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So it turns out the speed of light might not be constant after all Comments

So, it seems the speed of light isn't quite constant after all. Two new studies published in the European Physical Journal D suggests that the speed of light in space isn't quite constant after all. The understanding is that space is not quite the perfect vacuum which it is often assumed to be. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 36 Comments

  1. JM
    1 year ago

    Actually this has nothing to do with the speed of light, which is a constant, in a vacuum. The point here is space isn't a perfect vacuum. I doubt most scientists ever thought it was. That space isn't a perfect vacuum doesn't change the speed of light were it going through that vacuum. Misleading headline.

    More interestingly is a quantification of how much to adjust for the imperfect vacuum of space. Again, none of this changes the speed of light in a vacuum.

  2. Fieyr
    1 year ago

    The author isn't properly reporting the results of this study. The debate is not whether or not there are extremely diffuse particles floating around in space and therefore not a vacuum. Of course there are... stars are exploding all the time, filling space with their enriched chemical guts. Anyone who knows anything about cosmology doesn't assume that space is a perfect vacuum. If that were the case... planets, galaxies, stars, etc could not exist. All of these things are essentially 'particles' within the 'vacuum' of space.

    Rather, the study is referring to quantum mechanical virtual particles which, even within the best vacuums we can create on Earth (with concentrations of particles slightly more diffuse than interstellar space), can be observed to pop into and out of existence. There was no mention of quantum mechanics or virtual particles in this article which says to me that either the author does not understand the study enough to write a proper article, or too lazy to do the research required.

    Either way, this article should either be corrected to properly reflect the results of the study or taken down.

    A much better report of the study can be found here which I would recommend as your source if you decide to make corrections.: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-ephemeral-vacuum-particles-speed-of-light-fluctuations.html

  3. gregd
    1 year ago

    This headline is misleading. The article itself says that the speed of light in a vaccum is still constant. It has been known for quite some time now that the speed of light changes as it passes through a medium. No news there. So this article is really about the finding that there is more "substance" in space than previously thought and therefore space should not be viewed as a true vacuum, but thats not what the headine says.

  4. Jeff
    1 year ago

    The title is misleading. The speed of light in a vacuum is still constant. It's just that space isn't as complete of a vacuum as was assumed.

  5. Bill Moore
    1 year ago

    The theory is that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum. And the conclusion of this article is that because space is not a vacuum, then the "speed of light might not be constant after all". The conclusion that should be drawn is..."space might not be a vacuum". No need to change textbooks regarding the speed of light at all.

  6. Batman
    1 year ago

    Ok, only the IGNORANT call the Higgs Bosson "the god particle". Can we please stop calling it that.

  7. Marty Kay Zee
    1 year ago

    And, space itself is expanding beyond the velocity of light leading to the notion that the size of the universe may be greater than its age.

  8. Al
    1 year ago

    Anyone who has even a passing acquaintance with physics knows that the speed of light is subject to modification based on the refractive index of the medium where it travels. This article sheds no new insights into the actual speed of light and it's constant value. A more correct title would have been: "Space is not a perfect vacuum" But of course no one would come and read that would they?

  9. Me
    1 year ago

    "The greatest change might be to textbooks, which will need to add a caveat that the speed of light is constant, only in a true vacuum-which space isn't."

    Peer Review matters more than jumping onto a catchy headline. Thats how science works. Dont start rewriting books just yet.

  10. g
    1 year ago

    This is not new news to anyone that knows about physics


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