Albert Einstein made the assumption that the speed of light (C) in a vacuum is the utmost speed in the universe.

He never attempted to prove this and, to my knowledge, no one ever has. Therefore, speculation concerning speeds

beyond C is valid, and, indeed, a name has been proposed for particles that have C as a lower limit.

These particles, Tachyons(1), cannot travel at speeds less than C.

Einstein’s equation for the Mass of an object in motion M

where M = mass of an object, C = speed of light a vacuum, and V = the velocity

of an object clearly shows that as V → C, the denominator → 0 and M

Therefore, he concluded that no object could travel at the speed of light

and, in fact, could not even equal the speed of light.

In the 1920’s, engineers had equations that demonstrated that airplanes could not fly faster than the speed of sound.

They showed that the plane would be pushing too much air which couldn’t get out of the way and hence

became a barrier to higher speeds. Today it’s done all the time.

Let us imagine that we could travel at twice the speed of light. The equation would now look like this: M

or M

The square root of -3 is normally a mathematical impossibility. However, it is legitimate to express it as a complex number:

√-1 √3, that is the square root of -1 times the square root of 3. The square root of -1 is well known and

is used extensively in physics and electrical engineering. The equation may not mean anything but it demonstrates

that mathematically it’s possible to exceed the speed of light. Perhaps all objects convert to tachyon electricity

when they pass through the speed of light.

The usual explanation for the blackness of the night sky is the expansion of the universe. I wonder if what is really going on

is that Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle has come into play and a substantial number of photons are tunneling through

the speed of light barrier to tachyon land rendering them invisible to our eyes and telescopes.

(1) Gerald Feinberg "On the possibility of faster-than-light particles" Physics Revue v.159, pp.1089--1105 (1967)

Copyright © 2003 Joseph W. Gabriele. All rights reserved.

Comments? Send them to the author