Is it possible to exceed the speed of light?

First, have a look at some of the other questions about this and related topics in this relativity questions archive. I think I have pretty much answered this already. In short, there is no known way to exceed the speed of light, except by using certain kinds of black holes as 'worm holes' through space to short circuit the miles; at least this is what some theoreticians believe. Of course, if a suitable black hole were to wander into our solar system to provide such a means, it would be bad news for life in this solar system! Black holes are pretty nasty objects. It is also likely that in the quantum world, particles can travel faster than the speed of light however, Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle makes it impossible for this to be directly observed by us, or used as a means of faster-than-light communication. Have a look at my essay on Faster Than Light Space Travel in Science Fiction for entertaining speculations about FTL travel in science fiction literature. There is also an article in the August 1993 issue of Scientific American that discussed whether particles can travel faster than light.

Copyright (C) 1997 Dr. Sten Odenwald

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