Phase vs. Group velocity

In my previous post, I mention a discussion in which it took me a few seconds longer than normal to understand what was being said to me. That is, the message started to arrive considerably earlier than its content.

Somewhere in there is a lovely metaphor for the concepts of phase and group velocity, and hence why we keep seeing stories along the lines of ‘light exceeds the speed of light’. Unfortunately, I fear it’s in that subclass of neat metaphors which make sense only if one already understands the subject of the attempted explanation.

Which is in itself an interesting concept, deserving of a adjective. Or perhaps an explanatory metaphor.

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