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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers

Can you exceed the speed of light by manipulating space-time in some way?

Other than in science fiction there is absolutely no known way to exceed the speed of light and to transmit matter or information in that manner . Using terms like 'space-time' and 'worm holes' does not provide any proof that such things are possible. We need hard evidence that nature permits such things to happen, and this evidence is completely lacking. Physicists have been accelerating electrons to within a millimeter/sec of the speed of light for decades and have never seen any departure from what is strictly permitted by special relativity. There is no 'gap' or 'quirk' that has ever been experimentally discovered that shows light-weight electrons can surmount the speed of light.

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All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the NASA Astronomy Cafe, part of the NASA Education and Public Outreach program.