'Faster-than-light' particles spark science drama

Dec 09, 2011 by Richard Ingham

Oh Albert. Did you get it wrong? In 2011, physics was shaken by an experiment which said the Universe's speed limit, enshrined by Einstein in his 1905 theory of special relativity, could be broken.

Normally staid scientists rushed to defend a foundation theory of -- and one even vowed to eat his blue boxer shorts if the findings were confirmed.

The fuss began in September when a European team announced that ghostly sub-atomic called neutrinos had been found to travel some six kilometres (3.75 miles) per second faster than the velocity of light.

The neutrinos had been generated at the giant underground lab of the European Centre for (CERN) in Geneva.

They were timed at their departure and, after travelling 732 kms (454 miles) through Earth's crust, at their arrival at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy.

To do the trip, the neutrinos should have taken 0.0024 seconds.

Instead, the ornery little critters hit the detectors in Italy 0.00000006 seconds sooner than expected.

"If the effect were confirmed, it would show some particles can travel faster than the speed of light," Professor David Wark, director of the Particle Physics Department at Britain's Science and Technology Facilities Council, told AFP.

"This would be a profound revolution in physics, probably the most significant one to happen in the last 100 years."

Right now, the is a long way from being accepted as "five sigma," or a claim that is tried and tested and deemed authentic. A team in the United States is already working to see if the result can be replicated.

But what would happen if it turns out to be true?

One possibility: the speed of light can be broken and Einstein was wrong.

Another: the particles, as they made their trip, crossed into some extra dimension or two, beyond the four dimensions of reality that we know, which comprise three of space and one of time.

If so, our traditional concept of the Universe would be ripped apart.

Yet this counter-intuitive idea would also save Einstein's reputation.

By traversing into an extra dimension, the particles would in effect have taken a short cut to get to their destination. They would not have been superluminal, or faster than light.

"It could mean that Einstein was right in some respects, but not completely. It could be that there is a bigger theory which lies outside his theory, like a nested doll," said Pierre Binetruy of the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory of Paris.

Fearing an outcry, the OPERA scientists went over their results again and again for six months before going public. They larded their announcement with caution and admissions of bewilderment, and pleaded with others to verify what they had seen.

The response came, well, at light speed, in physics forums and the media.

"If this result at CERN is proved to be right, and particles are found to travel faster than the speed of light, then I am prepared to eat my shorts, live on TV," declared Jim Al-Khalili, a professor of theoretical physics at Britain's University of Surrey.

The squabble became a common news item and even a source of jokes ("We don't serve faster-than-the-speed-of-light particles in here!" says the barman. A neutrino walks into a bar).

In contributions to the open-access website arXiv, scores of physicists laid into the OPERA experiment, seeing potential anomalies.

Scientists involved in another Gran Sasso experiment called ICARUS, using the same neutrino beam from CERN, argued that the particles should have lost most of their energy if they had bust the light barrier.

But when the neutrinos arrived, their energy values were entirely consistent with travel at the .

Many papers noted that the tiniest technical inaccuracy would have skewed the outcome.

Some questioned whether the OPERA team had properly tagged the pulses of neutrinos so that the particles could be identified at the start and end of their flight.

Others said the use of GPS to synchronise the timing may have affected measurement.

The geopositioning signals from orbiting satellites were moving relative to the neutrinos and to the detector, resulting in a shorter time-of-flight measurement of exactly 64 nanoseconds -- QED!

The OPERA team have now finetuned the neutrino beam to tag the particles better, but say they still have the same result.

And they are looking at using a fibre optic cable, rather than GPS, to synchronise the timing.

In the coming 12 months, Einstein could be confirmed on his mighty pedestal, or worrying cracks may appear in it.

And is expected to deliver its judgement on whether the Higgs Boson, the elusive "God particle" which would explain mass, exists or not.

So 2012 is set to be a year to remember -- and not just in the lab.

Explore further: Vortex of electrons provides unprecedented information on magnetic quantum states in solids

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

3 Questions: Faster than light?

Sep 26, 2011

The news media were abuzz this week with reports of experiments conducted at the Gran Sasso particle detector complex in Italy, apparently showing subatomic particles called neutrinos had traveled from th ...

Physicists: Did neutrinos break the speed of light?

Nov 23, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- The revolutionary news that an experiment measured particles traveling faster than the speed of light drew varied ages and backgrounds to a standing-room only physics department forum, "Faster ...

Recommended for you

Scientists film magnetic memory in super slow-motion

4 hours ago

Researchers at DESY have used high-speed photography to film one of the candidates for the magnetic data storage devices of the future in action. The film was taken using an X-ray microscope and shows magnetic ...

Particles, waves and ants

Nov 26, 2014

Animals looking for food or light waves moving through turbid media – astonishing similarities have now been found between completely different phenomena.

User comments : 82

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

stardust magician
4.6 / 5 (13) Dec 09, 2011
How wonderfully amazing. We've come so far yet have only just begun.
Sinister1811
2 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2011
Fascinating. I wonder if next year's results would confirm/disprove the faster-than-light neutrino findings.
rawa1
1.3 / 5 (18) Dec 09, 2011
I'm still missing the official statement of CERN to the publications like this one, which do explain the observation of superluminal neutrinos just with classical relativistic effects, which were incorrectly omitted in CERN experiments.

http://www.physor...ery.html
Vendicar_Decarian
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2011
It will be an interesting year, starting with the anouncement in 4 days of the probable discovery of the Higgs particle at 125 Gev.
vlaaing peerd
1 / 5 (4) Dec 09, 2011
"But when the neutrinos arrived, their energy values were entirely consistent with travel at the speed of light."

Considering 2 of the 3 neutrino's are known to have mass, this would be....infinite?

rawa1
1.1 / 5 (16) Dec 09, 2011
It will be an interesting year, starting with the announcement in 4 days of the probable discovery of the Higgs particle at 125 Gev.
It's not finding of any particle, just finding the energy band for diphoton resonances. It's analogous to the finding of the distribution of wavelengths in CMBR. Although this distribution is apparently centered around 2 cm wavelength scale, no one calls the CMBR photons a particles. The more interesting is, with increasing energy/decreasing wavelengths this distribution gets the very same pattern, like the power spectrum of CMBR, which would point to dodecahedron E8 geometry of space-time at short scales dual to the geometry at the cosmological scales.

https://lh6.googl...-3.5.JPG

http://www.cv.nra...trum.png
rawa1
1 / 5 (18) Dec 09, 2011
In dense aether model the observable Universe is just vastly enlarged and multidimensional situation at the water surface. At the water surface the transverse surface ripples are dispersing into longitudinal waves at both very large distance, both at the very short distance in Brownian noise.

http://www.aether...cale.gif

This dispersion occurs at the very different distance scales, but its geometrically similar, because both small distance, both long distance density fluctuations which are responsible for dispersion of transverse waves can be simplified to the spheres or random density fluctuations of hyperbolic geometry. So they lead into similar power spectrum at both scales.
Isaacsname
4.1 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2011
You know light only travels at 299,792,458 meters per second ?

..Any faster would be dangerous..
thefurlong
3.1 / 5 (17) Dec 09, 2011
Suggesting that the particles entered some extra dimensions is wildly speculative, and should not be reported as if it were a serious alternative to breaking the light barrier. It is only one of the possibilities if this turns out to be true. We have no reason to assume that there are extra dimensions. Last time I checked, no theory that ever used extra spatial dimensions in its formulation ever predicted something falsifiable. Therefore we have no evidence for extra spatial dimensions. At this point, suggesting that particles traveled through extra dimensions is not much better than suggesting that the hand of God gave them a little flick to speed them up.

There is so much in science to capture the imagination, that we don't need to litter it with fanciful notions. Science is mysterious enough. I wish that science reporting wouldn't resort to treating speculative claims that dovetail with popular wishful thinking, as serious science.
rawa1
1.4 / 5 (15) Dec 09, 2011
We have no reason to assume that there are extra dimensions.
For example, at the 2D water surface the presence of extradimension of underwater manifests with Brownian noise. In the vacuum we are observing this noise too as a CMBR noise. We are surrounded with many extradimensions, it just needs a bit of consequential thinking to realize it. Only completely empty and flat space is just three-dimensional. If it contains CMBR noise of gravitational lens, it cannot be considered 3D anymore. Apparently, more pronounced gravitational lens and refractive objects are violating dimensionality of space-time even more.
Another point is in understanding, just the forces which do follow the inverse square law can be considered as a just three dimensional interactions. But in common life we are facing many forces, which are violating inverse square law heavily, for example the magnetic force, Casimir force and/or various dipole forces too.
thefurlong
4 / 5 (22) Dec 09, 2011
Also, please stop suggesting that Einstein might have been "wrong." Einstein wasn't wrong and more than you're wrong when I ask you what the numerical value of PI is, and you tell me "3.1415926." You would both be right in that you both approximated nature to pretty good accuracy. He never said "General Relativity completely explains this universe, therefore it will never be modified." I don't know why people are so obsessed with proving him wrong? Is it genius envy?
thefurlong
3.8 / 5 (13) Dec 09, 2011
For example, at the 2D water surface the presence of extra dimension of underwater manifests with Brownian noise.


rawa1, we also have other ways of confirming that there are extra dimensions beneath the 2D surface. Namely, we can easily do work and propel ourselves in that direction. We also know that energy isn't conserved at all if we restrict ourselves to 2D dimensions. There are also other ways.

Just because you see a phenomenon that could be associated with a speculative theory doesn't mean that that theory is true. You need evidence, like at least 5 sigmas of it. The problem is that we are already testing what is already a speculative theory--that these neutrinos did actually travel faster than light. If that is confirmed, then it would be the ONLY piece of evidence that there MIGHT BE extra dimensions, and we would have to find other means of confirming that extra dimensions is the simplest explanation.
rawa1
1.1 / 5 (18) Dec 09, 2011
please stop suggesting that Einstein might have been "wrong."
It's the consequence of journalism in science. For both journalists, both scientists involved it's advantageous to pretend, their results are more fundamental, then they actually are. The more yellow journalism, the more the news servers collect traffic and ad clicks from readers, the more money the scientists can get for their further grants.

http://en.wikiped...urnalism
rawa1
1.3 / 5 (15) Dec 09, 2011
Namely, we can easily do work and propel ourselves in that direction.
EM-drive is based on this phenomena. Why this device isn't researched more intensively?
We also know that energy isn't conserved at all if we restrict ourselves to 2D dimensions.
And we actually observe it as a Hubble's red shift - the energy of light is dispersed into extra dimensions of vacuum foam. It can serve as an additional confirmation of the concept of extradimensions.
If that is confirmed, then it would be the ONLY piece of evidence that there MIGHT BE extra dimensions..
Many pieces are already collected, but the whole problem is quite different. You should prove instead, the concept of extradimensions is wrong, instead of seeking the evidence for it. If all 3D forces are following the inverse square law, how is it possible, nearly every real life force is violating it? How can you explain refractive phenomena and existence of particles without extradimensions? It's reversed argumentation.
rawa1
1.2 / 5 (14) Dec 09, 2011
I can understand the people, who just don't want accept redundant concepts unless it's absolutely necessary because of Occam's razor - but it requires to stop with acceptance of many obvious phenomena as bare facts too. For example massive objects are behaving like agglomerates of loosely coupled particles (atoms), each of which is separated from others (nearly) completely. In just 3D space the existence of such composite objects full of holes is impossible. You'll need to consider not only 4D or 5D space, but at least 6D space to explain it. Such composite objects will behave like 3D slices of 6D hyperdimensional objects after then. And as we know, atoms have their internal structure composed of isolated particles too, so we are facing at least 9D geometry there. It's immediate conclusion, which just requires the elementary knowledge of topology and we aren't even required to ask for anything else. AWT is bigger step in reality understanding, than it appears at the first look.
CHollman82
2.5 / 5 (10) Dec 09, 2011
"We don't serve faster-than-the-speed-of-light particles in here!" says the barman. A neutrino walks into a bar"

That's pretty damn funny! Took me a minute to get it
Wargasms
1 / 5 (5) Dec 09, 2011
kk not really a science buff but heres my two cents. Neutrinos are streaming through the earth all the time, couldnt these have also been detected thus making it look like the experiments neutrinos arrived sooner than they actually did?
Blaspheyou
1 / 5 (3) Dec 09, 2011
Hyper-space, here we come!
Gustav
4 / 5 (4) Dec 09, 2011
First, I don't believe the neutrinos have traveled faster than light, but, assuming they did, this would not derail special theory of relativity. The theory allows for the existence of tachyons. Theory of relativity would only be derailed if it is shown that the same neutrinos could travel both slower and faster than the speed of light.

Special theory of relativity can be derived from assumptions more general than Einstein's, so it's very strong. However, it's also macroscopic. The concept of space-time may not be fully applicable within the quantum domain. It may be possible to wiggle some "quantum room" at the light-cone boundary.
thefurlong
4.1 / 5 (18) Dec 09, 2011
the energy of light is dispersed into extra dimensions of vacuum foam. It can serve as an additional confirmation of the concept of extradimensions.


It sounds to me like you are suggesting a variation of the tired light hypothesis, which seems to have been falsified. Anyway, you are assuming that vacuum foam exists, which is not yet a testable hypothesis. Even if it were, I don't see why that implies extra spatial dimensions. So, you have layers upon layers of speculation.

You should prove instead, the concept of extradimensions is wrong


You are making an extraordinary claim. So, no, you need to prove it.

If all 3D forces are following the inverse square law, how is it possible, nearly every real life force is violating it?


So there MUST be extra dimensions? That's the God of the Gaps argument dressed up in silver space suit with a ray gun.

rawa1
1.2 / 5 (17) Dec 09, 2011
You are making an extraordinary claim. So, no, you need to prove it.
It's just you, who is claiming we are living in EXTRAORDINARY JUST 3D world - so that the proof is business of yours.. I'm claiming instead, this world is composed of many dimensions, no particular number is actually preferred here. Enjoy it.
CHollman82
4 / 5 (16) Dec 09, 2011
No, rawa... the claim of imperceptible extra dimensions is the one with the burden of proof... sorry.
that_guy
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 09, 2011
I think Einstein, and the experiment (Probably) are both right.

I think the conclusions are wrong.

We know that a black hole's gravity has an effect on space. Maybe we just don't have a complete view on how space and gravity interact. Does the stretched and pulled space around a black hole have the same geometric volume to a light particle as the 'volume' of 'space' it resides in?

What if, now this theory is completely wild and insane, just what if the space inside earth is just a few miles thinner than it appears geometrically from the outside...
NeutronicallyRepulsive
3.8 / 5 (5) Dec 09, 2011
rawa1 (Zephir/Milan Petrik): Is it you, my old crazy foe? Still preaching "the theory" best served as words (and crazy calculated pictures) without any actual math. :D
rawa1
1 / 5 (12) Dec 09, 2011
Special theory of relativity can be derived from assumptions more general than Einstein's, so it's very strong.

General relativity is more general, which is why it's called so. General relativity even allows the violation of constant speed of light, as follows from the scheme bellow: http://www.aether...vity.gif
Whereas the photons are moving with the same speed locally, at general level they're moving with different speed through space-time curved, which is why we can observe the gravitational lensing and all these fancy refractive effects...
rawa1
1.2 / 5 (13) Dec 09, 2011
Still preaching "the theory" best served as words (and crazy calculated pictures) without any actual math.
Nope. It just depends on what do you want to describe. For description of solely deterministic transverse waves or solely indeterministic longitudinal waves it's better to use formal math, which is why we developed general relativity and quantum mechanics. But when the these waves are dispersing and interfering mutually at the boundaries of observable scale, the intuitive approach based on illustrative analogies may be better. If nothing else, it illustrates us the way for further development of formal models. We cannot say, we understand the reality completely, if we cannot describe it with equations or draw at the picture for our grandma - but can we ever expect the both?

This is a question...
that_guy
3.3 / 5 (7) Dec 09, 2011
The problem here is that I'm pretty sure you can't reliably time a photon going through the earth due to it being absorbed along the way.

Since the Neutrino is the only speed of light particle that can reliably make the journey, and also reliably be detected, We can't actually say with certainty that we know it is travelling faster than light - even if the data is absolutely correct.

It's like standing in texas, and timing a drag race with one car in tokyo, and the other car is in Madrid.
rawa1
1.2 / 5 (13) Dec 09, 2011
At the case of neutrinos and photons, we have easy to follow water surface analogy: the photons are surface solitons, which are formed with mutual interference from surface ripples. As such they're always moving with slightly subluminal speed, so they need their dual counterparts, i.e. superpartners. As such superpartners of surface waves can serve so called the Falaco solitons, which are formed in underwater beneath the water surface. http://www.youtub...wZ39EDmw
These vortices are still connected to water surface, so they're moving with speed, which is close to the speed of surface waves, but they're always moving slightly faster, because the underwater waves are faster than the surface ripples in general. The photons are lightest solitons of transverse waves in vacuum with weak longitudinal component, whereas the neutrinos are lightest solitons of longitudinal waves with subtle transverse component. At the wavelenght of CMBR the properties of both solitons are equal.
rawa1
1.3 / 5 (14) Dec 09, 2011
This model is even more specific regarding the wavelength - power spectrum dependence. The real photons should be always slower than the speed of light, until their wavelenght isn't equal to the wavelenght of CMBR. Above this wavelenght even the radiowaves can be faster, than the visible light. The shorter wavelenght of photons is, the slower they're moving. For neutrinos the same dependence is just reversed: they're always faster than the light, until their energy isn't lower, than the energy of CMBR photons. After then neutrinos are behaving like normal subluminal particles of matter. There is probably additional subtle difference in neutrino and antineutrino speed - the antineutrinos are faster, the normal neutrinos slower and for normal photons this dependency on polarization should be reversed.
thefurlong
3.8 / 5 (13) Dec 09, 2011
rawa1, those solitons are pretty cool. I wish you would provide actual mathematics, or point to a resource with actual mathematics. Even the R.M. Keihn paper I found on Falaco Solitons contained absolutely no math. I can't find a single theoretical analysis of Falaco Solutions, and every link I encounter referencing them only cite Keihn's web page.

If you want to persuade others, you can't do so by assuming what you want to convince them of and then deriving a known conclusion that might be explained some other way. Nor can you argue for an untested hypothesis by claiming another untested hypothesis.

Revolutions in physics almost happened because people started with surprising observations, and derived theories that predicted observed phenomena. The deflection of the compass from an electric current was an example, so was the UV catastrophe. The existence of extra dimensions is not an observation. It is speculation based off of a large number of possibly unrelated phenomena.
thefurlong
2.3 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2011
I didn't mean revolutions in physics "almost" happened, just "happened."
supercat765
2.9 / 5 (12) Dec 09, 2011
Einstein did not agree with Quantum physics
Because of this he would assume that a vacuum is empty
And light slows down depending on what it is traveling through.
so according to Einstein the speed of light in a vacuum is absolute because you can't have less than zero interactions

but according to Quantum physics the vacuum is not empty so there is something for the light to interact with
this could mean that the speed of light in the Quantum vacuum is slightly slower than the universal speed limit

and because neutrinos rarely interact with mater they also rarely interact with the Quantum vacuum
so without the reactions that slow light down the neutrinos they could travel faster then light in the Quantum vacuum while still traveling slower than the speed of light without the Quantum vacuum
Nanobanano
1.2 / 5 (9) Dec 09, 2011
This jives with my wormhole/alternate dimension HYPOTHESIS for explaining entanglement.

If the neutrinos are taking a "shortcut" by moving a small distance in an extra dimension, then that could be a basic proof of concept for FTL communication and FTL computing.

It's sort of like, even though the neutrino appears to have energy level consisting with Relativity, because it took a "shortcut" through an extra dimension, it arrives on target "FTL".

If one or more extra dimension were involved, how many? Was it a perpendicular time axis? or a perpendicular space axis?

There is another possibility I expressed that doesn't seem to have been addressed here.

Gravity.

The strength of the earth's gravity changes at subterranean levels due to both Shell Theorem and local density anomalies.

This would cause alterations in gravitational time dilation along the path of the particle, which is a Cord of the Earth's cross-section, ergo diff. depths at diff. times.
thefurlong
3.4 / 5 (11) Dec 09, 2011

but according to Quantum physics the vacuum is not empty so there is something for the light to interact with
this could mean that the speed of light in the Quantum vacuum is slightly slower than the universal speed limit


That's an interesting thought. You seem to be suggesting that what we measure as C is actually not the speed limit, but only an approximation because of quantum fluctuations in the vacuum. Let me think about that for a while.

I would, however, like to note that this proposal, while it might be wrong, is preferable to suggesting that there are extra spatial dimensions, and that's because it attempts to find an explanation within the framework of accepted theory, or so it seems to me. I would have to learn more quantum mechanics first.
Foolish1
3 / 5 (6) Dec 09, 2011
"Scientists involved in another Gran Sasso experiment called ICARUS, using the same neutrino beam from CERN, argued that the particles should have lost most of their energy if they had bust the light barrier"

Does anyone know what the basis for this statement was? How do you calculate this one?
Seeker2
1 / 5 (4) Dec 09, 2011
Apparently, more pronounced gravitational lens and refractive objects are violating dimensionality of space-time even more...But in common life we are facing many forces, which are violating inverse square law heavily

So would the lens in my glasses be violating dimensionality of space-time (I'm near-sighted)?
rwinners
1 / 5 (7) Dec 09, 2011
What compelled Albert to choose the photon as the holder of the ultimate speed record?
Seeker2
1 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2011
I understand neutrinos change flavor during flight. This must require some energy. Increased energy density occurring in spacetime occurs in time as well as space. This means the particle occupies a smaller element of time during these flavor changes. So it gets a boost in velocity and then drops back to its normal state after the transition. Would be interesting to see if this theory actually holds up.
Seeker2
1.6 / 5 (7) Dec 10, 2011
What compelled Albert to choose the photon as the holder of the ultimate speed record?

I guess his theory only holds if the tiger doesn't change his stripes.
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Dec 10, 2011
The existence of extra dimensions is not an observation. It is speculation based off of a large number of possibly unrelated phenomena.
It just needs a bit of consequential thinking to realize it. Only completely empty and flat space is just three-dimensional. If it contains CMBR noise of gravitational lens, it cannot be considered 3D anymore. Apparently, more pronounced gravitational lens and refractive objects are violating dimensionality of space-time even more.

Another point is in understanding, just the forces which do follow the inverse square law can be considered as a just three dimensional interactions. But in common life we are facing many forces, which are violating inverse square law heavily, for example the magnetic force, Casimir force and/or various dipole forces too. This renders the observable world as a full of extra-dimensions, some of which are quite large.
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Dec 10, 2011
I understand neutrinos change flavor during flight. This must require some energy. Increased energy density occurring in spacetime occurs in time as well as space. This means the particle occupies a smaller element of time during these flavor changes. So it gets a boost in velocity and then drops back to its normal state after the transition. Would be interesting to see if this theory actually holds up.
This is actually quite correct insight. The physicists already speculating, the superluminal speed is connected with temporal formation of so-called sterile or Majorana neutrinos. During brief moments the neutrino will lose its charge and it will spread like the sound wave through underwater instead of surface vortex, so it will make a brief jump. So I'm fully convenient with your way of reasoning.
Callippo
1 / 5 (5) Dec 10, 2011
So would the lens in my glasses be violating dimensionality of space-time (I'm near-sighted)
Even the subtlest deformation of flat space time implies the presence of space-time curvature, i.e. the presence of fourth time dimension. At the moment, when such gravity lens separates into many others which are moving together (like the atoms in glass), the dimensionality of space-time increases even more. Glass is actually highly dimensional material and its surface is formed with singularity with respect to microwaves. Just the fact, the light waves of limited range of wavelengths are passing through it freely implies its relatively weak gravitational lens, but gravitational lenses have no so sharp boundaries. In essence, the dimensionality of object is given with number of higher derivations, which are necessary for analytical description of its geometry.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.4 / 5 (7) Dec 10, 2011
"During brief moments the neutrino will lose its charge.." - Callippo

Neutrinos have no charge to lose.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2011
"What compelled Albert to choose the photon as the holder of the ultimate speed record?" - twinners

Ir was the fact that c is constant for all observers. Obviously.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2011
Neutrinos have no charge to lose.
They can lose the weak leptonic charge: http://en.wikiped...neutrino
The neutrinos are modeled with mesons, a bosons swimming inside the atom nuclei. They can lose isospin charge.
Isaacsname
1 / 5 (1) Dec 10, 2011
So there's absolutely no way that passing through the bulk of an object will accelerate neutrinos ? We've never really been able to put that to the test before, have we ?

Also, is there a chance that some neutrinos are acting in some hitherto unobserved manner to accelerate other neutrinos ?

Callippo
1 / 5 (5) Dec 10, 2011
So there's absolutely no way that passing through the bulk of an object will accelerate neutrinos ?
Of course it is and it's even consistent with the above explanations. In dense aether model the neutrinos are solitons of longitudinal gravitational waves, whereas the photons are solitons (wave packet) of transverse light waves. Whereas the speed of transverse waves slows down with the (energy/mass) density of environment, at the case of longitudinal waves this dependence is exactly as opposite. So it may be really possible, for neutrinos a component of speed inversely proportional to density of environment exists.

Even the above explanation based on neutrino oscillations is consistent with this insight. The more dense environment is, the more easily the lightweight particles tend to switch their charge or color (generation number). And because they're behaving like neutral gravitational waves during this, their speed is increasing too during such a transition event.
Callippo
1 / 5 (5) Dec 10, 2011
We've never really been able to put that to the test before, have we ?
Of course not, but we already know, that the supernovae neutrinos are superluminal in significantly smaller extent, than the underground OPERA/Minos neutrinos. This difference can be attributed to different neutrino energy though, which would support the Majorana model preferably.

http://cr4.global...EF89.jpg

But i seriously consider, at the case of underground neutrinos their energy dependence of speed is shifted toward higher values due the presence of massive environment. But I don't expect, it could explain all superluminal effect, which we are facing here.
Callippo
1 / 5 (3) Dec 10, 2011
Also, is there a chance that some neutrinos are acting in some hitherto unobserved manner to accelerate other neutrinos?
Why just to another neutrinos? I seriously consider the neutrino drag as the main component of so-called dark matter drag (Bullet cluster), component of Lense-Thirring drag or even the source of antigravity effects around accelerated superconductors (Podkletnov/Tajmar's gravitomagnetic impulse). After all, the cold neutrinos don't differ from gravitational waves so much in the same way, like the microwave photons. It's rather difficult to distinguish these particles each other at low energy density.
thefurlong
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 10, 2011
Only completely empty and flat space is just three-dimensional.

No, spacetime is always 4D, with 3 spatial dimensions and one temporal one. If spacetime is warped, that doesn't mean that it is embedded on a higher dimensional surface. That just means that its metric is no longer euclidean.

But in common life we are facing many forces, which are violating inverse square law heavily, for example the magnetic force, Casimir force and/or various dipole forces too.


Not all forces are inverse square forces. In particular, strong interaction dies off really quickly. I don't see how not being an inverse square law implies that there are extra dimensions. The coriolis force, for example, isn't inverse square, and arises in rotating reference frames. It isn't due to extra dimensions.
Turritopsis
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
"It could mean that Einstein was right in some respects, but not completely. It could be that there is a bigger theory which lies outside his theory, like a nested doll," said Pierre Binetruy of the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory of Paris.


Einstein took in data, analyzed it, and summarized it into a series of relativistic equations. He never claimed that his theory explained everything.

But if dimensions outside of our own interact with the dimensions relative to us then the dataset Einstein analyzed to derive his equations is incomplete.

If dimensions outside our own are interacting with ours then Einstein's equations which are based on 3 plus time are wrong.

Quantum fluctuations leave me nearly 100% certain that dimensions outside ours are for real. Energy disappearing then reappearing in a new space time coordinate violates 4D space.

There are more dimensions present than are seen. You can't have a TOE with missing variables.
Callippo
1 / 5 (9) Dec 11, 2011
If spacetime is warped, that doesn't mean that it is embedded on a higher dimensional surface.
This is not an argument - just a simple negation of my claim.
spacetime is always 4D, with 3 spatial dimensions and one temporal one
Higher-dimensional explains even the fact, why our space-time is just 4-dimensional. The hypersphere packing exhibits highest distance/area ratio just for 3D hyperspheres.
That just means that its metric is no longer euclidean.
Hyperdimensional model provides a much better quantification, how much the space is not Euclidean.
The coriolis force, for example, isn't inverse square, and arises in rotating reference frames. It isn't due to extra dimensions.
I know, many forces are explained with particular mechanisms, the problem is, these explanations aren't consistent with another explanations. The hyperdimensional framework is here for the sake of consistency, not simplicity. I like simple theories, so I'm not promoting it here.
Turritopsis
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
The thing with Einstein's relativity is that it is expandable. As new data is collected that which is relative grows.

Relativity can technically never be wrong. It explained the variables which relate perfectly. As new variables are found the interactions can be reanalyzed into a new set of relativistic equations.

This is where expert "guess" work is required. Designing an experiment is a product of theory. We need to get lucky theoretically by applying probabilities to theorems. If we can figure out what we are testing for we can create detectors to collect that information.

We may be able to prove multidimensions if we know what to search for. But, if we find that there is a fifth dimension present, the dimensional limit changes from 4 to infinite until proven otherwise.

The most probable answer is that there are many more dimensions than 4. Is this a certainty? Absolutely not. It is at present not known one way or the other. It would be wild and speculative to say that there are
Turritopsis
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
Quantum fluctuations are what I consider "clues". I wouldn't label this as evidence. Evidence would be viewing that energy exit our 4D space, travel through hyperspace, and return to our 4D space. Or something along those lines. To know that that energy is in another dimension you must see it there. Without seeing the other dimension it is only speculation.
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
Relativity can technically never be wrong. It explained the variables which relate perfectly. As new variables are found the interactions can be reanalyzed into a new set of relativistic equations.
It's a problem, because such a theory wouldn't be falsifiable in the sense of Popper's scientific methodology. Fortunately it's easy to demonstrate, just the introduction of extradimensions into general relativity would violate some (if not all) of its postulates. For example, we know, the dark matter violates the equivalence principle - after all, this is how it has been detected. So even if some modified version of general relativity will explain the dark matter, it will still violate the equivalence principle at 4D space-time. In dense aether theory every formal theory is wrong in less of more general perspective.
Callippo
1 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2011
is that there are many more dimensions than 4. Is this a certainty? Absolutely not.
A much probable is, the hyperdimensional framework, which is based on the euclidean right-angled coordinate system is violated too. Such problem can be corrected with assumption of infinite number of dimensions, which would make hyperdimensional model singular and practically unusable. After all, even the dense aether model doesn't say, the Universe is composed of some distinct particles at some level. It just considers infinitely nested density fluctuations of aether and everything what we can observe from it are just a few nested levels of these fluctuations of it (slices of multiverse). I don't know, why people are so obsessed with seeking for some fixed point in geometry, which is apparently intrinsically random and observer dependent. Our existence doesn't require the introduction of some intrinsic limits for Universe.
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
Without seeing the other dimension it is only speculation.
We are seeing these dimensions routinely, we just don't realize it. For example the polarization of light is hyperdimensional effect, which couldn't exist in strictly 3D space. The composite eyes of insects are apparently adopted for observation of six-dimensional space, not just 3D one. Hyperdimensional fluids are called non-Newtonian and they're common too.
thefurlong
3.2 / 5 (9) Dec 11, 2011
Callippo, obviously, you have managed to convince yourself that higher dimensions exist. In the end, where science is concerned, you must be able to convince others (as long as those others are reasonable). And you must do that by making sense.

You have written a lot that makes no sense to me, for example, claiming that non-Newtonian fluids, or the polarization of light are higher dimensional. Both of those effects are easily explained in elementary physics text books, without invoking even quantum mechanics or relativity. You do know that corn starch mixed with water is non-Newtonian, and is the result of particulates suspended in fluid, right? Adding higher dimensions to explain polarization of light, when it is already explained using wave mechanics is just complicating it unnecessarily. Your comment about compound eyes is just incomprehensible. Do you understand what a spatial dimension is?
Callippo
1.1 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2011
You have written a lot that makes no sense to me, for example, claiming that non-Newtonian fluids, or the polarization of light are higher dimensional.

Here you can see the general relativity simulation in five dimensions http://prl.aps.or.../e101102 and the real non Newtonian fluid http://www.aether...rips.avi

Five-dimensional camera http://guerillasc...ions.jpg
And insect's eye http://www.xyzttt...teye.jpg
Callippo
1 / 5 (8) Dec 11, 2011
You do know that corn starch mixed with water is non-Newtonian, and is the result of particulates suspended in fluid, right?
The anomalous behaviour of such fluid follows just from fact, the starch grains are of irregular shape, i.e. they can interact in hidden compacted directions/dimensions. I indeed know about classical mechanical description of these fluid, but the extradimensions are the formalism, which can be applied to the additional degrees of mechanical freedom inside of these fluids as well. The AWT puts the equivalence between these two approach: the geometry and behavior nested density fluctuations of particle fluid correspond the solution of wave equation in many spatial dimensions. From this equivalence its name follows: Aether Wave Theory.
Callippo
1 / 5 (7) Dec 11, 2011
Adding higher dimensions to explain polarization of light, when it is already explained using wave mechanics is just complicating it unnecessarily.
It just ads another particular theory for explanation of particular phenomena under situation, when existing theory of wave mechanics can be simply extended into theory describing the polarization of light by adding of additional dimensions. It's the consistence criterion, not the simplicity or even transparency, which leads the physicists into introduction of hyperdimensional models, opened to solution with various computer methods applied to hyperdimensional matrixes. Of course, these models can be understood easier with using of various ad hoced models without extradimensions, because our thinking isn't very hyperdimensional. But the mutual reconciliation of these models is difficult without introduction of extra-dimensions.
thefurlong
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 11, 2011

Five-dimensional camera http://guerillasc...ions.jpg
And insect's eye http://www.xyzttt...teye.jpg


That 5th dimensional camera is an art project.
http://superflux....l-camera

I really don't see what you're getting at, unless you are confusing extra spatial dimensions with parallel universes. An extra spatial dimension is just an extra degree of movement, microscopic or otherwise. It has nothing to do with the many worlds hypothesis.
Callippo
1.4 / 5 (9) Dec 11, 2011
It has nothing to do with the many worlds hypothesis.
I'm explaining the extradimension concept by examples with it. If I remember well, you didn't ask me for explanation/reasoning of many worlds hypothesis.
thefurlong
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 11, 2011
Callippo, the 5th dimensional camera is not an example of extra dimensions. It's an art project. It doesn't do anything, but sit there and be admired by people.
Argiod
1 / 5 (6) Dec 11, 2011
I think everybody gets Einstein wrong. He never said you cannot travel faster than light, only that you cannot travel AT the speed of light, unless of course, you are converted into light or some form of pure energy. Once we learn to create a tachyon beam, we will discover not only can you travel faster than light, you can travel backwards in time. Using a combination of neutrinos and tachyons, one should be able to travel faster than light, while also travelling backwards in time; thus counterbalancing the time dilation effect, so one may travel far out in the universe, and still return home in your own time-frame... i.e., you will not come back many centuries in the future, but close to the time of departure. All science is the art of balance between equilibrium and creative imbalance. Consider the laser, which cannot lase if there is not a slight imbalance in the media to be lased.

Of course, this is just my opinion; I could be wrong.
Cube
not rated yet Dec 11, 2011
that joke was actually very funny
Nanobanano
1 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2011
Argloid:

Let me know when you figure it out, ok?

Tachyons, ok fine.

Let's do a "Send a radio signal back in time" type experiment first, before we try it on something living.

I think sending some particles or some EM radiation through a wormhole ought to be a LOT easier than sending a human in a space ship through a wormhole.

Maybe Frank Parker will come back from the future in a time machine... Decent TV show anyway, I guess...
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2011
There is another possibility I expressed that doesn't seem to have been addressed here.

Gravity.

The strength of the earth's gravity changes at subterranean levels due to both Shell Theorem and local density anomalies.

This would cause alterations in gravitational time dilation along the path of the particle, which is a Cord of the Earth's cross-section, ergo diff. depths at diff. times.
Hmmm. Perhaps but I am not prepared to seriously entertain your hypothesis without at least 15 posts full of number spaghetti to back it up.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2011
Those who refuse to do the math are usually the ones speaking nonsense.
ghostspace
3.7 / 5 (3) Dec 11, 2011
Einstein's equations say nothing can travel faster than "c". How do we know light travels at "c" and not some value slightly less than "c"? If this were the case, perhaps the speed of light < speed of neutrions <= c.
ghostspace
3 / 5 (2) Dec 11, 2011
I see Supercat765 beat me to it. While I'm here..doesn't it seem that space and time are granular and "c" is just the smallest length divided by the smallest unit of time. For light (or a neutrino) to pass through one unit of space, the least amount of time it can spend there is one unit of time.
rah
1 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2011
This is a case of the uneducated science journalists confusing the uneducated public. The uneducated public assumes that the science reporters must surely understand what they are reporting, and a circle of confusion and incorrect information gets repeated so many times that it becomes accepted as "fact" when it was just stupidity from the beginning. There are no, and were no faster than light neutrinos. If they have any mass at all, then they cannot even move as fast as light. The Italians were wrong. Sheesh.
braindead
5 / 5 (3) Dec 12, 2011
Also, please stop suggesting that Einstein might have been "wrong." Einstein wasn't wrong and more than you're wrong when I ask you what the numerical value of PI is, and you tell me "3.1415926." You would both be right in that you both approximated nature to pretty good accuracy. He never said "General Relativity completely explains this universe, therefore it will never be modified." I don't know why people are so obsessed with proving him wrong? Is it genius envy?

Agree - no more than Newton was wrong either- he also devised a pretty good approximation of gravity as you will find out if you fall out of a window!
Callippo
1 / 5 (6) Dec 12, 2011
If they have any mass at all, then they cannot even move as fast as light. The Italians were wrong. Sheesh..
I presume, most of people here understand, why the neutrinos should have subluminal speed. It's requires the change of the whole paradigm of thinking of mainstream physics. At the water surface you can consider the surface waves independent to the underwater and you can assume, they will follow the invariance of wave speed ad infinitum. But the waves at the real water surface suffer with dispersion and they don't behave so in full extent - it's the intrinsic property of the particle nature of their environment. Even the general relativity admits the deviations from the postulates of special relativity. For example Lense-Thirring drag is behaving like reference frame drag of aether theory and it's even predicted with general relativity. It manifests itself at large scale, so we shouldn't be surprised, at small scale such deviations are possible too, at least in principle.
Callippo
1 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2011
The main problem of mainstream physics is, it's today controlled with schematically thinking people, who lack the ability to think logically in nonformal way. It's because the existing theories are completely unintuitive and they don't provide any clue, what's going on. It's because the mainstream physicists separated the behavior of rich foamy space-time to the two main perspectives, which are enabling to describe it in deterministic way: the general relativity and quantum mechanics. It's similar to description of water surface from perspective of pure transverse and pure longitudinal waves whereas nothing else is inbetween. These two approaches describe the water surface from inside and from outside perspective, so they cannot be reconciled. But in the foamy environment the energy is spreading in all directions, virtually everything is possible in limited extent. There are no hard rules for description of reality.
Callippo
1 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2011
If they have any mass at all, then they cannot even move as fast as light.
In analogy with water surface, the objects which deform the water surface in positive way cannot move with higher speed, than the speed of surface ripples. For example, for the coastal waves the speed of surface waves can exceed the speed of waves at the open speed. In this moment the foamy cups are formed, which prohibits the waves to move in faster speed and breaking of waves occurs.

http://www.painet...1918.JPG

The water surface still enables the propagation of underwater solitons, which are moving with somewhat faster speed, than the surface ripples. The so-called Falaco solitons deform water surface too, so they behave like any other surface soliton of positive mass (their deform of water surface is clearly visible here http://www.youtub...wZ39EDmw ) But the mechanism of their motion is completely different, they're moving mostly in extradimensions of water surface.
thefurlong
1 / 5 (4) Dec 12, 2011
There are no, and were no faster than light neutrinos. If they have any mass at all, then they cannot even move as fast as light. The Italians were wrong. Sheesh.


Can you elaborate, please, rah? Of course we can't say with certainty that neutrinos traveled faster than light, but very reputable sources have announced the results of the Opera experiment, which involved measuring a time of flight to be faster than light. Quantum Diaries posted an entire real time blog posting corresponding to the information session that the team hosted on he result.
thefurlong
2.7 / 5 (7) Dec 12, 2011
Agree - no more than Newton was wrong either- he also devised a pretty good approximation of gravity as you will find out if you fall out of a window!


Yeah, but in particular, people seem really uncomfortable with Einstein being right. Is it because relativity limits our ability to travel faster than light?
rawa1
1 / 5 (5) Dec 12, 2011
people seem really uncomfortable with Einstein being right
It's because the relativity is valid only for surprisingly small portion of distance scale. Bellow human observer scale (wavelenght of CMBR, i.e. ~ 2cm) the observable reality is driven with quantum mechanics. At the very large and small scale the Universe appears random. So that relativistic scale is constrained just to cosmological scale, where the space-time is roughly flat and the massive objects are roughly spherical. http://www.aether...cale.gif
In addition, this narrow zone is still limited from both sides with areas (labelled with dark stripes at the above scheme), where CP symmetry violation becomes pronounced. It gives the pear shape to objects, which should by otherwise spherical.
vkbg
1 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2011
even a tiny difference in speed would be noticeable for neutrinos coming from supernovae light years away. Has that been observed?
rawa1
1 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2011
even a tiny difference in speed would be noticeable for neutrinos coming from supernovae light years away. Has that been observed?
It indeed was in few cases (SN 1987A well documented), but this difference wasn't so large, as it would correspond the OPERA results. It indicates the energetic dependence of neutrino speed. http://cr4.global...EF89.jpg
Nanobanano
1 / 5 (4) Dec 14, 2011
even a tiny difference in speed would be noticeable for neutrinos coming from supernovae light years away. Has that been observed?


I think it has been detected, or suggested a few times.

But the trouble is you normally find SN with an optical or x-ray, which if the neutrinos are faster, then by the time you know it's happening you've already missed the data...

You'd need to detect a stream of neutrinos at three or more neutrino detectors*, triangulate a "rough" direction of origin, then correctly realize that it was from a SN, and then quickly tell an observatory to be on the lookout,a nd then verify later with observations from observatory...

* aren't very many of such experiments even being done, only a handful in the world, I'm sure...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.