Slow glass

James Ganong (
Sun, 21 Feb 1999 01:23:46 -0800 (PST)


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X-Juno-Line-Breaks: 0-1,3-7,9,11,13,15,17-18,20,22,24-29,31-36 From: Dean P Shomshak <> Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 15:27:32 EST

To:,,,Dean P Shomshak <>
Subject: Slow glass
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 01:54:08 EST
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There's a classic short story about "slow glass," glass that requires a year
or more for light to travel through it. Look through a slow glass window and
see what was happening a year ago. I didn't think that this story would come
true, but they're getting closer. Light travels through empty space at over
186,000 miles per second, but it travels more slowly through air, water, or
glass. It's still thousands of miles per second through those materials. They announced on NPR today that scientists have invented an exotic material
that slows light down to 38 mph. Less than highway speed. They think that in
the future they may be able to slow light literally to a snail's pace. Their
immediate plans are to use the material for scientific tests, but they're trying to think of technological applications for it. It may have applications in optical computers, computers that use light instead of electricity for computation.

It's 1999 all right. We'll have stardrives yet. Come to think of it, I drove
faster than light today.


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