by dmytrok

The theory that dominated the twentieth century is known as Special Relativity; this theory presented by the maverick Jewish scientist Albert Einstein had two primary assumptions. The most commonly known one of these is the requirement that light move at a constant speed. Unfortunately, many scientists and engineers have found possible weakness in the shield wall of this century’s old theory. When and if Albert Einstein’s ideas are proven faulty, the resulting scientific shockwave would bring modern physics down in the middle of its most celebrated theory.

The effect of this finding would impact other theories that must be reevaluated accordingly. The postulates of Dr. Einstein required in his theoretical construction that a) physical laws must be identical in reference frames no matter their location; also, b) that light speed must remain the same from all inertial vantage points irrespective of the photon’s movement or the motion of the people present at all vantage points. Remarkably, Sydney scientists appear to have discovered an error in this most fundamental of Special Relativity’s ideas – a constant light speed.

Led by John Webb, an astronomer at New South Wales University, several scientists found that light from ancient stellar sources was not behaving according to the current understanding of relativity theory. The team chose to observe quasars that are known to be the most brilliant objects in the universe; according to the current astronomical understanding of these quasars, these are concentrated regions in the center of massive galaxies usually having a black hole at their center. As quasars are extremely distant objects their emanations can be trusted as a source of valid data given that observing them one peers far back into time and so their behavior is highly predictable.

The behavior of the quasars left the group baffled since the observations seemed to show that the speed of light could not be constant as demanded by Albert Einstein in his groundbreaking papers of over a century ago. There Einstein dealt with a variety of issues but most importantly he left the world an outstanding mathematical legacy in the most celebrated equation E=mc2. This expression means that the energy of an object is equal to its mass multiplied by the speed of light squared and has been apparently verified by many experiments. It is without doubt the most notorious equation that has been the core construction of modern physics. This expression describes mass-energy equivalence and if the New South Wales group is correct, there could be big trouble in the little expression E=mc2.

Research lead Webb has implied that because of the results that there is a possibility however remote, that special relativity theory would need to be reviewed and corrected. To take the greatest care in avoiding any mistakes the team head confirmed the results by setting up a means to protect the integrity of the systematic mathematical analysis. Enter one Paul Davies who had the depth of knowledge and the mathematical interpretive ability to review the data sets. Mr. Davies had worked at Macquarie University and is now a Professor at Arizona State; he would evaluate the correctness of this information coming in from the faraway quasars.

**Special relativity**

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*Special relativity*

__Special relativity__