Researchers from the Joint Quantum Institute
(JQI) have conducted an experiment that has been able to speed single
photons to what appear to be faster
than light speeds. The experiment was conducted to confirm
predictions in quantum-physics that the transfer time of light though
complex multilayer materials doesn't depend on the thickness of the
material. The study is the first to be published observing a single
The researchers created 80nm thick stacks of 30
dielectric layers. The layers were equivalent to about a quarter of
the wavelength of light traveling through them. The individual layers
in the stack alternated between high and low refractive index
materials that cause light waves to bend by varying amounts. Single
photons hitting the boundary of the high and low layers have a chance
of passing through or being reflected.
observed that single photons that completely penetrated the stack
passed through in about 12.84 femtoseconds. If the team added an
additional single layer of low refractive index material to the stack
at the end the photon took an additional 3.52 femtoseconds to pass
through the stack.
However, if the team added a single high
refractive index layer to the end of the stack the single photons
were able to pass through the entire stack in 5.34 femtoseconds. With
the photon passing through the stack in 5.34 femtoseconds the photon
appears to travel at faster than light speeds.
warn that the perceived faster than light speed of the single photon
is "something of an illusion" because only a small portion
of the photons actually make it through the stack and if all the
photons that initially hit the stack were recorded the distribution
of times would be normal.
quote: The other 90% of Earths literate population understands "speed of light" = c, and would probably lose interest if you tried explaining propagation and refraction indices to them.
quote: Just look at dark energy or matter.
quote: With the photon passing through the stack in 5.34 femtoseconds the photon appears to travel at faster than light speeds.
quote: So let me get this straight... a photon is a particle of light. They are saying a photon is exceeding light speed, now tell me how light can travel faster than light.