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One Thing That We Know Of Goes Faster Than The Speed Of Light...

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Posted by Larry J. Rhodes on October 18, 2002 10:48:56 UTC

A hot check. :) Just kidding. Actually, can you think of nothing that could possibly go faster than the speed of light? There's a force in physics that acts, seemingly, over an infinite distance the instant it comes into being within any given mass.

GRAVITY. However, new studies are pointing toward the idea that gravity does not have infinite speed, but that it actually has a speed roughly 2 x 10^10 times faster than the speed of light. That's a grand total speed of 6 x 10^18 meters per second (this calculation is attributed to astronomer Tom Flandern). Pretty darned fast, eh? :)

Of course, there're a LOT of very complicated equations involved in determining this through observation (I couldn't even tweed through them), but it has to do with the "classic aberration of light" (a phenomenon that was once used to calculate the speed of light), and the old assumption that gravity has no aberration, meaning that, no matter how fast or slow you're traveling through space, you would never notice a difference in the time it takes the force of gravity to reach you from any given source. Now they're realizing that there IS a difference in this time, though very very VERY small.

And, though it would seem there's still a lot of speculation as to the validity of these tests and their outcome, the chances are there is NOTHING in the universe that is truly infinite. There are only numbers too large to be fathomed by our meager minds...and calculators.

I hope this helps you sleep better. ;)

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