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CERN Experiment Indicates Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the they're-ahead-of-their-time dept.

Science 1088

intellitech writes "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 few billionths of a second early. The results will soon be online to draw closer scrutiny to a result that, if true, would upend a century of physics. The lab's research director called it 'an apparently unbelievable result.'" Also on the AP wire, as carried by PhysOrg, which similarly emphasizes that the data are preliminary. Update: 09/22 20:43 GMT by T : Reader Curunir_wolf adds a link to the experiment itself, the Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus, or OPERA, which "was developed to study the phenomenon of neutrino transmutation (neutrinos changing from one type to another. The speed of the neutrinos, of course, was an entirely unexpected observation."

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First Post (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483318)

The Particle then go back in Time!

Re:First Post (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483762)

Duh, that's the point.

FTL is time travel.

Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483320)

EOM

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483368)

Word. Something must be wrong with the detector.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (5, Informative)

bre_dnd (686663) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483388)

It may still be a consistent measurement fault, but they've repeated it 15000 times. FTFA: "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."

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483460)

Regardless of how many times you repeat a measurement with a faulty ruler, the measurements are still wrong.

How precisely did they measure the 732km?

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (2)

Claws Of Doom (721684) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483490)

Spot on - even down to the turn of phrase I was going to use to describe the problem: "faulty ruler". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systematic_error [wikipedia.org]

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483610)

Which they point out in the article you didn't read.

"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."

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483624)

They must have overlooked this point. Usually only senior/nobel level reasearchers can understand the extremely complicated system of faulty rulers and suspicious measurement results. In my experience, turning the thing OFF and ON again, would have done it.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (5, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483674)

How precisely did they measure the 732km?

Why, by closely watching oxens plough [wikipedia.org] !

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (2)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483746)

With commercial prospector-grade GPS hardware one already can get sub-centimeter precision.

If they used things like laser-ranging satellites then sub-millimeter precision is quite easy to achieve (that's how we can view the continental drift in real time).

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483530)

To put it in perspective, if it's true, neutrinos move at 0.0025 percent faster than the speed of light, so it's not exactly warp speed. But it DOES mean a lot of math needs to be redone!

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483598)

Actually, its 1.0025 times Warp Speed.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483414)

No kidding, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and this is one mother of an extraordinary claim. Unlike most "fast than c" research that the media distorts, it actually sounds like it would be possible to transmit information using this effect, which essentially upends either relativity or causality. But, these aren't just some cranks doing experiments in their basements, and they are appropriately guarding their choice of words to emphasis the preliminary nature of the research which is a good sign. Hopefully the experiment wasn't too expensive and difficult to perform so we can get some people started on replicated (or refuting) the results.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (5, Funny)

optymizer (1944916) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483458)

Hold on, I just need to wipe the dust off of this LHC I keep in my garage and then we can try to replicate their findings.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483506)

Hold on, I just need to wipe the dust off of this LHC I keep in my garage and then we can try to replicate their findings.

Be careful with that dust. It may still contain some dangerous microscopic black holes from your last run. :-)

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483542)

Fermilab has a similar setup which should be able to test the results. So does an experiment in Japan, T2K, but they aren't running at the moment because of the tsunami. The actual experiment shouldn't be too hard to do if you have the equipment to make a beam of neutrinos, just point them at a detector and fire away and see how long time of flight was, which means they could probably start working on it fairly soon, though it will probably take months or years to get enough data points to be statistically significant.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (2, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483524)

Bell's Theorem demands that either LHV or Realism (or both) are false assumptions. Physics was presented with evidence of the lack of causality almost 40 years ago, it's just that until now we haven't had any real evidence.

If this is a confirmed finding... we may have just proven that Realism is not a constant assumption of our Universe, which would make the Scientific Method itself a tool with limited but useful application. Or rather, it would prove that there are discoveries in our Universe that can be made that are impossible to arrive at via the Scientific Method.

(BTW, that to me is an argument for the exploration scientifically of other things, not a justification for blind faith as I'm sure many religious people will see if this is ever shown to be true.)

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483694)

Physics was presented with evidence of the lack of causality almost 40 years ago, it's just that until now we haven't had any real evidence.

You realize that's a contradiction? If we haven't had any real evidence until now, then we weren't presented with any 40 years ago. If we were, then it's not true we haven't had any until now.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483552)

Just for my own edification, how would it upend causality?

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (2)

JordanL (886154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483666)

He said causality OR relativity. If relativity holds true but transmission of information at FTL speeds is proved to be possible, then anything going faster than light will, from the point of view of the information being sent, arrive BEFORE it was sent. Hence, problems with causality, which are predicted in Bell's Theorem as I described above.

Again, this is only if relativity is true, and these findings are as well. It's more likely, IMO, that relativity is wrong than that causality is wrong, at least from an arbitrary view point. That is, as long as your view point is not constrained I believe causality will hold longer than relativity. But that's all just personal opinion, the science only gives us hints.

If Relativity is wrong then Causality may be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483758)

In the context of depending on an arbitrary and possibly wrong "speed limit," in this case, the speed of light in a vacuum. Therefore we may find it to be true that any mass can go faster than the speed of light at any speed and causality will be unchanged as it won't depend on any type of speed limit.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483714)

Well to put it as concisely (and more than likely as unintelligible to 99% of the people reading this :) as possible: The temporal order of events separated by a space-like interval is not invariant.

To put it it more simply, if you send a faster than light message, which thing happened first (you sending or the recipient receiving of the message) will be different depending on your the frame of reference. For some observers, the recipient will appear to receive the message before you send it.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483744)

Well, it's a bit complicated to explain, especially without being able to draw out the diagrams, but what it amounts to is if combine a faster than light signal with relativistic speeds person A can send a message to person B and receive a response back from B before they even sent the message that started the chain. If you don't mind learning how to read space-time diagrams (not really that hard) check out this page [theculture.org] for a full explanation.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (2)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483606)

There's an intriguing graph in the AP article stating that Fermilab saw something like this in 2007, but didn't have enough accuracy in their time measurements to support it. The AP article also suggested that CERN and others are looking at the data from the SN 1987A explosion (which showed near-simultaneous arrival of light and neutrinos from almost all observations) to see if that can be explained in light of this discovery, if it's real.

Thinking like a crazy man for a second and assuming this is a real result, either there was a mechanism in the SN 1987A explosion that caused the light to get enough of a head start for the neutrinos to just catch up to it at earth (which gets a few nasty cuts from Occam's Razor on the way out of my mind), or this is a really bizarre quantum-mechanical interaction between neutrinos and matter that only appears when neutrinos pass through matter like the earth's crust over large distances. (Which, in turn, might or might not show up in NDE data from SN 1987A, depending on how accurate the timing of the NDE data is from sites facing the supernova and directly opposite it when the neutrino front arrived.)

(Me, I'm with you. Relativistic physics as we know it says, "If you got this answer, your clock is wrong!" :p )

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483620)

Although this experiment may or may not be expensive, but further experiments will certainly be.

I would imagine that further testing would require greater distances. Current test is at 732 kilometers, the radius of the Earth is around 6400 kilometers, if we want to test further than that we will have to launch a target into space.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483554)

Nonsense.

Whats the speed of gravity?

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483586)

As far as we can tell, c.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483640)

Speed of light (max). When a mass moves in space, its gravitational effect of warping space around it (to infinite distances, though infinitessimally at those distances) affects other masses in spaces at the speed of light. A year after it moves, the space distortion it presents finally arrives and moves masses a light year distant.

If the Sun suddenly accelerated off its current trajectory that carries the Earth with it, we'd start to pull along only about 8 minutes later. Not that we'd have much time to notice before we were destroyed by the effects, despite Space: 1999.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483688)

9.81m/s^2. It's actually the acceleration, but as close as you can get.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

spud603 (832173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483708)

Nonsense.

Whats the speed of gravity?

Um... c [wikipedia.org] . What's your point?

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483572)

FTA: "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.

I'm pretty sure that includes "checking your measurements".

Besides we know that faster than light travel exists. You don't really think all of those UFOs traveled for millions of years in sub-light speeds to get here just to do anal probes on rednecks do you? Be rational.

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483630)

again, and often, i wonder ... did einstein talk about nothing goes faster than light from the observers point of view , which wouldnt make any calculations mathematically wrong i suppose, or did he boldly state that nothing in the whole wide multiverse could possibly move faster than light ? You think it's possible to, like, clone him , recreate the exact circumstances that made him old Albert and just ask him, or would it be more simple to create a time machine (which would require going faster than light ?) the resemblance between physics and philosophy often silences me (as it does now :)

Re:Einstein replied "Check your measurements, son" (0)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483646)

A-yup. Most likely they've either measured the distance wrong, or the timebases aren't perfectly synchronized, leading to this (apparently) "impossible" result.

First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483342)

Actually it's the second... the first appeared before the article was posted.

Zero Out (1)

what2123 (1116571) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483358)

Looks like someone forgot to zero the clocks...

Tachyons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483362)

Would these be tachyons [wikipedia.org] then?

Re:Tachyons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483400)

Neutrinos have mass. Nonzero but mass nonetheless. Nothing with mass should be able to accelerate to or beyond the speed of light per special relativity. IIRC tachyons are special because they've always been going that speed therefore they never sped up to the speed of light or faster. Should they decelerate they shouldn't be able to achieve that speed again.

Re:Tachyons? (3, Informative)

JordanL (886154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483550)

Tachyons, if real, cannot decelerate. They also have imaginary mass according to special relativity. Of course, perhaps relativity isn't as complete a theory as we once thought.

I think (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483380)

The researchers have discovered the Jew particle. This happens on the eve of Israel joining the CERN project. It seems someone told them that there was a certain amount of money (specifically gold) available at the other lab, and the Jew particles beat all the other particles to it.

Which speed of light (0)

EdZ (755139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483390)

Do they mean the neutrinos are breaking c (the speed of light in a vacuum) or the local speed of light? Even the latter would be extremely interesting.
The ultimate test, of course, is to watch for many physicists start winning the lottery.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483428)

The speed of light is the same regardless of the reference frame. That is what makes relativity fun. MY speed varies as a function of YOUR reference frame, but the speed of light is constant for everyone.

Re:Which speed of light (2)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483462)

But the speed of light does vary in different materials as a function of the index of refraction.

Re:Which speed of light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483684)

No, it doesn't. It just looks that way.

Re:Which speed of light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483686)

The speed photons propagate through different materials varies, the speed of light (c) is a constant no matter the medium.

Re:Which speed of light (4, Informative)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483724)

The speed of light in a vacuum (c) is a constant. The speed of light in a non-vacuum is not.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483480)

Not when traveling through something other than a vacuum. I think it's called refraction.

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Refraction

"Refraction is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in its speed. [...] Refraction of light is the most commonly observed phenomenon[...]."

Yep, refraction.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483466)

While the there is a good point buried in that question, the speed of light through dirt and rock, just like any other opaque materials, is, well, zero.

Re:Which speed of light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483532)

While the there is a good point buried in that question, the speed of light through dirt and rock, just like any other opaque materials, is, well, zero.

no it is not!
Not even for the visible spectrum. The photons are absorbed not slowed to 0 and then stop somewhere. For higher frequency photons the material is not opaque at all. For high energy gamma photons pretty much any material is transparent, but the local c still changes.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

rk (6314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483538)

I'm not aware of any material that is opaque across the entire EM spectrum.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483564)

Dirt and rock is not blocking all wavelengths. Radio will pass through (with the speed of light).

Re:Which speed of light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483710)

With the speed of light in that medium. You knew that, right?

Re:Which speed of light (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483712)

While the there is a good point buried in that question, the speed of light through dirt and rock, just like any other opaque materials, is, well, zero.

Except that neutrinos which pass right through dirt and rock like it's not there are still supposed to be bounded by the speed of light.

We're not talking about shining a flashlight here. :-P

Re:Which speed of light (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483484)

Do they mean the neutrinos are breaking c (the speed of light in a vacuum) or the local speed of light? Even the latter would be extremely interesting.
The ultimate test, of course, is to watch for many physicists start winning the lottery.

Article says that it's compared to light taking the same trip. That would imply it's the speed of light in whatever medium they're using.

It would be even more crazy if the neutrinos were going faster than c in some medium... that would essentially mean that neutrinos were behaving as if they didn't interact until 'we' decided to measure them. Not saying there aren't theories that could predict that, just saying that they're pretty much the craziest theories out there.

Re:Which speed of light (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483510)

Article says that it's compared to light taking the same trip. That would imply it's the speed of light in whatever medium they're using.

Light tends not to travel through 'the ground' very well.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483600)

Depends on the frequency. Low-frequency radio waves propagate reasonably well through the ground.

Re:Which speed of light (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483604)

"Visible" light tends not to travel through 'the ground' very well.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

P. Legba (172072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483660)

Visible spectrum, or all light?

Consciousness... (1)

P. Legba (172072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483608)

...creates reality. I like it.

Re:Which speed of light (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483648)

FTL != backwards time travel.

If light takes 1 day to travel a distance and an FTL neutrino takes 23 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds to travel the same distance and then reflect both back at the source, the neutrino arrives 1 day, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 58 seconds after it is sent. That is distinctly not the past.

Re:Which speed of light (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483690)

Hopefully it's c and not the local speed of light. The fact that neutrinos go faster than the local speed of light is not only well-known, it's one of the standard methods of detecting neutrinos. (Build a water tank in an abandoned mine and watch for Cherenkov radiation.)

clock sync (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483394)

How do you synchronize clocks to be this accurate in the first place?

Amusing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483396)

I hope those results are correct. It would be very amusing.

That small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483398)

I was expecting something huge, not some tiny measurement that is almost certainly a measurement error.

Re:That small? (3, Interesting)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483456)

actually they are saying that this is off by about 6 times the error factor
"CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. "

still i think somebody is getting a speeding ticket (attached to a Nobel Prize maybe).

Re:That small? (5, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483534)

And if it's actually an accurate result then it doesn't matter how small the value is. As soon as you break the speed of light by _any_ amount then the theoretical doors are wide open. According to Einstein breaking the speed of light by even just one nanosecond is _exactly_ as impossible as Star Trek variety warp speed.

Re:That small? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483716)

I don't think Einstein ruled out Star Trek warp speed. Indeed I think it's relativity that warp speed depends on. Warping space to shrink the distance between points then traveled in less time at the same speed.

CERN IS faster than light (4, Funny)

JetScootr (319545) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483406)

I searched for 'faster than light' on the CERN website, got articles posted in 2012, 2014. They put this new discovery to work right away!

warp drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483412)

here we come. watch out universe. the human plague is soon to descend on you!

Re:warp drive (1)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483492)

Ugh, I can't believe I'm actually going to do this but...

*nerd_voice*
I think the way a warp drive works is it folds space/time around the ship rather than actually propelling the ship faster than light. So the ship is never actually traveling faster than light, but it does wind up covering more distance than light does in the same amount of time.
*/nerd_voice*

Yay BBC News! (5, Insightful)

il1019 (1068892) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483434)

This was a rational piece without too many sensationalist remarks! How do we show them we appreciate decent scientific writing as opposed to the crap we normally get?

Re:Yay BBC News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483498)

I clicked their link even though I didn't RTFA. One more page hit is how I thank them.

Re:Yay BBC News! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483528)

Try here

http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/newsid_4030000/newsid_4032600/4032695.stm

Re:Yay BBC News! (2)

dapyx (665882) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483574)

Actually, the article does have a mistake: The Gran Sasso Mountains (where the Italian laboratory of Gran Sasso is located) are part of the Apennines, not the Alps, like the article says.

Re:Yay BBC News! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483644)

At the very bottom right of the page there's a grey Contact Us link (yeah, I know - it's not that obvious). Click that then select General Comments. I work for the Beeb - we really do appreciate feedback, especially the positive kind :)

My first submission: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483438)

Funny, yy submission didn't just copy and paste, yet this one got in....

I don't see why this should upend modern science.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483452)

They should just make c in E = mc^2 the speed of the nutrino.

Re:I don't see why this should upend modern scienc (1)

DontBlameCanada (1325547) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483594)

They should just make c in E = mc^2 the speed of the nutrino.

Very interesting thought. Photons interact with matter all the time and have been shown to slow down when passing through certain media. Neutrinos rarely interact with anything, so of all the known particles, they are a candidate to travel at the maximum speed allowable.

The shocking part (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483464)

Massless faster than light particles have been theorized for decades but what's shocking is this comes on the heels of Neutrinos being found to have mass. If true it could throw a monkey wrench into a number of models.

Sure it's almost certaintly going to be an error (0)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483470)

But it's still cool that having your clock/detector be 60 nanoseconds off is the different between rewriting physics textbooks and ho-hum.

Re:Sure it's almost certaintly going to be an erro (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483738)

60ns is a very very long time :D, I did measurements in the scale of 20ps with "home-brew" equipment... and even measuring particle physics at close range needs 2-5ns precision. So 60ns is not a small error, but actually a very big one. But I can't seems to find the reference for 60ns, "few billionths of a second" can mean 1-5ns too.

Not so fast... (2, Interesting)

Freddybear (1805256) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483562)

http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/italian-out-of-tune-superluminal.html [blogspot.com]

"...the neutrinos are claimed to have arrived 60 nanoseconds before the light. Because this is claimed to be a 6-sigma signal, their total error margin of the timing should be 10 nanoseconds (3 meters over c); recall that the distance is 732 km. I leave it to the reader to decide whether this accuracy is plausible given the messy birth and detection of the particles. One nanosecond is the duration of one cycle of your iPhone microprocessor, among other things. Ten nanoseconds is 40% of the lifetime of the charged pion or 80% of the lifetime of the charged kaon. I can kind of imagine that they're doing something really silly, like imagining that each pion or kaon lives at least for the lifetime and then it dies. But some of them decay immediately; this error could erase most of the 60-nanosecond discrepancy."

Re:Not so fast... (0)

itchythebear (2198688) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483632)

That's all well and good, but there is a problem with your statement... I don't own an iphone.. Obviously this discredits the rest of your post, could you please also make what you said android compatible?

Re:Not so fast... (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483740)

Seems to be all he does on that blog. Find things he disagrees with, and accuses the researchers of making mistakes. Hence the 100 posts proceeding this one criticizing climate scientists, even though he's not qualified.

Yawn. A few billionths... (1, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483588)

Somebody probably just left a slightly magnetized keychain next to something.

how do you measure billionths of a second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483596)

Someone explain how such a minute measurement can be consistently recorded?

Re:how do you measure billionths of a second? (1)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483662)

Why not? The gates in your computer are faster then that.

time travel.... (5, Funny)

thephydes (727739) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483618)

There was a young lady named bright : who could travel much faster than light : She went out one day : in a relative way: and came back the previous night.

distribution (2)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483634)

Eh, this happens every few years... what tends to be the case is someone gets a hold of one of the charts where velocities were recorded and due to measurement issues there is a probability curve rather then a simple line... normally you use the curve to determine what the actual velocity was, but you always get at least a couple yahoos that look at the curve, notice that one of the tails goes above C and get all excited that something is going faster then light.

New hope! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483668)

This brings back hope for the warp travel! Who wants to live in a jump gate universe full of crime and corruption? I'm glad I did not sell my stock in that delithium crystal mine!

Rotational issue? (1)

frith01 (1118539) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483676)

I know they have tried to factor out obvious stuff, but wouldnt the rotation around the sun ( or galaxy) mean that its possible they're hitting a target that's moving "closer" to the source?

Let's just hope they don't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483682)

Divide by zero...

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj105/callatov/Divided_by_zero.jpg

Why is this impossible? (1)

Chris453 (1092253) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483698)

And why would this result be impossible? Many have posted that the instruments were flawed or the scientists made a mistake, but not too long ago scientists were 100% certain that the world was flat too. Just because scientists currently believe that nothing can go faster than the speed of light doesn't make it so. Our views of the universe are always changing and saying that a result is "impossible", no matter how unlikely the result, is a bit short sided.

What speed? (4, Insightful)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483720)

Was it faster than the speed of light in the given medium or faster than the speed of light in vacuum?

Systematic Error (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483732)

60 ns / 2 ms is 3 x 10^-5. The speed of light has been verified to much better than that with photons (that would be a 7 orders of magnitude error on Mars ranging, for example, and about the same on LLR), so, if true, this is a neutrino issue.

My money would be on systematic error.

What about a supernova? (4, Interesting)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483736)

Neutrinos have been observed coming from supernovae from light years away. There would have been a very noticeable time difference between the neutrinos and the light at that distance if this were true. (Any astrophysicists about to verify this?)

I'm skeptical. I think it was likely a wiring problem. It only takes a few centimeters of wire to make a 60ns delay, and these experiments are notorious for using many wires.

Neutrinos are evidence of time travel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483742)

In Star Trek, any time you wanted to detect evidence of time travel, you searched for neutrinos. Travelling faster than the speed of light would imply moving backwards through time. Was Roddenberry's techno-babble a prediction of future discoveries?

So these neutrinos travel back in time? (2)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 2 years ago | (#37483752)

Take a look at this useful primer [andersoninstitute.com] about faster than light travel and what it would mean for modern physics. It sure would be interesting. No, amazing!

Did someone knock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37483754)

Makes you wonder:

1) If true and behaves consistently (whatever THAT means) in this "universe"
2) did we just yell, "We are here! We are HERE!"

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