Scientists at NEC have managed to get a light beam to exceed the speed of light, something once thought to be an unbreakable universal constant.
In the experiment a beam of light was passed through a specially prepared caesium atomic chamber. The beam of light arrived at the far end 62 nanoseconds sooner than would be expected under normal conditions.
"Our experiment is not at odds with Einstein's special relativity, but it does show that the generally held misconception that nothing can move faster than the speed of light is wrong," the laboratory reported.
"The statement only applies to objects with a rest mass. Light can be viewed as waves and has no mass. Therefore, it is not limited by its speed inside a vacuum."
The special chamber was cooled to as close possible to absolute zero (-273.15 Celcius). Combined with the caesium, this "rephased" the light waves, taking them beyond 186,000 miles per second.
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