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Light Speed

  1. Oct 30, 2006 #1


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    I just wanted to ask, if we are able to slow light particles by freezing the protons then would it be possible that stars are actually a lot closer to the earth than we think since outer space is a cold vacuum, then light traveling from the stars would be slow, but every time this light travels next to another star the light would speed up and bend around the star and propel itself and then slow down again. Is it possible?
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  3. Oct 30, 2006 #2


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    No, not really. The speed of light through a material has been altered in laboratory experiments, but light from stars is coming to us through a vacuum. There just isn't any material to be chilled by the cold of space and slow the photons.
  4. Oct 30, 2006 #3


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    That is true, but space isn’t really empty. there is space dust and rocks floating in space that are at extreme cold temperatures and light sometimes has to travel around these huge bodies of mass, so is it possible that these huge bodies of mass affect light ?
  5. Oct 30, 2006 #4


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    Think carefully. Even through AIR, the speed of light is barely different than the "vacuum" value. So by how much do you think light will be slowed down travelling in the almost empty region in space?

    I work with ultra high vacuum systems all the time, which is still considerably higher than the vacuum in space. We'd win a lot of prizes if we can detect a difference in the speed of light with varying vacuum at that level.

    In any case, your original premise of 'cold vacuum' being equated as freezing light is faulty. The "temperature" of the medium ISN'T what is meant by "freezing light". You really ought to read the actual report before jumping off on a tangent onto such catch phrases.

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2006
  6. Nov 15, 2006 #5
    Also, be sure to double check your own logic. If light were to speed up near a 'warm' star it would bend away from the star not around. That light bends around the sun and stars is why we know it effectively goes slower the nearer to a larger mass it gets. Also shown by the Shapiro Effect.
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