I have often stated that absolutely nothing can ever travel faster than what we refer to as "the speed of light". But just as a minor interesting note, there are actually 2 exceptions.
My meta-particle tracking program monitors for anything with gimbal velocities and anything traveling faster than light, primarily to help hunt down any errors in the program. Recently, I found it triggering yet I could find no error in the program. I investigated the equations over and over and was a bit puzzled as to how a particular particle could have a velocity greater than the max possible.
Well, as it turned out, a bit of a philosophical thought came to mind and revealed what was happening.
A particle's location is defined by its center. By tracking its center, one knows at what velocity it is traveling. But in the case of particles, especially particles that are just beginning to form, an interesting effect takes place.
If a particulate is already traveling close to the speed of light, a common occurrence, and it runs up on a similar particulate running slightly slower, you would think the end velocity would merely be an average of the two. And it is.. sortta. But what happens is that the two particulates merge into a single particle and guess what happens to the center of the first? Quite suddenly the center of the "particle" went from position A to position B (a particulate width distance away) almost instantaneously.
Of course the reason was simply that the particulate was still in a growth stage and as it grows, its center can outrun all of its constituents. Technically speaking, that really is the same as traveling faster than light. So it can be legitimately stated that a growing particle can, for a short time at least, travel faster than light. Of course, that time is in the range of fractional pico seconds, but still, it is an interesting note.
Then it occurred to me that every particle is actually growing and shirking at the same rate all the time and is thus stable. But what if I were to cause it to grow faster on one side and shrink faster on the opposite side? Again, as it turns out, for short times, that can actually happen and no doubt in space, it does happen.
The requirements for causing such an event involves a charge gradient which of course cannot continue for very long, but it could lead to much greater durations of exceeding the speed of light for non-growing particles than the growing particles mentioned before. And an ideal place to find such a naturally occurring situation would be the famed black hole. I can safely say, that some of the particles speeding into a black hole, especially one with a significant charge field, will in fact rush to their demise even faster than the light rushing along side of them. For how long that might be, I couldn't venture a guess.
The shifting center would not actually add to the momentum of the particle, so no common energy equation theories get violated. The particle merely shows up at the destination and its demise before its photon partner.
..just an interesting observation.
Very shortly after posting that OP, it dawned on me how one could theoretically keep a particle experiencing a positive gradient and thus continue to travel faster than light. It would be extremely difficult to arrange, but theoretically possible.
Let's say you had an electron orbiting its nucleus and had the technical means to increase the charge (or mass) field in front of the electron while reducing it behind the electron. By arranging to do that sequentially, much like a stepper motor or an alternator, the field changing constituents would not need travel or change faster than light for the particle to never be able to catch up to the changing field in front of it. As the particle passes, the field in each location would be reduced back to a lower level.
The electron would be in a state of constantly growing more in front and shirking behind and thus its center would be shifting forward faster than its constituent mass could possibly travel. For as long as the device was operational and kept sync with the orbiting electron, the electron would achieve and maintain faster than light travel.
I really hate it when I outwit my own proclamations of impossibility.. sigh
Continuing even further...
Again theoretically, a linear accelerator and relay could be arranged such that a particle could carry the information of an event in a straight line.
As the particle either traveled linearly itself, or relayed its effect to other particles inline, even though its own charge field could not grow faster than light such as to have affect as it passed, it could reach the end of a line and begin having its field effect upon the terminal detecting device before a photon had a chance to get to the detector.
Information traveling faster than light... gees.. it must be bad news.