Originally Posted by lordikon
I'm not sure what article you read, this is what I saw:
Originally Posted by guyladouche
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.
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:
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)