Has the speed of light changed ?

OK, this may sound like a typical psuedo-science kook headline, but this actually comes from the website of New Scientist magazine and it’s not April 1st either!

They report that there is evidence that the fine structure constant "alpha" may have changed in the past by re-analysing data from the natural Oklo nuclear reactor in Gabon, West Africa.

As the speed of light "c" is inversely proportional to alpha then it follows if alpha has been different in the past then the speed of light has also changed over time!

I think my brain hurts…

2 thoughts on “Has the speed of light changed ?

  1. very easy: you just run alongside a photon and measure how fast it’s going, then you releat the experiment a billion years later, and, oh, hang on, that won’t work…

    – alecm 😎

  2. What I want to know is what’s the implications for that on the matter-energy equivalence (the famous e=mc^2) and thus for the law of the conservation of energy!

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