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Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light ! 

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Old 09-22-2011, 05:41 PM
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Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

Speed-of-light experiments give baffling result at Cern
By Jason Palmer Science and technology reporter, BBC News
Gran Sasso sign The neutrinos are fired deep under the Italian Alps at Gran Sasso
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Puzzling results from Cern, home of the LHC, have confounded physicists - because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.

Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

The result - which threatens to upend a century of physics - will be put online for scrutiny by other scientists.

In the meantime, the group says it is being very cautious about its claims.

"We tried to find all possible explanations for this," said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration.

"We wanted to find a mistake - trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't," he told BBC News.

"When you don't find anything, then you say 'Well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'"
Caught speeding?

The speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit, and much of modern physics - as laid out in part by Albert Einstein in his special theory of relativity - depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it.

Thousands of experiments have been undertaken to measure it ever more precisely, and no result has ever spotted a particle breaking the limit.

But Dr Ereditato and his colleagues have been carrying out an experiment for the last three years that seems to suggest neutrinos have done just that.

Neutrinos come in a number of types, and have recently been seen to switch spontaneously from one type to another.

The team prepares a beam of just one type, muon neutrinos, sending them from Cern to an underground laboratory at Gran Sasso in Italy to see how many show up as a different type, tau neutrinos.

In the course of doing the experiments, the researchers noticed that the particles showed up a few billionths of a second sooner than light would over the same distance.

The team measured the travel times of neutrino bunches some 15,000 times, and have reached a level of statistical significance that in scientific circles would count as a formal discovery.

But the group understands that what are known as "systematic errors" could easily make an erroneous result look like a breaking of the ultimate speed limit, and that has motivated them to publish their measurements.

"My dream would be that another, independent experiment finds the same thing - then I would be relieved," Dr Ereditato said.

But for now, he explained, "we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy".

"And of course the consequences can be very serious."

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Old 09-23-2011, 03:39 PM
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Amazing!

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Old 09-23-2011, 04:57 PM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

Just read this on my AOL homepage

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Old 10-02-2011, 06:36 AM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

cl!

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:53 AM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

Quote:
Neutrino experiment repeat at Cern finds same result
By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

The team which found that neutrinos may travel faster than light has carried out an improved version of their experiment - and confirmed the result.


If confirmed by other experiments, the find could undermine one of the basic principles of modern physics.

Critics of the first report in September had said that the long bunches of neutrinos (tiny particles) used could introduce an error into the test.

The new work used much shorter bunches.

It has been posted to the Arxiv repository and submitted to the Journal of High Energy Physics, but has not yet been reviewed by the scientific community.

The experiments have been carried out by the Opera collaboration - short for Oscillation Project with Emulsion (T)racking Apparatus.

It hinges on sending bunches of neutrinos created at the Cern facility (actually produced as decays within a long bunch of protons produced at Cern) through 730km (454 miles) of rock to a giant detector at the INFN-Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy.

The initial series of experiments, comprising 15,000 separate measurements spread out over three years, found that the neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second faster than light would have, travelling unimpeded over the same distance.

The idea that nothing can exceed the speed of light in a vacuum forms a cornerstone in physics - first laid out by James Clerk Maxwell and later incorporated into Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity.

Timing is everything

Initial analysis of the work by the wider scientific community argued that the relatively long-lasting bunches of neutrinos could introduce a significant error into the measurement.

Those bunches lasted 10 millionths of a second - 160 times longer than the discrepancy the team initially reported in the neutrinos' travel time.

To address that, scientists at Cern adjusted the way in which the proton beams were produced, resulting in bunches just three billionths of a second long.

When the Opera team ran the improved experiment 20 times, they found almost exactly the same result.

"This is reinforcing the previous finding and ruling out some possible systematic errors which could have in principle been affecting it," said Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration.

"We didn't think they were, and now we have the proof," he told BBC News. "This is reassuring that it's not the end of the story."

The first announcement of evidently faster-than-light neutrinos caused a stir worldwide; the Opera collaboration is very aware of its implications if eventually proved correct.

The error in the length of the bunches, however, is just the largest among several potential sources of uncertainty in the measurement, which must all now be addressed in turn; these mostly centre on the precise departure and arrival times of the bunches.

"So far no arguments have been put forward that rule out our effect," Dr Ereditato said.

"This additional test we made is confirming our original finding, but still we have to be very prudent, still we have to look forward to independent confirmation. But this is a positive result."

That confirmation may be much longer in coming, as only a few facilities worldwide have the detectors needed to catch the notoriously flighty neutrinos - which interact with matter so rarely as to have earned the nickname "ghost particles".

Next year, teams working on two other experiments at Gran Sasso experiments - Borexino and Icarus - will begin independent cross-checks of Opera's results.

The US Minos experiment and Japan's T2K experiment will also test the observations. It is likely to be several months before they report back.
Source : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15791236

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Old 11-21-2011, 10:06 AM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

Has to be mistake somewhere. No way anything can travel faster than the speed of light. To even achieve the speed of light, a particle would have to assume infinite mass--in other words, infinite energy to even accelerate to that speed. Where are all these infinite somethings coming from? Definitely human error.

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Old 11-21-2011, 02:46 PM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

"And of course the consequences can be very serious."

And once again as Einstein said...this means nothing to man!

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:08 PM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

what they need is for a different group of scientists to confirm the results through their own separate test

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:17 PM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

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Originally Posted by güttsfükk View Post
what they need is for a different group of scientists to confirm the results through their own separate test
That'll work.

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:38 PM
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Re: Neutrinos Exceed the Speed of Light !

Quote:
Originally Posted by dooshman View Post
Has to be mistake somewhere. No way anything can travel faster than the speed of light. To even achieve the speed of light, a particle would have to assume infinite mass--in other words, infinite energy to even accelerate to that speed. Where are all these infinite somethings coming from? Definitely human error.
I don't know about that Doosh, my farts are pretty quick.

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