Einstein A to Z by Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck

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Blog: Einstein in the News

Why Einstein may have got it wrong
Monday, April 11, 2005

A century after Albert Einstein published his most famous ideas, physicists will today commemorate the occasion by trying to demolish one of them.

Astronomers will tell experts gathering at Warwick University to celebrate the anniversary of the great man's "miracle year" that the speed of light - Einstein's unchanging yardstick that underpins his special theory of relativity - might be slowing down.

Michael Murphy, of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, said: "We are claiming something extraordinary here. The findings suggest there is a more fundamental theory of the way that light and matter interact; and that special relativity, at its foundation, is actually wrong."

Einstein's insistence that the speed of light was always the same set up many of his big ideas and established the bedrock of modern physics.

Dr Murphy said: "It could turn out that special relativity is a very good approximation but it's missing a little bit. That little bit may be the doorknob to a whole new universe and a whole new set of fundamental laws." His team did not measure a change in the speed of light directly. Instead, they analysed flickering light from the far-distant celestial objects called quasars.
Full story from The Guardian.

posted by Einstein A to Z
Einstein A to Z * Karen C. Fox and Aries Keck
Wiley publishing * Publication date: August 2004 * ISBN: 0-471-46674-3 * $17.95 paperback * 300 pp