Originally posted by moore
Oh, almost forgot, Gus, I don't see where you're going with the gravity waves. They can't propogate faster than light.
Since we don't know how gravity "propagates", it's not quite fair to say that if it were a wave, that it can't propagate faster than light. Given the currently accepted rules of our universe, certainly it would seem
impossible for them to do so. However, another one if the experiments done on that program I mentioned in my first post in this thread showed how an electromagnetic wave form could be "propagated" faster than light. The scientist used the effects of quantum probability to "trick" the universe into allowing it. I don't remember the precise details of the experiment but once again I'll try to describe the way it worked.
The scientist setup an oscillator that created a simple sine wave. He took the output from the oscillator and sent it to two small, separate, side-by-side microwave transmitters that focused the microwaves across a gap of 6 or 8 inches to two small receivers. The outputs from the receivers were then amplified and sent to two inputs of an oscilloscope. The scope was setup to show both wave forms one above the other on the display. It was clear to see that the two sine waves were in perfect phase with each other. He then took a bar of some substance and placed it in the gap between one of the transmitter/receiver pairs. I can't remember what the bar was made of but he selected that substance because it was somewhat porous on the small scale allowing the microwaves to propagate across the porous holes inside the substance, but the solid area between the holes would be as narrow as possible to approximate the size of a photon.
The result was somewhat astonishing. The wave form from the receiver that had been blocked immediately shifted out of phase with the reference wave form. It was quite visible on the scope. The amazing thing was that it shifted to the left. In other words, the waveform from the blocked receiver was arriving before
the reference wave. That can only mean that the wave propagated faster than the speed of light.
He was taking advantage of the effects of quantum probability. It states that if a photon comes up against a barrier that it cannot go through, there is a chance that it will vanish and appear on the other side of the barrier. This effect is instantaneous. The probability is inversely proportional to the width of the barrier. If I remember correctly, if the barrier's width is exactly that of the photon then the odds are 50/50. The wider the barrier gets, the worse the chances it will happen, and the worsening of the odds is exponential as the width grows. He theorized that even though the microwaves are propagating for the most part through the empty space in the porous material, in order to get all the way through they would have to cross the barriers in the material as well. Each time they popped out to the other side of the barrier they were taking a "short cut" compared to the reference wave. Add up all the shortcuts and you get a detectable difference in the time it takes for the wave to come out the other side.
When you get into this type of physics things get wierd and it's really all in the way you look at it. In simple terms both waves traveled across the same 8 inch gap, but one got there faster. This means that it traveled faster than light. But really, it seems to me that the one that got there faster actually "cheated" by not really traveling the whole distance. At least some of the trip involved "teleporting" instantaneously. It's conceivable that gravity might be a wave form and also somehow "cheats" its way through the universe.