Roll over Einstein: Law of physics challenged (Update 3)

Sep 22, 2011 By FRANK JORDANS and SETH BORENSTEIN , Associated Press
This undated file photo shows famed physicist Albert Einstein. Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, the world's largest physics lab, say they have clocked subatomic particles, called neutrinos, traveling faster than light, a feat that, if true, would break a fundamental pillar of science, the idea that nothing is supposed to move faster than light, at least according to Einstein's special theory of relativity: The famous E (equals) mc2 equation. That stands for energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. The readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery. (AP Photo)

One of the very pillars of physics and Einstein's theory of relativity - that nothing can go faster than the speed of light - was rocked Thursday by new findings from one of the world's foremost laboratories.

European researchers said they clocked an oddball type of subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second that has long been considered the cosmic speed limit.

The claim was met with skepticism, with one outside physicist calling it the equivalent of saying you have a flying carpet. In fact, the researchers themselves are not ready to proclaim a discovery and are asking other physicists to independently try to verify their findings.

"The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, which provided the particle accelerator that sent neutrinos on their breakneck 454-mile trip underground from Geneva to Italy.

Going faster than light is something that is just not supposed to happen according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity - the one made famous by the equation E equals mc2. But no one is rushing out to rewrite the science books just yet.

It is "a revolutionary discovery if confirmed," said Indiana University theoretical physicist Alan Kostelecky, who has worked on this concept for a quarter of a century.

Stephen Parke, who is head theoretician at the Fermilab near Chicago and was not part of the research, said: "It's a shock. It's going to cause us problems, no doubt about that - if it's true."

Even if these results are confirmed, they won't change at all the way we live or the way the world works. After all, these particles have presumably been speed demons for billions of years. But the finding will fundamentally alter our understanding of how the universe operates, physicists said.

Einstein's special relativity theory, which says that energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, underlies "pretty much everything in modern physics," said John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at CERN who was not involved in the experiment. "It has worked perfectly up until now."

France's National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research collaborated with Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory on the experiment at CERN.

CERN reported that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds. (A nanosecond is one-billionth of a second.)

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Given the enormous implications of the find, the researchers spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.

A team at Fermilab had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but a large margin of error undercut its scientific significance.

If anything is going to throw a cosmic twist into Einstein's theories, it's not surprising that it's the strange particles known as neutrinos. These are odd slivers of an atom that have confounded physicists for about 80 years.

The neutrino has almost no mass, comes in three different "flavors," may have its own antiparticle and has been seen shifting from one flavor to another while shooting out from our sun, said physicist Phillip Schewe, communications director at the Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland.

Columbia University physicist Brian Greene, author of the book "Fabric of the Cosmos," said neutrinos theoretically can travel at different speeds depending on how much energy they have. And some mysterious particles whose existence is still only theorized could be similarly speedy, he said.

Fermilab team spokeswoman Jenny Thomas, a physics professor at the University College of London, said there must be a "more mundane explanation" for the European findings. She said Fermilab's experience showed how hard it is to measure accurately the distance, time and angles required for such a claim.

Nevertheless, Fermilab, which shoots neutrinos from Chicago to Minnesota, has already begun working to try to verify or knock down the new findings.

And that's exactly what the team in Geneva wants.

Gillies told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that "they are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they've done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements."

Only two labs elsewhere in the world can try to replicate the work: Fermilab and a Japanese installation that has been slowed by the tsunami and earthquake. And Fermilab's measuring systems aren't nearly as precise as the Europeans' and won't be upgraded for a while, said Fermilab scientist Rob Plunkett.

Drew Baden, chairman of the physics department at the University of Maryland, said it is far more likely that the CERN findings are the result of measurement errors or some kind of fluke. Tracking neutrinos is very difficult, he said.

"This is ridiculous what they're putting out," Baden said. "Until this is verified by another group, it's flying carpets. It's cool, but ..."

So if the neutrinos are pulling this fast one on Einstein, how can it happen?

Parke said there could be a cosmic shortcut through another dimension - physics theory is full of unseen dimensions - that allows the neutrinos to beat the speed of light.

Indiana's Kostelecky theorizes that there are situations when the background is different in the universe, not perfectly symmetrical as Einstein says. Those changes in background may alter both the speed of light and the speed of neutrinos.

But that doesn't mean Einstein's theory is ready for the trash heap, he said.

"I don't think you're going to ever kill Einstein's theory. You can't. It works," Kostelecky said. There are just times when an additional explanation is needed, he said.

If the European findings are correct, "this would change the idea of how the universe is put together," Columbia's Greene said. But he added: "I would bet just about everything I hold dear that this won't hold up to scrutiny."

Explore further: The unifying framework of symmetry reveals properties of a broad range of physical systems

More information: The results are pre-published on ArXiv: arxiv.org/abs/1109.4897

Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam, arXiv:1109.4897v1 [hep-ex]

Abstract
The OPERA neutrino experiment at the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory has measured the velocity of neutrinos from the CERN CNGS beam over a baseline of about 730 km with much higher accuracy than previous studies conducted with accelerator neutrinos. The measurement is based on high-statistics data taken by OPERA in the years 2009, 2010 and 2011. Dedicated upgrades of the CNGS timing system and of the OPERA detector, as well as a high precision geodesy campaign for the measurement of the neutrino baseline, allowed reaching comparable systematic and statistical accuracies. An early arrival time of CNGS muon neutrinos with respect to the one computed assuming the speed of light in vacuum of (60.7 pm 6.9 (stat.) pm 7.4 (sys.)) ns was measured. This anomaly corresponds to a relative difference of the muon neutrino velocity with respect to the speed of light (v-c)/c = (2.48 pm 0.28 (stat.) pm 0.30 (sys.)) times 10-5.

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tpb
3.5 / 5 (18) Sep 22, 2011
Perhaps the actual distance between the source and detector isn't what they think it is.
Were only talking 59 feet out of 2,397,120 or 0.00246 percent.
Vendicar_Decarian
Sep 22, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
CaliforniaDave
4.1 / 5 (22) Sep 22, 2011
Since the point of the experiment was to do with the way one type of neutrino changes into another does this not have an impact on this apparently anomalous result? If one type of neutrino sets out but another one arrives at the detector then does this not mean that some phenomena takes place during the transition from one to the other which is causing what appears to be breaking of the light speed barrier?
If I throw you an apple but you catch a banana can we say anything meaningful about the speed of apples?
Of course it could always be due to neutron repulsion...(ducks beneath his desk)...
ettinone
4.6 / 5 (19) Sep 22, 2011
Perhaps the actual distance between the source and detector isn't what they think it is.
Were only talking 59 feet out of 2,397,120 or 0.00246 percent.


Well first of all the article mentions that they have spent additional months confirming the test parameters. Secondly the margin of error, assuming their parameters are correct, is not enough to account for the significant difference in the actual results.

Additional testing is needed but if this proves to be true it would be a ground-breaking event and, like many other times in history, would force us to reconsider our fundamental physics and the part this potential new result plays in our understanding of the Universe.
hpsch
3.5 / 5 (8) Sep 22, 2011
Perhaps the actual distance between the source and detector isn't what they think it is.
Were only talking 59 feet out of 2,397,120 or 0.00246 percent.

... or ~18m.
I had the same thought as I read that story. We had so many false alarms in the last months, I really think they should do the testing, before they postulate some new physics.

EDIT: Ok it seems they did tests over a few months.
Skultch
2.2 / 5 (11) Sep 22, 2011
They probably compensated for spacetime curvature relative to the earth's curvature, right? Could "0.00246 percent" be explained by local expansion of spacetime?
nejc2008
2.6 / 5 (19) Sep 22, 2011
Finally something is happening. Theoretical physics was becoming so boring with everybody hailing the Standard Model and the M-Theory. Down with Strings & SUSY!

:DD
shavera
4.5 / 5 (30) Sep 22, 2011
If you do the math for Supernova 1987a, then neutrinos should have arrived 4 *years* before the supernova, not 3 hours like we observed. 60 nanoseconds *(168000 light years/730 kilometers) to years. And before you misread, even *that* was just a tortoise-and-hare problem. Neutrinos are pretty much transparent to the matter around the supernova, so they get enough of a head start to get here first, even though they travel slower than light (according to the established scientific principles at least).

I'd remain *extremely* skeptical until another experiment can comment on the results.
mitteldorf
4.5 / 5 (21) Sep 22, 2011
"4 *years* before supernova 1987a"

No one was looking for a neutrino burst at that time, and certainly if there was one we wouldn't have connected it to a supernova 4 years later.
TehDog
4.5 / 5 (11) Sep 22, 2011
Since the point of the experiment was to do with the way one type of neutrino changes into another does this not have an impact on this apparently anomalous result? If one type of neutrino sets out but another one arrives at the detector then does this not mean that some phenomena takes place during the transition from one to the other which is causing what appears to be breaking of the light speed barrier?
If I throw you an apple but you catch a banana can we say anything meaningful about the speed of apples?
Of course it could always be due to neutron repulsion...(ducks beneath his desk)...

No idea why you got a one for that.
This was my first thought, something to do with the transition from muon to tau. Maybe it goes through some sort of tachyon phase (disclaimer, pure guess). Wait for more experiments and analysis is what I will do.
kevinrtrs
2.8 / 5 (25) Sep 22, 2011
Hmmm, I confess to be particle-speed challenged.
Just how did they measure the speed of the particle?
How did they synchronize clocks? Or does that not apply?
Or is there something I'm seriously missing in how to measure the speed of neutrinos between two points on earth?
Skultch
4.5 / 5 (10) Sep 22, 2011
Hmmm, I confess to be particle-speed challenged.
Just how did they measure the speed of the particle?
How did they synchronize clocks? Or does that not apply?
Or is there something I'm seriously missing in how to measure the speed of neutrinos between two points on earth?


Legitimate questions from Kev. I am VERY impressed. See guys, even creationists can change a be eager to learn. This comment also implies that he recognizes the integrity of science itself. I'm leaning towards multiple personality disorder, but I have faith that he's growing as a person. Get it? Just playin. :)

I'm sure someone can answer better, but here goes:

Measuring speeds is inherent in the system, right? That's the main goal, measuring energy, momentum, etc, right? I assume the margin of error includes the timekeeping margin for whatever atomic clocks they use. How? Identical atomic clocks at each detector, maybe. ????
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.6 / 5 (16) Sep 22, 2011

This was my first thought, something to do with the transition from muon to tau. Maybe it goes through some sort of tachyon phase (disclaimer, pure guess). Wait for more experiments and analysis is what I will do.
Or tunneling during the transition?

I envision a new multi-billion $ program; a 500 mi long evacuated tunnel in which a beam of light can be sent next to a neutrino beam.
Legitimate questions from Kev. I am VERY impressed.
Oh come on. Three million people just asked those same questions and some of them arent even jesus freaks.
Callippo
1.9 / 5 (22) Sep 22, 2011
In dense aether theory the neutrinos could really travel faster than light, because photons of light (heavy photons of gamma rays in particular) interact with CMBR background slightly and they're moving along spirals trough vacuum, which makes their travel longer and as such slower. Such explanation even doesn't violate the relativity in common sense, when subtle space-time curvatures caused with CMBR are taken into account. So it's not so strange, during supernova explosions some neutrinos arrive sooner, than the gamma ray flash.

Briefly speaking, in completely flat space-time the neutrinos couldn't travel faster than light, but our space-time is not completely flat - everyone can detect with microwave antenna, how it undulates. So we can observe various (subtle) violations of relativity too.

something to do with the transition from muon to tau. Maybe it goes through some sort of tachyon phase
It could be actually quite good idea.
Skultch
4.4 / 5 (18) Sep 22, 2011
Oh come on. Three million people just asked those same questions and some of them arent even jesus freaks.


Yeah, but at least he didn't question the integrity of every scientist ever or evangelize. It's a sign of a step in the right direction, is all. Not much, but worth a vote higher than 1, at least, which is unprecedented, afaict. Maybe he had a short in the brain and he remembered his meds today. Maybe he got laid. Maybe he's 16yrs old now and FINALLY questioning his Gideon parents? It's a change.
jsberry
4.3 / 5 (13) Sep 22, 2011
Two wild guesses that come to my mind are:

1. Perhaps it has a small probability of temporarily existing at a velocity slightly greater than the speed of light (or goes back in time, same thing I think) via some sort of quantum fluctuation in where its already tiny mass can temporarily become slightly negative or even imaginary.

2. It Might be in some sort of exotic mixed state where it is part neutrino and part tachyon that happens while it changes between the different neutrino types.
fmfbrestel
4.8 / 5 (11) Sep 22, 2011
"Or is there something I'm seriously missing in how to measure the speed of neutrinos between two points on earth?

yup.
They don't say how they did the experiment in this article, but it's not a corporate trade secret - it is open and collaborative science. If you want to know exactly how they did it, read the actual paper. I guarantee it is all laid out in there.
enmaharmeh
2.5 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
i am not a phycisit but i don't think "if that true " will be a big broplem or leading to a new physics that for einstein speak about a universal constant "C" may C is the speed of light as we agree now or nearly to speed of light ,could C grrater than speed of light ? "but very nearly"
Temple
4.9 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2011
I'm willing to bet a large amount that this will turn out to be untrue. (Some sort of localized relativistic space contraction or time dilation, perhaps?)

That said, I'd wish fervently that I lose that bet.
thales
5 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2011
Next week's story:

"The physicists decoded a burst of neutrinos with a single, eerie message: 'Oh God, it's happening again'".

Ya heard it here first.
xamien
5 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
This would truly be an interesting result, given how so much of the rest of the theory of relativity has been experimentally verified to eerily accurate bounds. I can't help but wondering, like others, if something isn't happening in between, such that they're not actually arriving faster than light (just that they appear to be). Previously unpredicted forms of entanglement? So long as it gets verified and everyone remembers the key point of the theory is that all frames are relative.
SemiNerd
4 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
Since the point of the experiment was to do with the way one type of neutrino changes into another does this not have an impact on this apparently anomalous result? If one type of neutrino sets out but another one arrives at the detector then does this not mean that some phenomena takes place during the transition from one to the other which is causing what appears to be breaking of the light speed barrier?
If I throw you an apple but you catch a banana can we say anything meaningful about the speed of apples?
Of course it could always be due to neutron repulsion...(ducks beneath his desk)...

You get 5 stars just for the comment on neutron repulsion.
SemiNerd
4 / 5 (8) Sep 22, 2011
My guess is that there is some unaccounted for measurement error that accounts for this. Every few years I see someone claiming a significant scientific breakthrough and has to recall it a few years later. It is very wise for these researchers to wait on their claim until its really tied down.

Having said that, its worth a huge investment to insure this is bogus, and I sincerely hope its not. The kind of brouhaha that would result from a true faster than light discovery would blow the lid off the physics community and I would be tickled to see that happen. I am guessing a large majority of the physics community feels the same way.
NMvoiceofreason
1 / 5 (9) Sep 22, 2011
It would be easy enough to check the distance with a laser.

Has anyone done that?
tuckaman001
1 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
Wouldnt this have to be performed in a vacuum?
ralbol
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 22, 2011
- Density of Dark Matter isn't equal throughout the Universe. The Universe's structure is "Fibrous". When the experiment was conducted, our planet passed through a region of less dense Dark Matter, thus affecting the speed of neutrinos.

- The Neutrino Oscillation causes "gaps" in the measurements.
Isaacsname
4 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2011
Naw, there's gotta be something simple they're overlooking.

When they figure it out the resulting facepalm will be so powerful that it will be felt around the world.

Vendicar_Decarian
1.3 / 5 (16) Sep 22, 2011
"Einstein wrong, see anyone can be wrong like those whom deny Repulsive Neutrons." - OmaTard

Yes, Einstein never contemplated Neutrino/Neutrino repulsion to be the kissing cousin of the Neutron star/Neutron star repulsion that powers the stars we can't see.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2011
"Wouldnt this have to be performed in a vacuum?" - tuckman

To a neutrino, there isn't much difference between a solid planet and a vacuum. But even if there were the correction would be the other way around - arrival would be further delayed, not accelerated.

Vendicar_Decarian
3.6 / 5 (17) Sep 22, 2011
"It would be easy enough to check the distance with a laser." - Foofa

Ya, you just have to tunnel through the center of the earth - past the aliens who have constructed a space port at the core and then shine a laser though and back.

Trivial. Until the aliens notice.

Then your toast.

typicalguy
4.6 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2011
Why not do an experiment that sends neutrinos through the earth instead of 500 km? Surely that kind of experiment should be possible. From what I've read, the conversion of neutrinos from one type to another is not well understood. Given that relativity has been proven wildly successful, this won't wipe it out but rather provide an exception in the equation.
The previous comment about the 1987 supernova brings up a good point except that instruments werent out there in 83 I don't believe? Researchers should be able to check current supernova data, calculate the time neutrinos should have been here and look at older data for said neutrinos at the right day/time.
barakn
4.5 / 5 (11) Sep 22, 2011
It would be easy enough to check the distance with a laser.

Has anyone done that?

Yeah, straight through the Alps. It was easy. I have discovered a truly marvelous method for this, which this post limit is too narrow to contain.
sender
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
Capillary optics experiments in tokamak spallation chambers should narrow the resultant anomaly.
Jaeherys
3.6 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2011
I am slightly skeptical but there are so many physicists at CERN, how is it possible that ALL of them missed something simple? That gives me some serious hope that this is going to be true. Seriously, my day was going pretty shitily (I learned SG:U was cancelled and all my classes were cancelled AHHHH) but now, I am really happy!!
tpb
3.8 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
It's not only the fact that the path is through the earth, but the detector is very large and underground besides.
Figuring the distance accurately is not trivial.
Also synchronizing two sites to an absolute time is not trivial either.
Hopefully they are not depending on GPS alone.
barakn
4.6 / 5 (9) Sep 22, 2011
"Einstein wrong, see anyone can be wrong like those whom deny Repulsive Neutrons." - OmaTard

Yes, Einstein never contemplated Neutrino/Neutrino repulsion to be the kissing cousin of the Neutron star/Neutron star repulsion that powers the stars we can't see.

Apparently you are either unaware of sockpuppets that mimic other names or the capacity for sarcasm. Check the name very closely. It's not omatumr.
binghamjames
1.5 / 5 (15) Sep 22, 2011
I'm not shocked by this at all. If you figure that a nuetrino has less mass than a photon, I'd venture to say that the speed increase is correspondingly similar to its mass decrease. Less mass equals less energy to move it right ? Besides, does anyone really know what causes light to move 186,000 miles per second anyway ? It's not as if the photon has a built in warp drive. It is because an external factor is pushing it at this rate. So if you figure the same external factor is pushing on a object of less mass like the nuetrino, why wouldn't it move faster ? Also, I'm guessing it would be fairly simple to guess the absolute speed limit of a massless object by comparing it to a nuetrino and a photon. What is causing this force ? I'm guessing it has something to do with the big bang, or big squirt if you feel we are on the back-end of a black hole, and the expanding universe. It's also the same force that creates gravity and causes the planets to move in orbits.
nicedoggie
3 / 5 (3) Sep 22, 2011
This would be shocking, shocking to discover there really is no ether!...
zebra
4.6 / 5 (9) Sep 22, 2011
What I find a little coincidental is that the magnitude of the error (1 part in 40,000) is roughly twice the ratio v/c of an orbiting GPS satellite (~1/80,000). Presuming they have used GPS to fix the distances involved - and likely the timings involved too - one wonders whether a little term has been left out of their calculations?
Newbeak
1.2 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2011
As neutrinos are basically without mass,could it be that E=MC2 would not always apply to them? I understand that applying thrust to normal matter becomes counterproductive near C,as mass would become infinite if one tried to exceed C with the application of more energy.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1.3 / 5 (7) Sep 22, 2011
maybe it just passed through the yet to be observed gravitational waves of the universe .....mwahahahhahaah.
slam_blambacid
1.2 / 5 (21) Sep 22, 2011
So stupid things we have to hear in modern science. EVERYTHING is light, everything is sound, everything is waves coming from the void... the mean itself cannot ever have speed. We only can measure speed from the realtive manifested fluctuations. Speed involves TIME. For the ALL that has no begining and no end, it does NOT exist such thing - "Jesus said GOD IS LIGHT and no man of that day (and today) knew what he menat" Walter Russell
Jeddy_Mctedder
1.8 / 5 (10) Sep 22, 2011
roll over beethoven!
hush1
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
lol
Under the keel of a ship is Amrit Sorli.
At the end of the keel is the propeller.

http://www.physor...ion.html

Skultch
5 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
maybe it just passed through the yet to be observed gravitational waves of the universe .....mwahahahhahaah


haha Maybe a primordial black hole passed through the Alps at just the right time. ;)
_ucci_oo
1 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2011
God's got better things to do than worry about anything we're thinking about on this world.
That being said. what will this do for us? like right now. Probably nothing. than after like ten years later you still won't be able to use these facts for anything.
Another dimension? he, hehe, hahahahahahaha! Well O.K. maybe.Hopefully they'll have cheap but reliable jet-packs in this parallel dimension and we will be able to travel to a europe-like country on a budget without a passport.THAT would be Good.
4RM0
3.6 / 5 (8) Sep 22, 2011
As neutrinos are basically without mass,could it be that E=MC2 would not always apply to them? I understand that applying thrust to normal matter becomes counterproductive near C,as mass would become infinite if one tried to exceed C with the application of more energy.


No, because everything in the universe has relativistic mass (including photons), and you can't ignore mass in the equation no matter how small it is.
fmfbrestel
2.7 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
cern is creating baby black holes, and on their way to the center of the earth they are passing through the neutrino beam and warping space. This is just confirmation that the LHC is destroying the earth.

/sarcasm
westerly1
2.5 / 5 (8) Sep 22, 2011
Come on guys, seriously? What is this, 1968?

For a massless particle like a photon, time slows by a value equal to gamma. At the speed of light, time stops, and thus, photons don't experience time at the speed of light. If they're not experiencing time, that doesn't imply in any fashion that beyond the speed of light gamma starts to work in any other fashion... didn't anyone read the article? The authors don't believe that anything interesting is happening. They just want to figure out if they made a math error or have a contaminant in the dataset.
Geez, isn't anyone here an actual scientist? I remember this stuff from 101. Am I surrounded by middle school science teachers? You find an arrowhead in the dirt, you assume it came from a Native American, not a man from mars. The remarkable lack of critical thinking skills shown here is seriously shameful.

Skultch
4.9 / 5 (12) Sep 22, 2011
than after like ten years later you still won't be able to use these facts for anything.


Well, a couple of decades after E-MC^2 we were splitting atoms, blowing shit up, getting things done, ya know? MAN SHIT. ;) No, really. Technologies are adapted and engineered MUCH more quickly these days. The real question is: how long until we understand what the heck just happened?

MAN!! Why do people feel the need to so highly doubt science and engineering, and by implication, its purpose and value? HELLLLOOOOOO??? Is that a supercomputer in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Neon
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
I predict that the world of science will be turned upside down over the next three decades: roll over Einstein and get out of the way!
Skultch
5 / 5 (13) Sep 22, 2011
Geez, isn't anyone here an actual scientist?


I would hope they are doing better things. Like, I don't know, science.....on a science /making/ website instead of a science /news/ website. Scientists, some of the smartest and best, spent 3 MONTHS trying to find their errors, and didn't. Now you are criticizing us laymen for speculating?? o k
Skultch
4.5 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2011
So, with only 1 post betwixt the two, we have comments that say photons have "relativistic" mass and no mass. Which is it? Is it both? What do you guys mean? Just looking for knowledge, don't go defensive on me.
4RM0
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 22, 2011
So, with only 1 post betwixt the two, we have comments that say photons have "relativistic" mass and no mass. Which is it? Is it both? What do you guys mean? Just looking for knowledge, don't go defensive on me.


Photons have a rest mass of zero, but they have a relativistic mass a consequence of motion. A rest mass of zero is only deduced through e=mc^2, if a particle can move at the speed of light, it must have zero rest mass, but they will still have relativistic mass.

Edit: What I'm saying is that in principle, nothing in the universe can have a mass of zero.
extinct
2.1 / 5 (7) Sep 22, 2011
my theory is very cynical, but see what you think: as soon as these results are disproven by Fermilab, people will be reminded of the other false alarm(s) recently, with the Higgs boson hunt. the collective feeling among us will be "grrr, that's several wrong in a row! can't these people do anything right?" this will pave the way for global apathy as the Tevatron/Fermilab is shut down unceremoniously next month. remember what the article said: only Fermilab and Japan's KEK are capable of double-checking these results. when Fermilab is gone, there's no competition or collaboration left. just like we're already feeling the lack of our space shuttle capability, it'll be exactly the same with particle physics: "oops, we just killed plan A without having a plan B." now - if you were an evil head of state or other person of global influence, this would be the perfect scenario for you: keep your populace busy, scared, and stupid, and forget about scientific progress for a while, or for good.
rtom
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
Feels like they have made some errors ( Serious enough !).. even of the relativistic mass is considered in the equation E= mc2, that what about that incrase in the mass when you go through the relativistic velocity !! :????
DarkHorse66
1 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
I found this article and then went looking the relevant physorg posting:
http://www.bbc.co...15017484
It also seems to have a few more useful 'related links' as well.
I sincerely doubt that the Einstein formulae are actually wrong; more like incomplete. More likely is the case that there is a small constant missing somewhere in it. I've already been wondering about THAT possibility for a while now. Also, this kind of 'minor adjustment' would very much allow for both the article and 4RMO's statements. btw, I'm only stating this as a POSSIBLE option. I'm going to follow this with interest and wait and see.

by the way: spammer/abuse alert:
crazy00123 has already posted the same message for a dating service elsewhere!

Cheers, DH66
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
Photons have a rest mass of zero, but they have a relativistic mass a consequence of motion. A rest mass of zero is only deduced through e=mc^2, if a particle can move at the speed of light, it must have zero rest mass, but they will still have relativistic mass.

Edit: What I'm saying is that in principle, nothing in the universe can have a mass of zero.


Still not getting it. I get the part about 0 mass being a deduction from E=MC^2. I also get how when already massive particles (at rest) get accelerated, their mass increases. I DON'T get how relativity says something with no mass to begin with can obtain mass or appear to have mass from an outside observer.
Skultch
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
I sincerely doubt that the Einstein formulae are actually wrong; more like incomplete.


I was just trying to explain the same thing to the wife. If it were *wrong* it wouldn't test so well, GPS wouldn't work, etc. I was thinking "of course it's incomplete." We can't use it to predict *everything.*
canuckit
not rated yet Sep 22, 2011
"European researchers said they clocked an oddball type of subatomic particle called a neutrino going faster than the 186,282 miles per second that has long been considered the cosmic speed limit."

More comments here:

http://www.telegr...ght.html
tuckaman001
not rated yet Sep 22, 2011
We know that the photon is affected by space/time curvature. Do we expect the same to hold true for the neutrino?
deepsand
3.4 / 5 (17) Sep 22, 2011
I'm not shocked by this at all. If you figure that a nuetrino has less mass than a photon, ... .

Do you want to stick with that statement?
Dan B_
not rated yet Sep 22, 2011
I've looked for the original article and can't find it. Where is it? If there isn't one, then this is a mean joke. The devil is always in the details.

Confirming a measurement like this is some physics and a whole lot of engineering. For example: How do they know exactly where (within one ns is a good target accuracy) the particles are generated, and when (again 1 ns is good)? How long is the pulse and what's its profile? How is the pulse detected? How is timing determined, common GPS satellite in view? What's the detector response time statistics versus just about every possible parameter? And on and on. Probably the answers are simple, but the procedure is to go grindingly thoroughly from zero to one. No shortcuts, nothing ignored and nothing forgotten. 60 ns is a whole lot, based on available techniques. 10 ns accuracy is way more than the timing and positioning accuracy capability if done correctly. So I suspect generators and detectors are more problematic here.
deepsand
3.3 / 5 (16) Sep 22, 2011
As neutrinos are basically without mass,could it be that E=MC2 would not always apply to them? I understand that applying thrust to normal matter becomes counterproductive near C,as mass would become infinite if one tried to exceed C with the application of more energy.

Nearly massless and massless are two quite different things.

Neutrinos are the former; photons, the latter.
eachus
5 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2011
So much speculation, so little fact... Tachyons are particles that travel only faster than the speed of light. Perfectly consistent with relativity, but prior to this most physicists would agree we haven't seen any yet.

The evidence for neutrinos being tachyons is growing. There are three flavors of neutrinos, and for neutrino oscillations to occur, they must all have non-zero masses. All three flavors have extremely small masses, if the masses are real. If they are imaginary? (Caught you there. ;-) The experiments looking for neutrino masses actually look at the momentum squared (M^2). If the mass is imaginary, the momentum squared can be negative, and of course, any experiment that cannot rule out zero masses for neutrinos can't rule out negative values for M^2. Experiments resulted in negative (mean) values, but the confidence bounds still include zero and small positive masses. Some experiments measure the difference between masses of two different flavors, a detail.
Kayreios
3.5 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2011
Is there are significant work done yet on the potential for Neutrinos in telecommunications?
canuckit
not rated yet Sep 22, 2011
Scientists at the Gran Sasso facility will unveil evidence on Friday that raises the troubling possibility of a way to send information back in time, blurring the line between past and present and wreaking havoc with the fundamental principle of cause and effect.

http://www.guardi...eutrinos
Dan B_
5 / 5 (3) Sep 22, 2011
@ Kayreios: For the practical purposes of telecommunications, neutrinos are useless. They're not modulatable and not detectable, compared to just about anything else. Except, dark matter is even worse. It's good to use a highly detectable form of energy that's easy to modulate in both phase and amplitude, such as electromagnetic waves.
Nevertheless
not rated yet Sep 22, 2011
The MichelsonMorley experiment paved the way for a revolution in physics that culminated in Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity.

Could it be that we have here another experiment that will profoundly reshape the foundation of physics?
Nevertheless
1 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2011
The MichelsonMorley experiment paved the way for a revolution in physics that culminated in Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity.

Could it be that we have here another experiment that will profoundly change the face of physics?
YawningDog
1 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
I scanned all the comments and noticed nobody pointed out that Lorentzian Relativity remains unscathed.
Ensa
5 / 5 (1) Sep 22, 2011
Doesn't necesarily mean causality is screwed. Just a bit more meta.
Also, probably means that E=MC^2 does not correctly account for the amount of energy.

hard2grep
1.4 / 5 (7) Sep 22, 2011
Would it really be a wild assumption that the actual speed limit is slightly higher than the speed of light? I mean that if a neutrino has less mass, then it should go faster, right? if these measurements are proven true, would that not mean that there are particles with less mass than photons? hey, that would mean that neutrinos exist...Hey, Wait a minute!

To me it would say that energy is equal to mass, ect... Einstein must have been right in a time where smaller sub-particles were simply an unprovable fascination; his math is not tainted one bit. On the other hand, what does that do for that one wheelchair guy.. What does this mean for black holes? Maybe there is an inner sub-Schwartz radius that can be calculated and measured through observational means.

By the way, I thought that you would get there before you started if you breached the threshold of light.
Deesky
5 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
I DON'T get how relativity says something with no mass to begin with can obtain mass or appear to have mass from an outside observer.

Photons have zero rest mass (also known as Newtonian mass), but they are never at rest - they're energetic and always move at c (in a vacuum). Through this motion they have the property called relativistic mass/momentum (mass and energy are related) and so can deliver quite a punch when they hit a target.
hard2grep
1 / 5 (4) Sep 22, 2011
How can a neutrino have less mass then?Deesky, i agree with you here, but can you explain what they mean by less mass than a photon? Please use something beyond two particle explanation as wiki does not impress me.
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (5) Sep 22, 2011
Awesome. That's all I can say. If this turns out to be true, it could turn everything we thought we knew upside down.
Deesky
5 / 5 (3) Sep 22, 2011
Would it really be a wild assumption that the actual speed limit is slightly higher than the speed of light?

No. The speed limit isn't an arbitrarily derived measure or one prone to imprecision. The constant is vital to all our models of reality.

I mean that if a neutrino has less mass, then it should go faster, right?

Less than what? Zero is pretty much it (photons), but if you're suggesting <0 mass, then you're off into the highly speculative, for which there is no current evidence.

if these measurements are proven true, would that not mean that there are particles with less mass than photons?

See above. In any case, neutrinos DO have a tiny measured mass, so they are heavier than photons.
Deesky
5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
My take on this finding is that it's preliminary and needs to be verified by other groups, which is indeed what will take place. That's science at work. Extraordinary claims, etc...

Here are a few observations which might be possible sources of error. The measurement is statistical in nature. You cannot emit a neutrino and follow it all the way to the other end for measurement (it may not interact, it may be of a different flavor, it may be a spurious external detection, etc). So you need to send billions of them and make a statistical analysis.

Do we really know the oscillation rates of neutrinos to such a high precision? Have the variations in the Earth's gravity field along the journey been factored in (yes, it would be a small effect, but the claimed precision of the results is very high).

I await further analysis and secretly hope something new is uncovered.
Jeddy_Mctedder
1.7 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2011
will the real albert einstein please stand up?
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 23, 2011
So much speculation, so little fact... Tachyons are particles that travel only faster than the speed of light. Perfectly consistent with relativity, but prior to this most physicists would agree we haven't seen any yet.

THEORETICAL particles.

And, to be consistent with Einstein's Mass-Velocity Equation, they either:
1) Travel Forward in Time with Imaginary Mass; or
2) Travel Backwards in Time with Real Mass.

Either way, they're consistent with the maxim that we can never OBSERVE an object traveling faster than light.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
What I find a little coincidental is that the magnitude of the error (1 part in 40,000) is roughly twice the ratio v/c of an orbiting GPS satellite (~1/80,000). Presuming they have used GPS to fix the distances involved - and likely the timings involved too - one wonders whether a little term has been left out of their calculations?

CERN have state of the art atomic clocks and I'm sure Gran Sasso have similar clocks perfectly synchronized, these guys are not using GPS for timing. The timing would be the first place to look for errors together with the distance measurement.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
Perhaps the actual distance between the source and detector isn't what they think it is.
Were only talking 59 feet out of 2,397,120 or 0.00246 percent.

59 feet is a huge distance in the physics world. Also this is the first thing they would check together with the synchronization of the atomic clocks used. They must feel very confident about the distance measurements and timing before presenting these results.
arosjoa
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
Maybe the distance of the track changed a little bit and then they think it was faster than light?
It isn't like the earth changes because of all tectonic movement?
If they sent neutrinos and then another particle and it keeps having a considerable timeframe difference in the arrival vs the start, then they can say it goes faster than light, but at these distances and precisions you can always think of another thing.
Unless it was some kind of gravity wave or something (wich then it would mean that c isn't constant in every kind of gravitational area). And it would kill all actual gravity waves detectors of nowdays (like: Fk it, lets use neutrinos instead of lasers).

Still cant wait for Physics labs in space.
rc_yvr
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
Given that light is bent by gravity, why do we assume that photons travel at their maximum possible speed near Earth, and further that a neutrino which is almost unaffected by time/space/matter would not be able to travel a little faster in near-Earth space. It is perhaps that C has been underestimated owing to our inability to make precise measurements of C in deep interstellar space, so far.

We are limited, so to is our knowledge, and equally limited is our ability to gather knowledge. Therefore our expectation of understanding should be humble.
Sonhouse
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
If it turns out the neutrino somehow ignores the curvature of space and photons follow the curvature of space, wouldn't that difference they see, enable them to directly calculate the curvature of space in our neck of the woods anyway? Wouldn't that also say if the same measurement was done say, 2 light years from Earth, the results would not be the same but the photon and neutrino would be a lot closer together after that same trip of 730 km? And wouldn't there be a difference when the measuring equipment was facing the sun V on the night side?
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 23, 2011
Would it really be a wild assumption that the actual speed limit is slightly higher than the speed of light? I mean that if a neutrino has less mass, then it should go faster, right?

How can a particle with real mass have less mass than a photon with zero rest mass?
spaceagesoup
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
maybe it's caused by a local weak spot.
Fringe tonight only on FOX
just saying
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 23, 2011
Given that light is bent by gravity, why do we assume that photons travel at their maximum possible speed near Earth,

There is no such assumption. It is well known that photons are slowed by matter, and that they too are subject to the gravitional force.

... and further that a neutrino which is almost unaffected by time/space/matter would not be able to travel a little faster in near-Earth space.

Why should a particle with a non-zero mass (neutrino) travel faster through any medium than does one with a zero mass (photon)?
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
Here is the report, really cool stuff!
http://arxiv.org/...4897.pdf

The distance covered by the neutrinos was measured with an uncertainty of 20 cm and they also did some comprehensive work on getting the timing correct.
tjcoop3
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
(I learned SG:U was cancelled and all my classes were cancelled AHHHH) but now, I am really happy!!

I am sorry about the classes but were you out of country all summer. they announced SG:U cancellation back in April I think. I was bummed myself. I thought everybody knew and the way they ended it was atrocious.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
From the paper:
A key feature of the neutrino velocity measurement is the accuracy of the relative time
tagging at CERN and at the OPERA detector. The standard GPS receivers formerly installed at
CERN and LNGS would feature an insufficient ~100 ns accuracy for the TOF
measurement.
Thus, in 2008, two identical systems, composed of a GPS receiver for time-transfer applications
Septentrio PolaRx2e [16] operating in common-view mode [17] and a Cs atomic clock
Symmetricom Cs4000 [18], were installed at CERN and LNGS (see Figs. 3, 5 and 6).
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
http://arxiv.org/...4897.pdf
Pages 9 and 10 describes the accuracy of the timing and distance measurements. Pretty convincing stuff!
ECOnservative
2.8 / 5 (9) Sep 23, 2011
Somewhere, Richard Feynman is smiling.
DarkHorse66
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2011
I've just chewed my way through the paper and I must say that I am impressed. They REALLY haven't left much to chance. My estimation of the likelihood of their results being 'true' has just gone up. If this DOES turn out to be the case, then that would mean that the ONLY difference between left-handed and right-handed neutrinos is that some are going faster than the speed of light and some are going slower than light and that in reality, there is no such thing as an anti-neutrino. Perhaps the speed is merely determined by the flavour. Who knows for sure at this point. For those who are unfamiliar with chirality:
http://hyperphysi...no3.html
http://assa.saao....erse.doc
Cheers, DH66
Velvet_Pink
1 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
this is no news :D
DarkHorse66
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
@Velvet Pink: Either you have no understanding of Physics and are therefore unaware of the impact of the nature of such findings, or you are trying to stir people up, for the sake of it. Either way, the put-down is not appreciated.
So, please explain yourself!
DH66
turnup4thebooks
4 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
Could it be possible that photons have mass? In which case dark matter may not be necessary.
NeutronicallyRepulsive
1 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
I recon measurement error. Otherwise madness will ensue.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
Could it be possible that photons have mass? In which case dark matter may not be necessary.


It's important to keep in mind that dark matter isn't just adding mass to the universe, it is distributed in a lumpy fashion roughly matching the placement of the galaxies. Light does not create blobs like that.
Jarek
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
If it's true, it would only mean that we were wrongly thinking that optical photon is the fastest field construction.
They are made of EM field, while neutrino is mainly a construct of the field corresponding to the weak interaction - we know the speed of EM field propagation, but are there any experiments showing that weak interaction field has exactly the same propagation speed? (up to 1/40000 precision like in above experiment).
It is like we are sure of gravitational masses, but in fact we know them well only for basically uncharged matter - mainly nucleons. Was there any experiment showing that it is in fact the same for a single electron? (hint: there wasn't Stern-Gerlach made for electrons...)
Ryan1981
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
Ok if this is true, lets create a protocoll for sending information back from the future and start listening :D If they are traveling just a little bit faster than light what is to stop them to accelerate them further in such a way that they will be slowed down enough again when they reach our current detector :P
bishop
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
I think nobody is right or wrong.
We have here what we can call the next step in physic. When Einstein wrote his theory of relativity he stepped on the throat of the law of gravitation which is still alive and kicking.
What i mean is, no physics is absolute, with the gravitation in certain case we have to go beyound the limitation of the model, and the same thing is going to happen tho the relativity, we will have to go beyound, not because it is a false theory but because we have reached the limit of what is possible with the relativity model. And that it is not "nothing can go faster than the speed of light" but "something" can eventually go faster than the speed of light, in an other scale of physic.
We had, do have and will have:
Law of Gravitation (I. Newton)
Law of Relativity (E. Einstein)
Law of "something else" (X)

Some theories "exotic" are also using particles faster than light, tachyons, that bypass the "forbidden" Einstein having a non-zero mass, but so-called "imaginary".
binghamjames
1 / 5 (6) Sep 23, 2011
I'm not shocked by this at all. If you figure that a neutrino has less mass than a photon, I'd venture to say that the speed increase is correspondingly similar to its mass decrease. Less mass equals less energy to move it right? Besides, does anyone really know what causes light to move 186,000 miles per second anyway? It's not as if the photon has a built in warp drive. It is because an external factor is pushing it at this rate. So if you figure the same external factor is pushing on an object of less mass like the neutrino, why wouldn't it move faster? What is causing this force? I'm guessing it has something to do with the big bang, or big squirt if you feel we are on the back-end of a black hole, and the expanding universe. It's also the same force that creates gravity and causes the planets to move in orbits. Other massless type objects such as electrons, protons, and neutrons don't move at this speed due to their electron bonding with each other. But the 186,000 constant energ
intech
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
Link here for anyone interested in the layout of the underground experiment CNGS at CERN

http://proj-cngs....undb.htm
scoop
4 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
Wolfram believes the universe is basically one big computer program. He would easily explain this, thus:

class Neutrinos extends Relativity
{
// insert science here
}
shwhjw
2.5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
Wolfram believes the universe is basically one big computer program. He would easily explain this, thus:

class Neutrinos extends Relativity
{
// insert science here
}

I doubt the universe runs on C# :P
Urgelt
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
I was, to put it mildly, astounded when I first read of this development.

The authors at CERN are right to be cautious.

You know, neutrinos emitted from far-away supernovas have been measured. Theory suggests that these particles, traveling at a very close fraction of the speed of light, can arrive a few hours before light arrives at Earth(due mainly to light being slowed by matter interactions in the star). If neutrinos were really that much faster than photons, we might have noticed a larger time gap between arrival of neutrinos and arrival of photons. No such gap has been seen.

The safe money is on a measurement error of some sort.
vidar_lund
4.7 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
@binghamjames

The photon has no mass while the neutrinos have a small mass. Also electrons, protons and neutrons are certainly not massless.
vidar_lund
5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
Theory suggests that these particles, traveling at a very close fraction of the speed of light, can arrive a few hours before light arrives at Earth(due mainly to light being slowed by matter interactions in the star). If neutrinos were really that much faster than photons, we might have noticed a larger time gap between arrival of neutrinos and arrival of photons. No such gap has been seen.

For the supernova SN1987A the first neutrinos should have arrived about 4 years before the light but most supernovas are much further away. The question is, how would you know that a neutrino event is connected to a supernova if the neutrino event is many years ahead of the light? The neutrinos would probably be filed as coming from an unknown source even if a supernova is later observed in the same area. Now we can look for such early neutrino events but even making such a suggestion would have been outrageous just one day ago.
scoop
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
Wolfram believes the universe is basically one big computer program. He would easily explain this, thus:

class Neutrinos extends Relativity
{
// insert science here
}

I doubt the universe runs on C# :P


That was actually Java in mind, but thankfully it's a fairly universal implementation. Geddit? NM, I'll get my coat... :)
Tomator
3.5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
Why not measure the light speed even more scientifically than with MILES per second? What about saying this is 11,562,331.03 times faster than a racing horse? Doesn't it sound better? Forget the SI...
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
I've just chewed my way through the paper and I must say that I am impressed.

Tried to do that, too (and I'll be the first to admit that I didn't understand all of it). But significant by six standard deviations? Holy smokes. That's pretty good.

There's a couple of effects which were deemed 'not significant', though, which I'm not sure about. Even though the probability of a stray neutrino (originating from another source) is deemed to be low it should have an effect. Since the timestamp is taken from first effect/occurrence of a neutrino event such 'random' events should skew the result towards the 'fast' side of neutrinos. (but, anyways, at 10E-4 probability for such an event it shouldn't be too much of a skew to explain the results away)
spaceagesoup
5 / 5 (7) Sep 23, 2011
because for all intents and purposes that are useful, that's what the speed of light is. it isn't MEASURED with the units, they are just useful expressions for comparison/thought.

and what's with the repeated missing of the point that neutrinos do NOT weigh less than photons. several of the comments above could've been avoided if the person had read the above article/comments, or had even a rudimentary idea of what they're talking about.

physics belongs to everyone, but you gotta put some effort in kiddos, else you're just noise.
Jayded
1.2 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
All just mental mastication. Einsteins theory became suspect on the behaviour of protons, now becomes suspect on the behaviour of neutrons. Me thinks the walls will soon come atumbling.
Horus
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
I truly find all these comments contemplating world renowned physicists don't know how to run tests and verify their results to be hilarious.

How about every contemplates the speed of light barrier surpassed and what it may mean in the future of science. That seems like a useful endeavor.
james_h_covington
3 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
perhaps, instead of the neutrinos travelling faster-than-light, they are creating a localized time warp where time is slowing down (or is it speeding up, I'm not quite sure) slightly, giving the appearance of faster-than-light speed. Star Trek, here we come!
Jayded
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
Nice thinking James
GreyLensman
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
If you do the math for Supernova 1987a, then neutrinos should have arrived 4 *years* before the supernova, not 3 hours like we observed. 60 nanoseconds *(168000 light years/730 kilometers) to years. And before you misread, even *that* was just a tortoise-and-hare problem. Neutrinos are pretty much transparent to the matter around the supernova, so they get enough of a head start to get here first, even though they travel slower than light (according to the established scientific principles at least).

I'd remain *extremely* skeptical until another experiment can comment on the results.

- I like what you did there!

ant_oacute_nio354
1 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
Like the electron that is related with transversal waves, the neutrino is related to longitudinal waves that travel faster than light speed. The neutrino can change to a longitudinal wave, with constant wavelength.
Mynameisalex
5 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
I can't get the journal to load correctly from http://arxiv.org/...09.4897. Anybody else having this issue? Probably a crashed server from everybody trying to get their hands on the paper?

Also,

I truly find all these comments contemplating world renowned physicists don't know how to run tests and verify their results to be hilarious.


I agree. Most of the questions that people are asking are very obvious questions that have most certainly been considered by the teams analyzing this data. Hence why they reviewed the experiment for months and are now inviting other teams to weigh in their ideas.
Ricochet
5 / 5 (2) Sep 23, 2011
You see, that's what I absolutely LOVE about Physics. The rules NEVER change. It's our understanding of the rules that change.
Unlike computers, where the rules change with just about every software and hardware release. I've been working in IT for over 15 years, and I get to the point of pulling hair out trying to keep up with it.
seb
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
I always wondered about that speed of light. Maybe it does have a limit as established.. while it travels in our particular reality medium.

Ah.. in other words, could the "speed of light" and "ultimate speed limit" be related to how light travels within the framework of our particular universe? What about "outside" of that universe?

What if what the scientists achieved wasn't "faster than light" motion, but somehow "travel outside of the bounds of our universe's structure". By that I don't mean wormholes and that usual stuff, I mean completely outside of the medium of which our reality is formed.

Like hmm.. in the "stuff" that was there "before" our universe formed on top of it. Sort of uh.. on our particular "brane", before a universe forms on it

Obviously the terms in quotes are placeholders for concepts that I don't have.

Gawad
5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
O.k., what if this has a relatively simple answer? With such a small difference, if this is confirmed, this might simply be a confirmation of the Scharnhorst effect. Just throwing this out, but since the speed of light in a vacuum is theoretically affected by interaction with virtual particles, as if going through a medium--albeit the most transparent possible to electromagnetic radiation--maybe neutrinos, which don't interact with virtual electron-positron pairs or any other charged particles, are just showing us what c would be in a true vacuum. In other words it could be that neutrinos SHOULD travel just a little faster than c in a vacuum because they're not subject to interaction with virtual charged particles, which slow down photons ever so slightly, somewhat like when these travel through glass or water.
Ricochet
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
Like hmm.. in the "stuff" that was there "before" our universe formed on top of it. Sort of uh.. on our particular "brane", before a universe forms on it

Obviously the terms in quotes are placeholders for concepts that I don't have.

Perhaps, then, we should borrow terms from Star Trek until scientists come up with real concepts for them... We could use "subspace" to describe that, and supposedly, their radio transmissions use "subspace" to travel faster than light. For all we know, it could be just like that, a medium through which the speed of light is just much faster than in the "real" universe.
Gawad
5 / 5 (3) Sep 23, 2011
Photons have a rest mass of zero, but they have a relativistic mass a consequence of motion. A rest mass of zero is only deduced through e=mc^2, if a particle can move at the speed of light, it must have zero rest mass, but they will still have relativistic mass.

Edit: What I'm saying is that in principle, nothing in the universe can have a mass of zero.


Still not getting it. I get the part about 0 mass being a deduction from E=MC^2. I also get how when already massive particles (at rest) get accelerated, their mass increases. I DON'T get how relativity says something with no mass to begin with can obtain mass or appear to have mass from an outside observer.

Hi Skultch, no photon has relativistic mass, just momentum, p. The equation still applies, but it always gives you zero mass for a particle with zero rest mass. The guy is out to lunch.
Callippo
1.8 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
If you do the math for Supernova 1987a, then neutrinos should have arrived 4 *years* before the supernova, not 3 hours like we observed.
Before some time I analyzed the similar problem. The relatively close gamma ray burst of Mkn 501 galaxy exhibited relatively large delay of gamma ray photons behind the visible light flash.

http://arxiv.org/...89v3.pdf

But the observation of more distant gamma ray burst didn't exhibited such large delay, so it has been neglected with mainstream physics.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1832

Now the situation just repeats with neutrinos and IMO it could have the same explanation.

http://aetherwave...rsy.html
yyz
5 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
@Skultch,

Here's a link discussing the mass of a photon (including the old notion "relativistic mass"): http://www.weburb...ass.html

...hope that helps...

Royale
5 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
I'm really so thankful for this site. Yesterday, I got the Reuters article about this sent to me. It was so mind-numbingly lacking that I stopped reading it and vowed to find the article on this site today. Then I see all and read all of the posts and it's great to see other people having a good conversation about it. (Well good for the most part).
The thing that makes me pause here is the fact that we don't fully understand gravity. So gravitational effects would be estimated, not measured. Like most others I'll wait on making a judgment here...
Skultch
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
Gawad and YYZ,

You. Guys. Rock!!!

I think I'm starting to get it now. Gotta let this percolate for a bit....

My wildly ignorant understanding at this moment is that, if true, this experiment might be the beginning to something much more fundamental in physics, and NOT the same as being incomplete or inaccurate.

Garrett Lisi, anyone???
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 23, 2011
I'm not shocked by this at all. If you figure that a neutrino has less mass than a photon, ...

How can a particle with a non-zero mass (neutrino) have less mass than one with zero mass (photon)?
GreyLensman
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
The MichelsonMorley experiment paved the way for a revolution in physics that culminated in Einstein's 1905 paper on Special Relativity.

Could it be that we have here another experiment that will profoundly change the face of physics?

In the unlikely event of the result be true, this would certainly rank alongside the MM experiment, for sure.
Not sure why someone gave you a single star for that.
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Sep 23, 2011
The results with neutrinos don't violate the contemporary physics too much, but it would be better to wait for some independent confirmation. The indirect measurements of speed of neutrinos is too demanding for contemporary metrology. IMO a much better would be to compare the light flash following the impact of protons into target with flashes of neutrinos directly. BTW Did they considered such a stupidity, that neutrinos are moving tangentially with respect to Earth surface (i.e. along shorter path, than GPS satellite are measuring)?
elmoluz
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 23, 2011
the problem with most scientists is that they're jealous and spiritually lost on this earth.
they fear that there might be someone more intelligent than they are, therefore,
instead of embracing new findings and help it to grow for all human benefit, they must, in their own piteous way contradict everything and everyone just for self amusement and/or moral status.
very sad.
good luck.
Skultch
not rated yet Sep 23, 2011
You personally know 51 percent of ALL scientists?????? Holy mackerel!!!! PLEASE. Tell us more! Wait. Are you god? Whoah guys......whoah. Dont make him angry. It's finally time. We've DONE IT!!!! :D :D

Should I wait for this to be independantly verified? He could just be a human projecting his own insecurities.............naaaaahhhhhhhh.
deepsand
2.7 / 5 (12) Sep 23, 2011
No, Elmo Luz is no god; just a human with strange tastes in sounds.
Dan B_
5 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
Read the article. Good careful work, but some quibbles, probably minor:

a. 8.3 km fiber optic, including Tx and Rx group delays, has a temperature coefficient of group delay. So was the temperature close enough between when the GD calibration was done and when the particle pulses were measured? This is like 30 us delay, and we want it calibrated to a couple ns.

b. Digitizer latency was removed how? I didn't quite understand that. I know the records are time stamped, but I don't see how the front end latency is removed. I might be confused about how the time stamping is done.

c. What if the proton pulse shape has a good-sized temperature dependency? Because, it's 10 us long, so it's very serious business to realize it may have slowly varying issues which cannot be treated either as statistics or as a fixed single-model parameter.
Dionna_Cook
1 / 5 (1) Sep 23, 2011
I like fringe science so much more than the mainstream, because mainstream scientists are so much more indoctrinating and unwilling to wrap their minds around a change from what they currently believe, even if the evidence can stand on its own. I seriously disagree with this comment from the above article and link on the new neutrino finding "Even if these results are confirmed, they won't change at all the way we live or the way the world works. After all, these particles have presumably been speed demons for billions of years." First of all if this finding changes the way in which our understanding of reality functions, it could vastly effect the level at which our technology operates thus directly effecting the quality of our lives. This information might not immediately effect our way of life only because we have barely begun to try and understand what it means.
thales
5 / 5 (5) Sep 23, 2011
mainstream scientists are so much more indoctrinating and unwilling to wrap their minds around a change from what they currently believe, even if the evidence can stand on its own.


That's a pretty broad brush you're using there. Rational scientists update their beliefs based on the evidence. For a rationalist, if the evidence for a belief is strong, it takes equally strong evidence to begin to change that belief. The principle behind this is known as Bayes' Theorem.

You seem like a pretty intelligent person. If you're interested you might want to take a look at this: http://oscarbonil...theorem/
frank o
5 / 5 (2) Sep 24, 2011
John Bell, whose theory of non-locality (faster-than-light communication between particles) was tested and confirmed by the Aspect experiment, said he'd rather give up Einstein's relativity and go back to the idea of an ether than accept the Copenhagen Interpretation of reality.

Is John Bell getting his wish?
Deesky
4.6 / 5 (9) Sep 24, 2011
I like fringe science so much more than the mainstream, because mainstream scientists are so much more indoctrinating and unwilling to wrap their minds around a change from what they currently believe, even if the evidence can stand on its own.

I don't understand what you're saying. Are you saying that this is fringe science? If so, you couldn't be more wrong. This is about as mainstream as it gets. And your use of the word 'indoctrinating' also shows a lack of understanding of how science progresses (see thales comment).
Callippo
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 24, 2011
Are you saying that this is fringe science? If so, you couldn't be more wrong.
The observation of superluminal neutrinos isn't first one. The similar results from MINOS experiment were retracted just because they violated the special relativity.

http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.0437

As MINOS co-spokesperson Jenny Thomas told Ars, "the errors were so big we dismissed it." This is exactly what the selective approach in science means. All experimental points, including the most fuzzy ones should be always published. If nothing else, such dispersion points to the reliability of results.
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Sep 24, 2011
The results with neutrinos don't violate the contemporary physics too much, but it would be better to wait for some independent confirmation. The indirect measurements of speed of neutrinos is too demanding for contemporary metrology. IMO a much better would be to compare the light flash following the impact of protons into target with flashes of neutrinos directly. BTW Did they considered such a stupidity, that neutrinos are moving tangentially with respect to Earth surface (i.e. along shorter path, than GPS satellite are measuring)? This article discusses some other possible sources of errors.

http://arstechnic...pace.ars
Callippo
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 24, 2011
Rational scientists update their beliefs based on the evidence. For a rationalist, if the evidence for a belief is strong, it takes equally strong evidence to begin to change that belief. The principle behind this is known as Bayes' Theorem.
Such approach still depends on belief too much. For example the cold fusion, antigravity of Podkletnov or dense aether theory is facing deep skepticism, although just a minor shift in thinking would reconcile them with existing theories quite easily. Whereas some other models (like the String theory) are accepted quite blindly without testable predictions, experiments the less - just because they relying on established theories.

There's no doubt, the science is evolving in right direction, but sometimes the acceptance is slower than one scientific generation, which implies the Dirac's proposition: "Truth never triumphs its opponents just die out."

Such "progress" apparently works too - but it has nothing to do with rational approach.
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Sep 24, 2011
BTW just at the case of "superluminal neutrinos" the string theory demonstrates its limits clearly, because the OPERA findings are refused with some string theorists (like the L. Motl), who afraid of violation of Lorentz symmetry (on which string theory is based) - whereas some others are seeing it like the evidence of extradimensions (which are assumed with string theory too).

http://www.newsci...red.html

Now we can see, how the evidence of one of postulates of string theory actually violates another postulate, which illustrates clearly, why this theory cannot get the testable predictions.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Sep 24, 2011
John Bell, whose theory of non-locality (faster-than-light communication between particles) was tested and confirmed by the Aspect experiment,
Link please.
said he'd rather give up Einstein's relativity and go back to the idea of an ether than accept the Copenhagen Interpretation of reality.

Is John Bell getting his wish?
There's no need to accept the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics as there are several competing interpretations.
Anyone
not rated yet Sep 24, 2011
What is a "very pillar"?
ImAsht
not rated yet Sep 24, 2011
Are they taking into account the frame folding caused by earth's gravity that would shorten the distance between point A -> B "as the nuetrino flies" ever so slightly giving the appearance of FTC travel?
ubavontuba
2.1 / 5 (11) Sep 24, 2011
This is cool. I hope it's verified.

I wonder, could it (paradoxically) be that neutrinos travel faster than light through a medium (the earth)? Would the same results occur in a vacuum?

SR71BlackBird
2 / 5 (4) Sep 24, 2011
Perhaps this is further evidence that the universe is anisotropic, and the laws of physics vary, even by very small margins, locally.
frank o
not rated yet Sep 24, 2011
Yes, there are many interpretations of quantum mechanics, but the major ones, the accepted ones, try to work the relativity speed limit into them, which then makes the quantum world mysterious, forever unobservable and "unreal." Bell was right about non-locality and he may have been right about relativity.
daywalk3r
1 / 5 (5) Sep 25, 2011
Just a very wild thought..

1.) Earth orbital velo / speed of light = cca 0.01%
2.) CERN CNGS -> Gran Sasso = 45deg (roughly) rel. to E orbital vector

Which gives: 0.01% * sin(45deg) = ~0.005% c (peak deviation)

Note: Taking the particle path vector into consideration, we need to assume that the majority of measurements were done durring daytime (6am-6pm), else the effect would be opposite (eg. particles would appear to travell slower instead of faster).

So, roughly at 12 o'clock CET time, the effect would be at its peak (0.005% of c), where anything within /- 6hours from 12 o'clock would have a weaker (but still positive) effect.

Now for the sake of simplicity, lets just take the daytime average (which is roughly 1/2 of the peak value of 0.005%)..

Which gives.. (very very roughly) a resulting grand total of ~0.0025% average deviation from c ...

CERN reported deviation: ~0.0025% c

Surprise, surprise? ;-D

Oh well.. just a funny coincidence..
or maybe not?:) [Aether troll bait]
Bazzinga_Ali
1 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2011
I wonder if they actually tested the speed of light in this apparatus? Although the stated distance is 730 kilometers it might be slightly less. If it is less this would explain away their findings.
Deesky
4 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2011
I wonder if they actually tested the speed of light in this apparatus? Although the stated distance is 730 kilometers it might be slightly less. If it is less this would explain away their findings.

Good point. Perhaps they didn't take that into account during their months of re-checking their results...
ABSOLUTEKNOWLEDGE
1.3 / 5 (13) Sep 25, 2011
FOR THE DUMMIES
FEW FACTS

US HAS BEEN DOING TIME TRAVEL SINCE THE 60THS

THIS IS CONFIRMATION THAT THIS IS NOT CONSPIRACY THEORY

SEARCH PROJECT PEGASUS Andrew D. Basiago ~ Time Travel & Teleportation

http://www.youtub...Y5RPiiIU
Mondeo
1 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2011
I wonder if they actually tested the speed of light in this apparatus? Although the stated distance is 730 kilometers it might be slightly less. If it is less this would explain away their findings.


And how could they test it through the rock??
seb
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
We could use "subspace" to describe that, and supposedly, their radio transmissions use "subspace" to travel faster than light. For all we know, it could be just like that, a medium through which the speed of light is just much faster than in the "real" universe.


Heh subspace, right.. I guess that could work as a name for what I was trying to describe, something like the brane's own substance before a universe is imprinted on it, assuming one accepts that theory of reality.

Or maybe it's a purely quantum effect, where the particle in question didn't actually travel the distance, but rather appeared to do so when it's wavefunction re-collapsed (after perhaps somehow reforming due to some action in the experiment). In other words, instead of having travelled.. it was in both places already, while it was in a quantumy state
Benjamin_Weinstein
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 25, 2011
I think this publicity & disinfo was to throw off the fact that cern is in fact MAKING BLACK HOLES!!!!!
akshayxyz
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
one simple query for experts -
neutrinos are supposed to be electrically inert and very weakly interacting.
Once a neutrino is produced (by colliding relevant particles), if it is possible - how is it accelerated(in lab) to higher speeds than the speed at which it starts travelling at its birth?
Kedas
1 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2011
Is it possible that the distortion of space-time by the presents of earth made the neutrino behave different?
droid001
5 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2011
730 kilometers - 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light.
If we double the distance - what happens? 60 or 120 nanoseconds?
Feldagast
1 / 5 (3) Sep 25, 2011
Whats really sad is, what would Einstein have been able to do with equipment like this or just the data from it. Can you imagine the kind of tests he could of come up with.
deepsand
3 / 5 (14) Sep 25, 2011
Whats really sad is, what would Einstein have been able to do with equipment like this or just the data from it. Can you imagine the kind of tests he could of come up with.

Probably few to none, as he was a theoretician, not an experimentalist. He was given to what he called "thought experiments."

Additionally, his mathematical skills were less than top drawer, such that he frequently relied on others in that regard.
rah
1 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2011
If neutrino's have mass then they cannot travel at light speed. Ain't that right? And they do have some non-zero mass, so what is going on? On top of that, how are they tracking these things if they fly through the earth without bumping into a single proton, how is this lab able to track them so precisely?
rah
3 / 5 (8) Sep 25, 2011
FOR THE DUMMIES
FEW FACTS

US HAS BEEN DOING TIME TRAVEL SINCE THE 60THS

THIS IS CONFIRMATION THAT THIS IS NOT CONSPIRACY THEORY

SEARCH PROJECT PEGASUS Andrew D. Basiago ~ Time Travel & Teleportation

http://www.youtub...Y5RPiiIU

uh, no we haven't. It is not physically possible. More bad news, Elvis is dead.
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Sep 25, 2011
Suggesting, (although already skimmed) for experts in the field:
Measurement protocol. Have 'safety' and 'liveliness' systems of fault-tolerance redundancy for on board clocks/instrumentation calibration and measurement of the responsible satellite been checked?
ILIAD
not rated yet Sep 25, 2011
To the idiots who pull God into discussions such as this and wish death on those who do not espouse their beliefs, tootles.

The equation E=mc2 is not the complete equation; reference an advance physics book.

The error of /-10ns ... it may be /-100ns. The facts will point the way. Await verification; then we can jibber-jabber.

--what if it's hopping through other dimensions, it would fit into the 8th dimension easily... warping space to travel 'x' while never moving faster than light.

hush1
1 / 5 (2) Sep 25, 2011
Addendum: Both hardware and software protocol.
shresht7
1 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2011
The velocity of light(or any other particle for the case) is actually never itself constant. it varies across a number of factor of which one is the medium of travel. Light can interact with matter but neutrinos are supposed to go through without interacting with even the densest of materials. Imagine Light and Neutrino's as 2 cars on 2 tacks with same speed , but Light has to cross traffic , toll plaza , road diversions ( i.e. interact wit the medium of travel) on the other track is neutrino which is constantly moving straight through the path. Then it is obvious that neutrino's shall win.
The neutrino's were 60 nanoseconds faster ,because they didn't have do anything but go straight forth. Whereas the light had to interact.
Einstein said "that nothing shall go faster than the speed of light"
but he never stated that light cannot be slowed down. Due to a heavy number of highly packed particles in solid state the light had to slow down considerably.
Kiljoy616
1 / 5 (1) Sep 26, 2011
Oh boy the crazy have come out of the wood work for this one. Einstein been off with the limited knowledge of the day is to be expected as we build more powerful instruments and discover more of what the Universe is. That does not mean he was wrong completely or that your dumb high school level physics class taught you much about physics. I will let the people who know what they are talking about without all the emotional baggage that seems to come from news of any kind about almost anything.

Once they replicate the experiment at least 2 more times then we can talk about exactly what this means for physics. Now you may return to your useless ranting about who you know the TRUTH.
deepsand
3.1 / 5 (15) Sep 26, 2011
The velocity of light(or any other particle for the case) is actually never itself constant. it varies across a number of factor of which one is the medium of travel. Light can interact with matter but neutrinos are supposed to go through without interacting with even the densest of materials.
The neutrino's were 60 nanoseconds faster ,because they didn't have do anything but go straight forth. Whereas the light had to interact.
Einstein said "that nothing shall go faster than the speed of light"

Neutrinos do interact with other particles, else they would be undetectable.

As for Einstein, he never said any such thing. Rather, his Velocity-Mass equation says that nothing can be observed exceeding C.

Per said equation, a neutrino's mass increases as it approaches C, while that of a photon, being massless does not, so that the neutrino cannot reach C without attaining infinite mass. If it exceeds C, either it's mass becomes imaginary, or it reverses its direction in time.
stealthc
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 26, 2011
C is determined by the density of the vacuum, so perhaps that density appears different relative to a neutrino either as a neutrino or transiting between oscillations?
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2011
@stealthc

That is my take on the matter - provided the time difference is real and not an artifact.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 26, 2011
"On top of that, how are they tracking these things if they fly through the earth without bumping into a single proton, how is this lab able to track them so precisely?" - rah

They know precisely where the target is, and precisely when the beam hits the target. They know precisely where the target and detectors are. Hence they know the precise time interval between creation and detection.

As to detection they don't track individual particles. They simply produce a whole mess of them and look at the detector for a statistically significant number of them coming from the direction of the source.

Most of the produced neutrino's are never detected. The vast, vast majority.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 26, 2011
"If we double the distance - what happens? 60 or 120 nanoseconds? " - Whomever

Unknown. The detector is a large volume of liquid and can't be moved. Building a new detector far away would be costly, but is doable.
deepsand
2.8 / 5 (13) Sep 26, 2011
Null hypothesis: In the absence of CERN, could the same neutrino events have been detected?

While repeated analysis of the data and methodology can determine the the certitude of the existence of seemingly outlier data points, such cannot ascertain the origin(s) of the neutrinos is question.

Therefore, the null hypothesis is not disproved.

Repeatability is required.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (4) Sep 26, 2011
Null hypothesis: In the absence of CERN, could the same neutrino events have been detected?

In the paper it says the the chance for that is less than 1 in 10000.

(They probably did let the detectors run while there was no activity in CERN. That's just standard procedure to get a null reading. )

If you consistently get a higher reading when the CERN apparatus is turned on you can be pretty sure that those events correlate. However with the inability to shield neutrons its not completely impossible that there was a chance neutrino event every time the CERN experiment was up and running - just very, very unlikely.
SR71BlackBird
1 / 5 (2) Sep 26, 2011
I'm sure the chance of outside interference was taken into account in their error calculations.
CHollman82
2.3 / 5 (6) Sep 26, 2011
C is determined by the density of the vacuum, so perhaps that density appears different relative to a neutrino either as a neutrino or transiting between oscillations?


What does "density" mean in the context of a vacuum?
Callippo
1 / 5 (4) Sep 26, 2011
What does "density" mean in the context of a vacuum?
We could talk rather about relative changes of light speed with respect to changes in mass/energy density of vacuum. The mass density change is determined with energy density change by E=mc^2 relation and the energy density is defined like the energy of the space-time curvature (stress energy tensor in particular). The stress-energy tensor is the source of the gravitational field in the Einstein field equations of general relativity, just as mass is the source of such a field in Newtonian gravity.
ED__269_
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 26, 2011
@ Reuters
Limiting physics has its price. It limits growth potential, which in turn limits sentiment, and colors outlook;

ask all those that think that the deliberate linking of two distributions was a mistake, and they might even contradict themselves and tell you human growth potential is endless.

Well human potential is approaching its apex - The rate of change (for new concepts) may even show negative growth beside the fact that many countries are worried about the debt servicing capacities. i.e. Greece.

The problem with excluding the source has results i.e. they can only analyze two equation --- and the restriction will yield no new physics; at best --> a Gausian distribution.

I'm not going to help enlighten, even though I wrote both the distributions. A consequence not of the method of extraction, but the abuse of the knowledge.

When realization dawns, come and see me, bring your checkbook and a apology.
Nulln_Void
5 / 5 (1) Nov 18, 2011
This article and the more recent experiments suggesting neutrinos exceed the speed of light serve as vast reminders that the laws of physics are only as "constant" as our comprehension of them.

I make such absurd statements with the hope of reminding budding scientists to explore "outside the box" even when such pursuits are professionally alienating. Great innovation comes from challenging the assumptions of contemporary science (when not by accident).
Nulln_Void
not rated yet Nov 18, 2011
Now that I've read a few of the postings here I'm curious:

How can something be tracked to travel faster than the pulse width of the microchip in a measuring apparatus? I'm aware there is an answer to this question (hence the foundation of this article), however, of how/why I am entirely ignorant.

Perhaps by slowing down neutrinos in a substrate as light is slowed in a prism?