"According to Einstein's special theory of relativity, E=mc^2 (though Einstein was reported by some to have simply been trying to figure out a way to make carbonated beverages). Given this equation, it would require an infinite amount of energy to propel an object at a speed greater than that of light in a vacuum (approximately 186,000 miles per second)."

This doesn't make any sense.. and it's quite wrong.

E = mc^2 means that the energy and mass are essentially equivalent, and the speed of light is the conversion factor. It says nothing whatsoever about velocity or the energy required to move at a particular velocity. It assumes that the mass in question is at rest.

The equation we use as evidence that it would take an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a mass to the speed of light is:

E = γmc^2, where

γ = 1 / sqrt(1 - (v/c)^2)

So:

E = mc^2 / sqrt(1 - (v/c)^2)

This equation tells us that the energy of a mass with v=c is inifinite. It is actually undefined, as it gives a divide by zero situation, but more accurately the limit of the equation for E as v -> c is infinite.

Anyway, the researchers don't seem to have accelerated a mass past the speed of light so all the above is irrelevant

The researches apparently haven't made any claims about

*traveling* faster than the speed of light - that is, accelerating a mass past the speed of light. They claim to have performed faster-than-light communication over a distance of 3 feet.

Quantum mechanics has already proved an event can cause another event very far away to happen simultaneously, but this type of event is worthless for sending information or communication.

The experiment itself went kinda like this:

The dudes shone a beam of photons into a pair of glass prisms sandwiched together. As expected, some photons were reflected back at the surface between the prisms and some went through to the other side.

They moved the prisms apart... and reflected photons hit the detector at the "launch" site at the precise moment that photons that went through the gap through the prism on the other side. This directly implies that the photons traveled through the gap instantaneously.

They then said that they couldn't observe the effect with the prisms more than 1 meter apart.

At first glance, to me, this doesn't violate special relativity because special relativity doesn't say anything about waves/photons never being allowed to travel faster than c. It *does* say that information and energy cannot, and I don't see how this would violate it. IANAP[hysicist] though.

Here's a quote from an article that satisfies me completely:

New Scientist said:

Aephraim Steinberg, a quantum optics expert at the University of Toronto, Canada, doesn't dispute Nimtz and Stahlhofen's results. However, Einstein can rest easy, he says. The photons don't violate relativity: it's just a question of interpretation.

Steinberg explains Nimtz and Stahlhofen's observations by way of analogy with a 20-car bullet train departing Chicago for New York. The stopwatch starts when the centre of the train leaves the station, but the train leaves cars behind at each stop. So when the train arrives in New York, now comprising only two cars, its centre has moved ahead, although the train itself hasn't exceeded its reported speed.

"If you're standing at the two stations, looking at your watch, it seems to you these people have broken the speed limit," Steinberg says. "They've got there faster than they should have, but it just happens that the only ones you see arrive are in the front car. So they had that head start, but they were never travelling especially fast."