To make that happen, the team decided to look at individual light particles, or photons. "Measuring with single photons is the cleanest experiment you can get," Jacquiline Romero, one of the study's lead authors and a physics professor at the University of Glasgow, tells Popular Science. The group wanted to explicitly establish that different photons have different velocities depending on their placement within a light beam's structure. Depending on where a photon is in a light beam, it has either a slower or faster relative speed. It's similar to a group of runners: Even as the group stays together, the one at the front has to constantly be moving faster than the ones at the side or in the back. Daniel Giovannini, another study lead author from the University of Glasgow, says that researchers have known this for a while, but the team wanted to know just how slow the photons in the 'back of the pack' are moving.