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Fibre Network Pushed Beyond Lightspeed?
By: MarkJ - 18 August, 2007 (9:56 AM)

Shouldn't going beyond the speed of light (300,000km per second) be impossible without requiring infinite amounts of energy? Well if it is then apparently nobody told a team of German scientists developing the next generation of fibre broadband networks, which claims to do just that:

But two German physicists claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon known as "quantum tunnelling". Gunter Nimtz, one of the physicists from the University of Koblenz, told New Scientist magazine: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."

However, the scientists' claims should be treated with some scepticism until they have been investigated by the wider scientific community, according to Dr Kevin McIsaac, an analyst at Sydney-based firm IBRS, who holds a PhD in theoretical atomic physics.

Even if the discovery turns out to be real, IBRS's McIsaac isn't convinced that it could be turned into a useful product: "About 15 or 20 years ago a scientist claimed to have discovered cold fusion... but still nothing has happened. One of the big promises has been quantum computing and we still don't have it. Also, photonic computing — we still don't have that either."

It's noted that such a technology would probably take a lifetime to develop. However McIsaac forgets to add that it would then take BT at least another decade to roll the technology out and we suspect ISP's wouldn’t be too impressed with their new bandwidth costs :) . More @ ZDNet.


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