The Definition of Impossible May be Changing Again

Space


I've said before that impossible is one of my least favorite words. That is because impossible is far from being a constant. Science and technology redefine what is possible on an annual basis. Perpetual motion may be the next thing to fall from the list. From the Simons Foundation via io9:
"In February 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek decided to go public with a strange and, he worried, somewhat embarrassing idea. Impossible as it seemed, Wilczek had developed an apparent proof of “time crystals” — physical structures that move in a repeating pattern, like minute hands rounding clocks, without expending energy or ever winding down. Unlike clocks or any other known objects, time crystals derive their movement not from stored energy but from a break in the symmetry of time, enabling a special form of perpetual motion...Now, a technological advance has made it possible for physicists to test the idea. They plan to build a time crystal, not in the hope that this perpetuum mobile will generate an endless supply of energy (as inventors have striven in vain to do for more than a thousand years) but that it will yield a better theory of time itself."

Warp Drives are still on the 'impossible' list but this week NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and SpaceX founder Elon Musk both said that they thought it might be possible after all. So, once again, can we please come up with a new word for impossible?
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