A possible explanation for the recent observation of 300X speed-of -light
Consider the summation of pathways procedure (path integral) in the
Feynman picture of Quantum Electrodynamics:
A photon appears to have gone from source (point 'A') to detector (point 'B'),
a distance X from 'A' in a straight line. In actuality (meaning in reality) the
photon samples all possible paths between 'A' and 'B', including paths
that that involve backward and forward time travel. The net sum of this
procedure is the straight line at c.
If some modes, or paths, are suppressed in some asymmetric fashion, the
photon would either a) not travel in a straight line or b) arrive at 'B' sooner
or later than expected or c) both.
For the case of interest, paths that take longer than X/c would be suppressed
in the construction of the photon's wavefront.
One method of suppression would be to destructive interfere with some of the
slower modes of propagation, using either a time-delayed (or advanced) photon,
or simply a simultaneous photon.
A crude example: Place a mirror off-axis from the A-B line. For simplicity,
consider the mirror to be tilted such that a photon from 'A' could specularly
reflect to 'B' (this condition isn't strictly necessary). Two linearly-polarized
photons are launched simultaneously from 'A', 180 degrees out of phase. In this
crude picture, one photon, P1, only goes to the mirror, then to 'B' , the other
is an ordinary photon, P2. The component of P2 that coincided with P1 is
therefore destructively interfered with by P1.
As this was a longer path, the net summation of P2 is an overspeed.
In practice, I'm guessing, the mode cancellation might have been carried out by
a (perhaps doubled for phase correction) application of four-wave mixing using
the equivalent of the off-axis mirrors. A pre-cooled, sub millikelvin atomic
gas would be necessary to restrict line broadening effects. An advanced
probe pulse (delay path/transition lifetime) might provide the requisite
If this is the correct interpretation, several predictions follow, such as:
1) Increasing the number of slow-path suppression modes increases the observed
2) The further the detector is placed from the source, the less the overspeed,
converging asymptotically back to c at sufficient separation.
-- Forrest Bishop Manager, Interworld Productions, LLC Chairman, Institute of Atomic-Scale Engineering http://www.speakeasy.org/~forrestb
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