fuzzy. (Heisenberg Uncertainty and allthat.) The ability for a particle, especially a particle having no mass, tobe in two places simultaneously does not break any major laws of physics.According to quantum mechanics there is some probability that the particleis in an infinite number of positions simultaneously. As for travelling 300times c, I imagine that the quantum mechanics involved in dealing with aphoton wave packet could allow the information needed to reconstruct thatwave to be broadcast well in front of the actual packet. There is all sortsof weirdness allowed when it comes to space-time and information travel. Essentially, when an electron tunnels through a barrier there is no evidence of it ever being within the barrier, and yet it somehow appears onthe other side. My imagination would allow me to believe that if matter waves can transmit over a measurable distance then light waves shouldlikely transmit over much longer distances.”

So did they do it? I thinks she means “Sort of.”

In other (dramatically funnier) news, The Onion is reporting that Haggar physicists have developed ‘Quantum Slacks’. No word yet from Dr. Finch on the implications of these developments. Watch out for the anti-pants.

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