Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Matthew, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit
    NY Times ^ | September 22, 2011 | DENNIS OVERBYE
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/science/23speed.html
    Roll over, Einstein?

    The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit — the speed of light — that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.

    If true, it is a result that would change the world. But that “if” is enormous.

    Even before the European physicists had presented their results — in a paper that appeared on the physics Web site arXiv.org on Thursday night and in a seminar at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, on Friday — a chorus of physicists had risen up on blogs and elsewhere arguing that it was way too soon to give up on Einstein and that there was probably some experimental error. Incredible claims require incredible evidence.

    “These guys have done their level best, but before throwing Einstein on the bonfire, you would like to see an independent experiment,” said John Ellis, a CERN theorist who has published work on the speeds of the ghostly particles known as neutrinos.

    According to scientists familiar with the paper, the neutrinos raced from a particle accelerator at CERN outside Geneva, where they were created, to a cavern underneath Gran Sasso in Italy, a distance of about 450 miles, about 60 nanoseconds faster than it would take a light beam. That amounts to a speed greater than light by about 0.0025 percent (2.5 parts in a hundred thousand).

    Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with longstanding notions of cause and effect. Einstein himself — the author of modern physics, whose theory of relativity established the speed of light as the ultimate limit — said that if you could send a...

    (Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
     
  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Should this prove to be the case, rather than an instrumental error, it will definately rewrite the physics books. Then, of course, we have to explain why Relitivity works well in other areas. Newtonian physics, even though outdated by Relitivity and quantum mechanics, is still used for most applications. Wonder if Relitivity will fare as well if this finding turns out to be true.
     
  3. Big Black Dog
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    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Somebody's wearing the aluminum foil hat today...
     
  4. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Speed is relative.

    It is ALL a matter of perspective

    Consider the possiblity that the nuetrinos are standing still and the rest of the cosmos is (relatively speaking, at least) moving faster than the speed of light.

    That might explain why I often feel slightly car sick even when I am not in car, I suppose.
     
  5. IanC
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    IanC Gold Member

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    overturning the Null Hypothesis of the universal speed limit would take a lot of evidence and time. it will certainly increase knowledge no matter what the final result is.
     
  6. Matthew
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    Matthew Blue dog all the way!

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    With this finding the null hypothesis of the universal speed limit is now on less firm ground then the hypothesis of the green house effect. Yet, some argue that the green house effect hypothesis is all a lie.:eusa_whistle:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  7. LOki
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    LOki The Yaweh of Mischief

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    I pretty much always have know that the speed of light is broken.
     
  8. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Yeah, but AGW is still "settled science" right?
     
  9. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i keep reading but still dont get it.....
     
  10. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i dont think one should think of this as Einstein being wrong but that as our understanding of the universe expands so do the discoveries.....but i still dont get the things that dont move but move faster than the speed of light...i am missing something
     

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