Physics Spotlight  
This image shows the spatial distribution of charge for an accelerating wave packet, representing an electron, as calculated by this team’s approach. Brightest colors represent the highest charge levels. The self-acceleration of a particle predicted by this work is indistinguishable from acceleration that would be produced by a conventional electromagnetic field.
Courtesy of the researchersThis image shows the spatial distribution of charge for an accelerating wave packet, representing an electron, as calculated by this team’s approach. Brightest colors represent the highest charge levels. The self-acceleration of a particle predicted by this work is indistinguishable from acceleration that would be produced by a conventional electromagnetic field.
Courtesy of the researchers

Particles accelerate without a push

New analysis shows a way to self-propel subatomic particles, extend the lifetime of unstable isotopes.

 

Some physical principles have been considered immutable since the time of Isaac Newton: Light always travels in straight lines. No physical object can change its speed unless some outside force acts on it.