The report, co-authored with physics professor Robert Bluhm of Colby College, discusses the possibility that light arises from the breaking of a symmetry of relativity. “Nature’s beauty is more subtle than perfect symmetry,” said Kostelecky. “The underlying origin of light may be another example of this subtlety.” The researchers contend that this description of light is a general feature of relativity violations and holds both in empty space and in the presence of gravity. “In this picture, light has a strange beauty, and its origin is tied into minuscule violations of Einstein’s relativity in a profound and general way. This is an alternative, viable way of understanding light with potential experimental implications. That’s what makes it exciting,” Kostelecky said.