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[Ars]Drilling holes in silicon equals bizarre optics - Page 10

post #91 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by [\\/]Paris View Post
This better not turn out like that god-awful voyager episode where Tom Paris went to warp 10 and evolved...
I liked that episode. Well, it was amusing but that's about it.
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post #92 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by [\\/]Paris View Post
This better not turn out like that god-awful voyager episode where Tom Paris went to warp 10 and evolved...
And then we never spoke of it again...
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post #93 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrekk View Post
There is a glaring error early in the article. They said "...the speed of light would drop to zero, but it doesn't (that actually happens with a very large refractive index)." This is incorrect. The speed of light would only drop to zero with an infinitely large refractive index. Which is impossible.
I'm not sure what article you read, this is what I saw:
Quote:
In this case, you might think that the speed of light would drop to zero, but it doesn't (that actually happens with a very large refractive index). No, in this case, the speed of light seems to be infinite. Funnily enough, though, this looks eerily like the light is standing still.
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post #94 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrekk View Post
There is a glaring error early in the article. They said "...the speed of light would drop to zero, but it doesn't (that actually happens with a very large refractive index)." This is incorrect. The speed of light would only drop to zero with an infinitely large refractive index. Which is impossible.
You either missed, or conveniently chose not to quote, the important few words before the excerpt in your quotes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by source
YOU MIGHT THINK THAT the speed of light would drop to zero, but it doesn't...
They were making sure that people were properly understanding the relationship between index of refraction and the speed of light--which everyone might not know about or understand--using a contrary example to make sure people do not come to the wrong conclusion. They were not making any claims of our ability to make a material that has an infinitely large index of refraction, nor were they saying that something with a negative index of refraction would cause the speed of light to be zero--in fact, they were saying to opposite (and accurate) statement.

edit--
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post
I'm not sure what article you read, this is what I saw:
yeah.
    
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post #95 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babel View Post
I liked that episode. Well, it was amusing but that's about it.
Yes, amusing... but it probably stands out as one of the worst bits of scifi writing in the entire Star Trek canon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrekk View Post
And then we never spoke of it again...
Indeed, these things are best left as a distant painful memory.
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post #96 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post
I'm not sure what article you read, this is what I saw:
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
You either missed, or conveniently chose not to quote, the important few words before the excerpt in your quotes:



They were making sure that people were properly understanding the relationship between index of refraction and the speed of light--which everyone might not know about or understand--using a contrary example to make sure people do not come to the wrong conclusion. They were not making any claims of our ability to make a material that has an infinitely large index of refraction, nor were they saying that something with a negative index of refraction would cause the speed of light to be zero--in fact, they were saying to opposite (and accurate) statement.

edit--

yeah.
They still make the statement that the speed of light would drop to zero in the circumstance that the refractive index were very high (what you claim to be the opposite of zero). This is wrong, the refractive index has to be infinite (which is the opposite of zero in this circumstance). I made no claim that they were saying this was what was happening in the experiment at hand, or that they stated it would be possible to do so. I simply clarified that it would be impossible.

Allow my to quote again the error:
Quote:
you might think that the speed of light would drop to zero, but it doesn't (that actually happens with a very large refractive index)
very large != infinite

The relationship for the speed of light traveling through material with refractive index of X is an inverse relationship. ie 1/x (for example). So for any inverse relationship to equal zero, the value which is inverted in said relationship has to be infinite. ie 1/x where x is very large = very small number, whereas 1/x where x is infinitely large (infinite in limit/calc terms) = infinitely small number (which in terms of limits and calculus is zero)

/science
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post #97 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrekk View Post
very large != infinite
Wait, so all you're doing is arguing semantics? If you don't think "infinite" is a very large number, then what is it? A small number?

Talk about taking nit-picking to an extreme... So you're trying to invalidate what was said/done because someone approximated "infinity" to be a "very large" number?
    
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post #98 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagged_Steel View Post
"Vacuum" may or may not have a refractive index, we do not know because as of right now a true vacuum has never been acheived and is theororized to be an impossible condition. Just a side note to the article really, but I thought it worth pointing out. That being said I am really impressed with this research. We need a lot more firebrands like this that ignore what "has been established" and just go ahead and try things regardless of how many well-paid people in lab coats tell them it is impossible.

This looks like yet another gaping hole in the rusty old S.S. Einstein. Not to worry though, the cargo hold on the Einstein is full to the top with pallets of $, and the well paid crew will find yet another fantasy band-aid made out of "Dark Matter", $ bills, and textbooks to patch her up and keep sailing along regardless of how many icebergs they slam into.
Herrr... The refractive index of Vacuum is 1. It is BY DEFINITION...
n = Speed of light in the material / Speed of Light in Vacuum.....
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post #99 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
Wait, so all you're doing is arguing semantics? If you don't think "infinite" is a very large number, then what is it? A small number?

Talk about taking nit-picking to an extreme... So you're trying to invalidate what was said/done because someone approximated "infinity" to be a "very large" number?
NO/ The guy was right. There is a fundamental and Very very very important mathematical difference between very large and infinite. Infinity is not even a Real or complex number.
Edited by darknight670 - 7/29/11 at 9:54am
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post #100 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by darknight670 View Post
NO/ The guy was right. There is a fundamental and Very very very important mathematical difference between very large and infinite. Infinity is not even a Real or complex number.
What he is saying is that the person writing the article more than likely knew that, and he just said "a very large number" rather than "infinity". To the average reader it is just semantics.
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