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Faster Than Light

Fri 24 May
8:00pm - 9:00pm BST
Venue: Arena
Event [19]

Debates

Faster Than Light

Claudia de Rham, João Magueijo, Tim Maudlin.

Ever since Einstein's special theory in 1905, it has been a central pillar of science that the speed of light is an absolute fixed limit and the same in all circumstances. But critics argue this is a mistaken assumption that prevents physics from making progress. They maintain the period of cosmic inflation that in the standard picture of cosmology followed the Big Bang has to take place at many orders of magnitude faster than the speed of light. Moreover, researchers argue that Einstein's general theory never prohibited faster-than-light travel in the first place.

Should we abandon the sacrosanct idea nothing can exceed the speed of light as a flawed assumption that derails physics? Should we be less attached to Einstein and more open to new and alternative theories? Or are these dangerous proposals that threaten to undermine the remarkable successes of science over the last century?

Portuguese cosmologist João Magueijo, philosopher of physics Tim Mauldin, and award-winning physicist Claudia de Rham, debate the speed of light.

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