Posted By admin Posted On

Speed of sound slowed down by Glasgow scientists

Did you ever wonder if there is a way to make the speed of sound slow down? Well, apparently, Glasgow scientists had that thought and did something about it. According to the BBC this past week, this particular group of inquiring minds figured out a way to make one photon beat another photon in a very important race.

The study, with final results published in the journal Science Express took two years to conduct. Miles Padgett and his colleagues joined Edinburgh-based Daniele Faccio of Heriot-Watt University, all members of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, to come up with a way to decide “whether light with a certain ‘spatial structure’ travels substantially slower than regular light in a vacuum. ”

Speed of sound slowed down by Glasgow scientists

How did this happen? The scientific answer is that “the researchers created a source that emitted pairs of photons simultaneously. One of the photons went straight to a highly precise photon counter, while the other went via two liquid-crystal masks, which imparted their profile onto the passing particle of light.”

This is complicated but definitely a hot find taking the given that the speed of light is set at an absolute of 186,282 miles per second when measured in free space.

Glasgow research team member Jacquiline Romero states, “Using time-correlated photon pairs we show a reduction of the group velocity of photons in both a Bessel beam and photons in a focused Gaussian beam, Our work highlights that, even in free space, the invariance of the speed of light only applies to plane waves.”

Indeed, scientists on the case have been aware that the speed of light can be slowed in a small way when the speed of light travels through, say, water or glass. However, the consensus was that it was literally impossible for particles of light, or photons, to be slowed down “as they travel through free space unimpeded by interactions with any materials.” Now that has proven to be true. Talk about an important scientific breakthrough revealed by scholars in Glasgow, Scotland.