Slowing Down the Speed of Light

Slowing Down the Speed of Light

The astronomer Ole Rømer first demonstrated the speed of light in 1676. “A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field” by James Clerk Maxwell showed how the movement of waves. Demonstrating electric and magnetic fields travel through space at the speed of light. Paul Drude was the first to use the symbol c for the speed of light in a perfect vacuum.  However, Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity provided context outside of light and electromagnetism. The universal constant c denoted as 299,792,458 m/s. In 2015 scientists from the University of Glasgow and Heriot-Watt University managed to slow photons in free space for the first time. By applying a mask to an optical beam to give photons a spatial structure. They were able to reduce the speed of that photon. The implications of this research may be insignificant to the average person.   However, the nuance in this finding could affect everything from the half-life of a radioactive isotope to optical beam detectors and x-rays.

Feature Image:

Speed light
Highway lights at night. Image: Florian Kurz (flo222) | Pixabay

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