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Speed of Light May Not Be Fixed

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Posted March 26, 2013

Speed of Light May Not Be Fixed, Scientists Suggest; Ephemeral Vacuum Particles Induce Speed-Of-Light Fluctuations.

Illustration: Ephemeral vacuum particles induce speed-of-light fluctuations. (Credit: Image courtesy of Springer)

Illustration: Ephemeral vacuum particles induce speed-of-light fluctuations. (Credit: Image courtesy of Springer)

Two forthcoming European Physical Journal D papers challenge established wisdom about the nature of vacuum. In one paper, Marcel Urban from the University of Paris-Sud, located in Orsay, France and his colleagues identified a quantum level mechanism for interpreting vacuum as being filled with pairs of virtual particles with fluctuating energy values. As a result, the inherent characteristics of vacuum, like the speed of light, may not be a constant after all, but fluctuate.

Meanwhile, in another study, Gerd Leuchs and Luis L. Sánchez-Soto, from the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Light in Erlangen, Germany, suggest that physical constants, such as the speed of light and the so-called impedance of free space, are indications of the total number of elementary particles in nature.

Read more at: ScienceDaily.com

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