Light not up to speed

Australian scientists are calling into question one of our most important scientific theories -- Einstein's calculation of the speed of light, the famous E=MC² equation.

Theoretical physicist Professor Paul Davies, based at Macquarie University, has uncovered evidence that, rather than being one of the constants of the universe, the speed of light has actually slowed down over time.

"The laws of nature contain certain numbers known as physical consonants," said Davies. "One assumes that these are god-given fixed numbers. The fact that one of these appears to be varying with time isn't supposed to happen."

The speed of light is currently measured at roughly 300,000 kilometers a second.

"If the speed of light varies, potentially it could have been anything 12-15 billion years ago when the Big Bang occurred. The speed of light could have been infinite at that time, which would explain a lot about our current universe," said Davies.

If Davies' theory is correct, it could resolve many puzzles of the universe, such as why distant parts of it are the same temperature.

This is not the first time one of these 'constant' figures had been called into question. Earlier this year University of New South Wales astronomer John Webb discovered that the fine structure content, or alpha, of the quasar light was about a millionth smaller than the accepted value of 1/137. This calculation shows that alpha is therefore not a constant number throughout the universe.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Wendy Brewer

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?