Yes, you can slow down the speed of light!
Yes, you can slow down the speed of light!
A Filipino scientist in Scotland helps prove that it can be done even in vacuum

MANILA, Philippines – Did you know you can slow down the speed of light even in vacuums?

Rarely does a scientist get the opportunity to do something so cool like slowing down something like the speed of light, which is often regarded as “absolute” at 186,282 miles per second in vacuum, but one Filipina physicist Dr Jacquiline Romero, along with her partner Dr Daniel Giovannini, at the University of Glasgow did just that. 

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story inadvertently omitted that the speed of light was only thought to be constant in vacuum, and that the experiment was conducted specifically to test light speeds in vacuum. We regret the error

According to a report in BBC News, the scientists sent photons – or individual particles of light – through a special mask. That mask changed the photons’ shape – and slowed the light to less than the speed of light. 

Romero received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in physics from the University of the Philippines, and her doctorate from the University of Glasgow. 

Light does slow down through water and glass, but this experiment showed that even in a vacuum, light can be slowed down. 

And if slowing the speed of light wasn’t cool enough, Romero’s other research will get your imaginations running just as fast! How would you like to time travel?

Are there practical applications to Giovannini and Romero’s research? Giovannini told BBC News it’s possible, but that their research is more fundamental than applied.

“But who knows?” –

Light photo via Shutterstock


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