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View Full Version : Guenter Nimtz and his Sensational Superluminal Signal


Lance Turbo
08-02-2001, 03:04 PM
I saw repeat of a Nova program from about two years ago on the subject of time travel. It featured Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Kip Thorne, and this guy I had never heard of before named Guenter Nimtz.

Apparently, old Guenter claims to have transmitted a signal at 4.7c. On the program they showed him fiddle around with some lab equipment, and then he played a tape of scratchy buy recognizable Mozart. Then he mumbles something about quantum tunneling.

Cut to another physicist who says, "Particles can exceed c via quantum tunneling, but it is impossible for information to exceed c." (Don't let the quotes fool you. I'm paraphrasing.)

Cut back to Guenter listening to scratchy Mozart, "I think Mozart's 40th Symphony contains information."

What's the story? Is Guenter a crackpot? A genius? Has he proven that the universe is predetermined?

Additional link:
Superluminal signal velocity (http://www.compu-web.com/archive/leipzig/index.htm)

I searched for "Guenter Nimtz" in the GQ archive for the last two years* and came up with nothing. Apologies if this has come up before. (I only searched for about a minute, but I searched two years of archived threads. Of course you already knew what I meant.)

SmackFu
08-02-2001, 08:33 PM
Here's a nifty Java applet that demonstrates the effect:
http://www.netspace.net.au/~gregegan/APPLETS/20/20.html

The author seems to agree with your second physicist who says that it can't be used to transmit info.

I think Nimtz is neither a crackpot or a genius. He's a physicist who explained his results in a way that violated relativity, and that others explain in a way that doesn't. Given that we like relativity, that may mean he's wrong, but that's not so bad.

Ring
08-02-2001, 10:11 PM
Well the link is about anomalous dispersion which is different from quantum tunneling, but the effect is basically the same.

The difference is that a pulse traveling through an anomalous dispersive medium is rephased while a particle that tunnels changes its wave shape. But neither phenomenon involves faster than light signal transmission

SmackFu
08-02-2001, 10:26 PM
But the link had pretty pictures! That counts for something, right? (I knew it was risky to post a link I didn't understand)

Ring
08-02-2001, 11:01 PM
SmackFu wrote

But the link had pretty pictures! That counts for something, right?

Yes but it would have a lot better if it would have included some naked women rephasing themselves to my demesne.