Particles found to break speed of light

Fundamental shift in our knowledge of the laws of physics, or experimental error?

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

“We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing,” he said. “We now want colleagues to check them independently.”

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a “cosmic constant” and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

The idea isn’t new, even in physics circles. I know back in college I read about a different theory of relativity that would allow for FTL movement, and also didn’t require the “fudge factor” of dark matter or dark energy to make observed results fit the theory, like the currently accepted model does (and if I could remember what it was called, or enough detail to find it in a Google search, I would provide a link). Of course, whether that other theory is right or not is a completely separate question.

This discovery, if confirmed, opens up a whole slew of new questions. But I would point out to the manmade climate change crowd that this is a stunning example that the science is never truly settled. New evidence can be discovered at any time that contradicts the current understanding. If the science is “settled,” then it’s no longer science, it’s religion.


[Source: article, retrieved 9/22/11]

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1 Comment

  1. Braden Lynch

     /  September 27, 2011

    Yeah, I’ll beleive it if verified by a bunch of other scientists. Sorry, but the cold fusion flop should make anyone very skeptical.


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