Posted 26 September 2012 - 19:51
Scientist John Singleton made a machine in 2008 called a polarization synchrotron and presented the work and results to the American Astronomical Society:
Most people think Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, but that's not really the case, Singleton said. Einstein predicted that particles and information can't travel faster than the speed of light — but phenomenon like radio waves? That's a different story, said Singleton, a Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow.
Singleton has created a gadget that abuses radio waves so severely that they finally give in and travel faster than light. The polarization synchrotron combines the waves with a rapidly spinning magnetic field, and the result could explain why pulsars — which are super-dense spinning stars that are a subclass of neutron stars — emit such powerful signals, a phenomenon that has baffled many scientists, Singleton said.
The concept of phenomenon traveling faster than light has been discussed in the back alleys of the scientific community since the 1970s, but observations were based on strange aberrations, like the distorted images of stars as they traveled near the speed of light, said Mario Perez, a Los Alamos scientist who worked with Singleton on the project.
"Radio astronomers found sources that looked like things were traveling faster than light, but they were not truly superluminal, like this is," Perez said.
"If you take a laser and shine it on the moon and swing it rather gently, for example, the spot on the moon travels faster than the speed of light," Singleton said. "If an effect can do that, it makes you wonder if you can do things with light to get the equivalent of a sonic boom." That's what the faster-than-light radio waves — more scientifically known as superluminal transmissions — do. They're the light version of a sonic boom.