Slowing the Speed of Light to a Crawl,

Issued: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 13:09:00 GMT

"In a vacuum, light is the fastest thing in the universe. Indeed, unless the physics of relativity are wrong, it's the absolute speed limit of the universe - nothing can move faster. But take it out of a vacuum, and run light through different liquids, gassess, or translucent/transparent solids, and the speed of light will slow down. Usually not by much, but enough to give us things like color, which is a result of our perception different wavelengths of light being scattered by objects or media or both.

For the past few decades, scientists have been playing more and more with the "slowing down" of light, and scientists at the University of Glasgow have achieved a breakthrough in this area. They've managed to slow the speed of light to a relative crawl - 741 miles per hour, or about the speed of sound. While that's still fast relative to our own experience, remember that in a vacuum, the speed of light is 186,252 miles per second. So this is an incredible achievement."

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