One of the biggest postulates which in most cases explained the different occurrences in the cosmos is Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which assumes that the speed of light is constant across the universe. It has been the pillars of modern physics. However, there are many phenomena which cannot be explained by Einstein’s theory. A recent theory by Imperial physicists says that the speed of light is variable and will be soon put into test. A new paper describes how researchers are going to test this controversial idea.
According to João Magueijo affiliated with Imperial College London, and Niayesh Afshordi, from the University of Waterloo, Canada, when the Universe was born in a big bang the temperatures reached trillions of degrees Celsius and light sped at infinite speed reaching to the farthest corners of the universe. The theory has been in existence since 1990, but the duo has for the first time proposed that the controversial theory can be tested. If the above theory is correct, it will leave telltale marks on cosmic microwave background that cosmologists have observed with satellites.
The speed of light is considered one of the basics of modern day physics. However, at the birth of the universe, the conditions would have been so acute that the laws of physics may not be applicable. The cosmos looks much the same all over the universe. To be so uniform light must have traveled at a much greater speed.
Stephen Hawking tried to explain this by proposing the theory of inflation when the just born universe underwent the briefest period of tremendous expansion. However, there is no way to try to test this theory and explain how the process came to an end. The latest theory seeks to replace the theory of inflation with the concept that light has a variable speed at different times according to prevailing conditions.