The field of physics worships at the altar of c, the velocity of light. It is widely regarded as the inviolate constant which affects all things: from our knowledge of astronomy to the very behavior of subatomic particles. The idea that the speed of light is constant and unbreachable is at the foundation of modern physics and it is a key factor in Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity, which led to his deduction E=mc2 (in which the total amount of energy obtainable from an object is equivalent to the mass of the object multiplied by the square of the speed of light). However in recent years some scientists have suggested that Albert Einstein may have been wrong.

A pair of German physicists now claim to have broken the speed of light – an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time. The report on their findings has yet to be published, however the scientists say they have conducted an experiment in which microwave photons traveled "instantaneously" between a pair of prisms spaced several feet apart. The scientists claim to have taken advantage of a phenomenon known as "quantum tunneling" to force light to move instantaneously across this gap.

Newtonian mechanics imposes no maximum upper limit to attainable velocities in the universe, but Einstein’s relativity theory does. As charged particles are pushed up near the present speed of light they grow heavier, and more and more energy input is required to gain a smaller and smaller increment of increased velocity. Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity prohibits physical objects from traveling faster than the speed of light (which is approximately 300,000 kilometers per second) – it is also believed that to exceed the speed of light would require an infinite amount of energy.

The ability to travel faster than the speed of light would have a variety of bizarre implications. For example, an astronaut moving faster than light would theoretically arrive at a destination before leaving.

Throughout history our knowledge of how light travels has changed. Greek philosophers generally followed Aristotle’s belief that the speed of light was infinite. Even Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), the German astronomer and mathematician best known for his laws of planetary motion, maintained the majority view that light was instantaneous. Rene Descartes (1596-1650), famous for his work in both philosophy and mathematics, also believed in the instantaneous propagation of light.

It wasn’t until 1677 that a Danish astronomer named Olaf Roemer announced that the anomalous behavior of the eclipse times of Jupiter’s inner moon, could be accounted for by a finite speed of light. It took another half century for that notion to be accepted. It wasn’t until 1729 that James Bradley’s independent confirmation finally ended the opposition to a finite value for the speed of light. Roemer’s work, which had split the scientific community for 53 years, was finally vindicated.

The speed of light has been measured 163 times by 16 different methods over the past 300 years. However, in recent years, reexamining the known experimental measurements to date, some scientists have suggested that the speed of light is not constant, but appears to have been slowing down. Needless to say, this view is highly controversial and most physicists reject this hypothesis. However, if such a theory were eventually proven correct, it would dramatically alter our concepts concerning the physical universe.

It is possible that the entropy laws of physics and the ostensible decay of c, the slowing velocity of light, were a result of the fall of man recorded in Genesis Chapter 3. We have explored this possibility in many of our previously published materials, if you are interested in learning more listen to our briefing titled Beyond Perception (this week’s special offer).

Related Links: • Scientists Break Speed of Light in Lab Test – Herald Sun
 • Germans Break the Speed of Light – AP
 • Beyond Perception – MP3 Download – Koinonia House