This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Enemies of Science Can Stop Gloating About the Fast Neutrinos

TheVirginian's Avatar Jump to comment 27 by TheVirginian

I strongly suspect that Krauthammer simply went on the Internet and found some brief commentary about the physics involved. His article included a massive bit of ignorance, something I learned in physics class in the second year of college. Krauthammer stated that physics says nothing can travel faster than light. In fact, physicists have recognized for decades that faster-than-light travel is theoretically possible. Since the 1960s, physicists have been searching for evidence of "tachyons," hypothetical particles that exist only at FTL speeds. The speed of light is a barrier in the sense that nothing can travel AT the speed of light. You can travel at sublight or FTL speeds, but as you cannot travel AT the speed of light, you cannot go from sublight to superlight speeds, and vice versa. I remember graphing the relevant equation in 1972. Krauthammer's whole column was based upon his ignorance of basic physics theory, and the newspapers that published it did not have the sense to call a physicist at a nearby college to double-check his sneering column attacking science.

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 03:48:56 UTC | #922661