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US Patent Office appears to trash laws of physics

Device faster than the speed of light. Must be an Athlon.

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Thanks to a reader who has pointed us to a US patent which describes a device which can perform faster than the speed of light. He suggests that it is lucky that the US Patent Office pays for itself, otherwise US taxpayers might want to know why the organisation is hiring people who haven't got even the slightest clue about modern physics. And he also suggests a new column for The Register, called BPEFH -- the bastard patent examiner from hell. Here's the patent in question, titled Hyper Light Speed Antenna. But, a doctor who knows what he's talking about, writes, this is not as daft as it first appears. He said: "Although it is not possible for a physical object to travel faster than light, E=mc^2 etc, it is possible for a signal, which is the case in this instance, to be transmitted faster than the speed of light. I believe it's all down to things refered to as phase and group velocities of the electromagnetic wave. I could point you in the direction of a pile of physics texts on electromagnetic waves that would bore the knackers off you, but I don't think that that's what you want. I would send you the references of some papers on the subject, but I don't have any to hand." One reader pointed us, rather helpfully, to the background information on the patent, which makes for astonishing reading and points to...a new dimension "All known radio transmissions use known models of time and space dimensions for sending the RF signal. The present invention has discovered the apparent existence of a new dimension capable of acting as a medium for RE signals. "Initial benefits of penetrating this new dimension include sending RF signals faster than the speed of light, extending the effective distance of RF transmitters at the same power radiated, penetrating known RF shielding devices, and accelerating plant growth exposed to the by-product. The present invention...takes a transmission of energy, and instead of sending it through normal time and space, it pokes a small hole into another dimension, thus, sending the energy through a place which allows transmission of energy to exceed the speed of light." Wow. So there you go. Another reader says that a thread about this particular patent is growing like topsy on Usenet forum sci.electronics.design, and quips that if this technology works, he may be able to receive data before it's even been sent... ®

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