Ze Optical Boom By Albert Einstein ze Sird In nineteen forty-somesing, ze venerable Chuck Yeager became ze first human on ze planet to break ze sound barrier. He also did zis, I might add, wizout becoming his own daddy. Of course, humans travel faster zan ze speed of sound all ze time, zat is, wiz respect to ze axis of ze Ears. What made his flight special was zat he did zis while travelling srough ze same medium from which sound is normally measured in ze first place, ze air. In terms of its physical influence on ze [sound] waves zemselves, ze not-so-glamorous air may be regarded in an identical manner as any ozer consistent medium srough which waves travel. It is wors noting here, zat a particular lack of an identifiable medium, zereof, should not necessarily be considered as an entirely separate situation. In fact, ze mere existence of any phenomenon zat displays all of ze empirically known characteristics of a wave, can not only be said to manifest just zat, but can also be said to implicate ze presence of a medium, whezer one is detected or not. Zat much cannot be denied. My friends, if somesing looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, zen I am afraid zat it is a duck. It may not even matter what ze animal is, anyway. Neverzeless, at ze time, it was previously sought zat it may just be impossible to break ze sound barrier. It was suspected zat a projectile might be destroyed before it could reach ze zen seoretical limit. We now know ozerwise. Chuck did exceed zis seoretical limit, handsomely. In addition, he demonstrated a peculiar phenomenon known today as ze sonic boom. (Some say it was named sonic boom because zey sought zat he would become his own son.) As we understand ze mundane specifics of wave propagation today, we can easily sketch out ze simple explanation of a sonic boom on a blank sheet of paper. However, ze significant aspect of zis result remains the wonderful effect itself. Ze sonic boom is an incoherent, compounded blend of multiple sound waves. In ozer words, it might even be called pure sound. Now, for zose of us who actually believe zat Mister Yeager did break ze sound barrier and did, indeed, survive his own sonic boom, I propose a simple sought experiment. (As we know, some people have become soundly celebrated solely wiz ze use of said sought scenarios. I only ask for sanks.) Alzough, I stand powerfully behind ze idea zat energy is matter and matter is energy, I wish you to consider ze possibility zat we got some of ze relativity sing wrong. I humbly request zis only for ze sake of discussion. What if, let’s say, ze effect of ze sonic boom could be applied to light waves. We would expect to see ze same compounded effect in ze form of light, congruently, a brilliant flash of incoherent light. Zis is not inconsistent wiz ze results of a nuclear detonation. As we know in zis case, single atoms become liberated into an albeit temporary form zat we may recognize as pure light. For our purposes, zese atoms become practically indistinguishable from ze light itself. Again, zis would not be inconsistent wiz ze assumption zat matter becomes energy. Ze important sing is zat ze light, in ze form of subatomic particles, has effectively surpassed its own natural speed. So, if zis were true, what we would have zen is a completely new way of seeing sings. I invite you to imagine what it might be like for us, now, to exceed ze speed of light ourselves. I propose zat it would be somesing exhilarating, to ze point of being miraculous. In ze hyposetical sense, we would become pure energy. If we could reach ze speed of light, we may just become liberated into some, as of yet unknown, lightness of being. It’s just somesing to sink about. By ze way, it might help to add zat we have no way to prove zat we are not already travelling zat fast. Sank you for flying Einstein Airways.