Beyond Light Speed

Extending Einstein's Theory

University of Adelaide applied mathematicians have extended Einstein's theory of special relativity to work beyond the speed of light.

Einstein's theory holds that nothing could move faster than the speed of light, but Professor Jim Hill and Dr Barry Cox in the University's School of Mathematical Sciences have developed new formulas that allow for travel beyond this limit. Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity was published in 1905 and explains how motion and speed is always relative to the observer's frame of reference. The theory connects measurements of the same physical incident viewed from these different points in a way that depends on the relative velocity of the two observers. "Our approach is a natural and logical extension of the Einstein Theory of Special Relativity, and produces anticipated formulae without the need for imaginary numbers or complicated physics," said Professor Hill. The research has been published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A in a paper, 'Einstein's special relativity beyond the speed of light'. Their formulas extend special relativity to a situation where the relative velocity can be infinite, and can be used to describe motion at speeds faster than light.

 

"We are mathematicians, not physicists, so we've approached this problem from a theoretical mathematical perspective," said Dr Cox.

 

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