Faster than the Speed of Light? A New Theory Says, "Yes"

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April 10, 2008

Faster than the Speed of Light? A New Theory Says, "Yes"

1684 A brilliant young physicist João Magueijo  asks the heretical question: What if the speed of light—now accepted as one of the unchanging foundations of modern physics—were not constant?

Magueijo, a 40-year old native of Portugal, puts forth the heretical idea that in the very early days of the universe light traveled faster—an idea that if proven could dethrone Einstein and forever change our understanding of the universe. He is a pioneer of the varying speed of light (VSL) theory of cosmology -an alternative to the more mainstream theory of cosmic inflation- which proposes that the speed of light in the early universe was of 60 orders of magnitude faster than its present value.

Vsl Solving the most intractable problems of cosmology in one brilliant leap, Magueijo’s varying-speed-of-light theory (VSL) would have stunning implications for space travel, black holes, time dilation, and string theory—and could help uncover the grand unified theory that ultimately eluded Einstein.

Joao Magueijo's radical ideas intend to turn that Einsteinian dogma on its head. Marueijo is trying to pick apart one of Einstein’s most impenetrable tenets, the constancy of the speed of light. This idea of a constant speed (about 3×106 meters/second) -is known as the universal speed limit. Nothing can, has, or ever will travel faster than light.

Magueijo -who received his doctorate from Cambridge, has been a faculty member at Princeton and Cambridge, and is currently a professor at Imperial College, London- says: not so. His VSL theory presupposes a speed of light that can be energy or time-space dependent.

In his fist book, Faster than the Speed of Light, Magueijo leads laymen readers into the abstract realm of theoretical physics, based on several well known, as well as obscure, thinkers. The VSL model was first proposed by John Moffat, a Canadian scientist, in 1992. Magueijo carefully builds the foundations for a discussion of Big Bang cosmology, and then segues into the second half of the book, which is devoted to VSL theory.

Like most radical, potentially seminal thinkers,  Magueijo shakes the foundations of the physics community, while irritating off many of his fellow scientists. VSL purposes to solve the problems at which all cosmologists are forever scratching: those inscrutable conceptual puzzles that surround the Big Bang. Currently many of these problems have no widely accepted solutions.

Could Einstein be wrong and Magueijo right? Is he a gadfly or a true, seminal genius? Time will tell.

Posted by Casey Kazan.


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For another interpretation of the speed of light see

This guy is right! Light did travel faster in the beginning!
This what I believe:

Stars were designed and the galaxies were in place, just waiting for the “WORD” from God.

Since “Light”, as we know it, was going to be “Speed limited”, the initial “universe illumination event “ would not be “limited by speed”, so all of the following creation could see the “majesty of the surrounding universe” from the very beginning.

When GOD said, “Let there be Light” the whole universe lit up at once, and all the light that could be seen from any point in the universe, was immediately visible to that point in the universe.

This eliminates the idea of an OLD universe and evolution.

I agree with the author that faster than speed of light is possible.

Quantum entanglement one example.

I believe that L.Riofrio (See her Blog "Babe in the Universe") has been advocating something similar for a few years now!

The first modern paper demonstrating VSL was by Setterfield and Norman in 1987. Statistician A. Montgomery verified their methods. The evidential and theoretical bases were also explained by Setterfield, but not confined to fluctuations at very early stages in cosmology. See

God created the universe and the laws around which the universe revolves. But your scenario that the stars and galaxies were in place before the "light event" could not have happened because it goes against the very laws which He put into place. You see, light is made of photons and anything you see in space is made of photons. You can't have a sun or a galaxy without having photons-light. The very laws God put into place explain how the stars and galaxies formed, which cannot have taken place without the presence of photons-light. However, I do believe there was a light event as you mention, but I believe it was a more local event

I can't believe this guy stole my idea.

The light speed is constant at our fabric of space in our dimension but time dimension is the one wich varies and not the speed of light inside it. And bicose of it we may have the perception of the universe is speeding up when in reality is the time dimension slowing down.

time travel is possible but its impossible to travel for a physical body. but we can pass information to the past in present to change our future.only thing we must have a device in the past to read the information from the future.

no speed can be greater than speed of light. but a greater distance can be achieved in 1 second then the speed of light. only thing we need a mechanism.

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