News of the WeekPhysics

Relativity Passes a Tough Cosmic Test

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Science  28 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5466, pp. 593
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5466.593a

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The idea that the speed of light is independent of the velocity of the light source has been a central postulate of special relativity for almost a century. Now, a rigorous test has shown that it is indeed true, to at least 20 decimal places. On 29 April, at the April meeting of the American Physical Society in Long Beach, California, an astronomer will report how he confirmed Einstein's assumption by studying distant gamma ray bursts, violent explosions at the edge of the observable universe.