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    Thread: Neutrinos observed travelling faster than the speed of light

    1. #1
      Member Photolysis's Avatar
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      Neutrinos observed travelling faster than the speed of light

      BBC News - Speed-of-light experiments give baffling result at Cern

      Assuming this isn't some error that they couldn't figure out (the more likely explanation in my opinion) then that's mindblowing. It'll be very interesting if anyone can replicate it.


      Those of you who don't know much about the scientific process: pay attention! This is what good and responsible science does: it tries to falsify the claim, is very cautious about announcing what would be a massive development, releases information on the experiment for peer review, and awaits replication of the results.

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      I saw this. Personally, I hope the people at Cern are just lol'd at. If it's true, then damn, that opens up a lot more to theorize about.

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      Member Photolysis's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Wayfaerer View Post
      Personally, I hope the people at Cern are just lol'd at.
      Depends on the nature of the error, if it exists. Sure, if it's something really silly then fair enough, but if it's some very strange error that's not easy to find the cause of then that doesn't deserve scorn.

      In any case, they're still doing the responsible thing by subjecting it to review and not making any groundbreaking claims at this stage.

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      Xei
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      Yeah, even the people who discovered it are essentially treating it as a mysterious systematic error at the moment. We'll have to wait and see.

      It seems doubtful that the results are right though; if the light barrier doesn't exist at all, it seems unlikely that something exceeding it would only do so by a tiny fraction. And it would seem to directly contradict (rather than just refine) the current model; a model which has tonnes of experimental evidence and even keeps satellites in space.

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      I realize I don't know much, but I'm interested in what these potential serious consequences would be if it does turn out to be true.
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      Absolutely incredible. So if this replicable there might be some evidence to show that it is possible to travel faster than the speed of light. Then this might pave the way for conceptualising new forms of travel methods.

      As well, this would also prove Einstein's relativity theory partially incorrect as a large part of it is dependent on the fact that nothing can exceed the speed of light.

      Edit:

      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Yeah, even the people who discovered it are essentially treating it as a mysterious systematic error at the moment. We'll have to wait and see.

      It seems doubtful that the results are right though; if the light barrier doesn't exist at all, it seems unlikely that something exceeding it would only do so by a tiny fraction. And it would seem to directly contradict (rather than just refine) the current model; a model which has tonnes of experimental evidence and even keeps satellites in space.
      Well, we will know for sure if this replicable. You are right though; eventually a new model will be needed then. However, I think this is just a flaw is the data as it will take much more than 1 tiny fraction of a second to disprove Einstein's theory of relativity.
      Last edited by Quantiq; 09-23-2011 at 02:06 AM.

    7. #7
      Xei
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      Not really. It's dependent on light always moving at the same speed... and it does. It's been experimentally verified (in fact the experiments preceded Einstein's explanation).

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      Interesting. Here is a sciencemag.org article on the experiment: Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light, According to One Experiment - ScienceNOW

      It has some nice quotes that seem to put the event into perspective:

      "Chang Kee Jung, a neutrino physicist at Stony Brook University in New York, says he'd wager that the result is the product of a systematic error. "I wouldn't bet my wife and kids because they'd get mad," he says. 'But I'd bet my house.'"

      "Still, Kostelecky repeats the old adage: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Even Ereditato says that one measurement does not extraordinary evidence make."

      "I suspect that the bulk of the scientific community will not take this as a definitive result unless it can be reproduced by at least one and preferably several experiments," says V. Alan Kostelecky, a theorist at Indiana University, Bloomington."

      Kind of obvious that this will need a lot more testing and review before it actually means much, but it has the potential to be BIG.

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      Perception Quantiq's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Not really. It's dependent on light always moving at the same speed... and it does. It's been experimentally verified (in fact the experiments preceded Einstein's explanation).
      Exactly, I know that.

      However, I referring to the fact special relativity states that a particle with mass will need infinite energy to accelerate to the speed of light. Since the energy is infinite nothing can exceed this speed.

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      Likely an error, but if this result is replicated then HOLYSHIT.

      Quote Originally Posted by Wayfaerer View Post
      Personally, I hope the people at Cern are just lol'd at.
      Fan of Fermilab, are you?

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      very interesting!
      i guess we wait and see, one thought though...
      is it possible to replicate this without spending billions on another hadron collider?
      ~your friendly neighborhood spaghetti monster~

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      Awesome stuff. Can't wait to see what further investigation tells us.
      http://i.imgur.com/Ke7qCcF.jpg
      (Or see the very best of my journal entries @ dreamwalkerchronicles.blogspot)

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      I think it would be pretty cool if they found out it was true.

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      saw this on the news today. they stated it as fact.

    17. #17
      khh
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      This is really cool. I hope it proves to be fact, and not an error. Because if it is fact, then I get to see a new theory about the university emerge. I want that :p
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      Just saw this on the news. I agree with everyone else. It would be totally insane if it turned out to be true.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dthoughts View Post
      saw this on the news today. they stated it as fact.
      Which is meaningless?

      Which isn't to say it's untrue... But you should probably stake your conclusion on the peer reviewed article.

      [edit] Nevermind, you live in the Netherlands, your news is probably 100 times more accurate than that of the U.S. I'm just used to bad media.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Invader View Post
      Which is meaningless?

      Which isn't to say it's untrue... But you should probably stake your conclusion on the peer reviewed article.

      [edit] Nevermind, you live in the Netherlands, your news is probably 100 times more accurate than that of the U.S. I'm just used to bad media.
      Depends, you get the world edition of CNN here. However, all the Dutch news channels are accurate.

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      This news would be a major discovery if true but I'm leaning toward a systematic error since trying to measure the time accurately is extremely tricky and dependent upon global positioning system which has at times displayed uncertainties in the 10's of nanoseconds. We'll just have to wait and see what the future data brings out.

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      Today's XKCD:

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    23. #23
      Xei
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      Hah yeah... the Galileo people are almost as insufferable as the science-discovered-something-new-thus-invalidating-all-of-science people.

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      Formerly known as BLUELINE976

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      Brain Cox is the man I miss him rocking out on keyboards in D Ream However, I'm definitely looking forward to what comes out of Fermi.

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