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Monday, May 7, 2018

Even if you don't know exactly how fast light travels, you know it moves pretty darn fast. But how fast exactly? Well, that depends on what it's moving through. If it's moving through a vacuum it's speed is 186,000 miles/second. Through clear glass it travels at about 124,000 miles/second.

But what is the slowest light has ever been clocked at?

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Today's Random Fact:

Light doesn't necessarily travel at the speed of light. The slowest light has ever been recorded moving at is 38 mph. Although that was through an ultracold gas of sodium atoms.

The gas was cooled to nanokelvin temperatures by laser and evaporative cooling, causing the light pulses propagate at twenty million times slower than the speed of light in a vacuum.

Bonus Fact:

In 1923, jockey Frank Hayes won a race at Belmont Park in New York despite being dead - he suffered a heart attack mid-race, but his body stayed in the saddle until his horse crossed the line for a 20-1 outsider victory.