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OPERA Group Repeats Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the looking-for-mistakes dept.

Science 442

gbrumfiel writes "Earlier this year, the OPERA experiment made the extraordinary claim that they had seen neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. The experiment, located at Gran Sasso in Italy, saw neutrinos arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than expected from their starting point at CERN in Switzerland. Others have doubted OPERA's claim, but in a new paper, the group reaffirms its commitment to the measurement. 'It's slightly better than the previous result,' OPERA's physics coordinator Dario Autiero told Nature News. Most members of the collaboration who didn't sign the original paper out of skepticism have now come on board. But scientists outside the group still aren't sure. 'Independent checks are the way to go,' says Rob Plunkett, co-spokesman of a rival experiment called MINOS."

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Frosty? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097366)

Pint?

Tachyon pulses into shield grids (5, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097372)

They make you reset the shield harmonics

Supernovas (5, Interesting)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097398)

As others here noted last time this result came around, if neutrinos really travel that much faster than the speed of light, then we would have expected the neutrino burst from the 1987a supernova to arrive months, rather than hours, before the light came. Thus, I am skeptical.

Re:Supernovas (3, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097412)

That's exactly why I am not just sceptical but quite openly dismissive of any claims of superluminal neutrinos.

Re:Supernovas (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097454)

And thus you are no longer speaking of science, but religion.

Re:Supernovas (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097574)

He's not speaking religion. There's nothing metaphysical in his statement. He didn't say god wouldn't allow Neutrinos to be faster of light, or something like that. You cannot divide things just into science and religion. Some things are neither.

Re:Supernovas (4, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097638)

No, but it is fair to say that he's speaking Philosophy. Keep in mind that religion doesn't necessarily have to involve a god or God. The Scientologists have apparently made off well without God...

Re:Supernovas (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097794)

No, but it is fair to say that he's speaking Philosophy

You clearly have no idea what philosophy is.

Re:Supernovas (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097752)

His point (which should be modded up) is that God or no God, the essential difference between religion and science is that religion puts articles of faith before observed data. Which is exactly what the post he was responding to was doing.

Don't get me wrong: I think the OPERA experiment will turn out to be wrong. But neutrinos are so poorly-understood and poorly-observed that any blanket dismissal of OPERA's results counts as an act of faith.

Re:Supernovas (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097850)

He's speaking religion because he refuses to accept that his God Einstein's theory (Special Theory of Relativity in this case) can be wrong. It's sad, but very human.

Re:Supernovas (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097438)

Maybe the neutrinos went so fast they traveled around the Universe and had lapped light by the time it reached us.

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097622)

Or maybe some as-yet-undiscovered property of spacetime or the universe at the quantum level delays neutrinos over vast distances...

Unfortunately for us, replicating the experiment with a second team in a second location entirely from scratch will be extremely expensive, given that this CERN location used for the experiment is unique.

Not Unique (5, Informative)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097714)

Unfortunately for us, replicating the experiment with a second team in a second location entirely from scratch will be extremely expensive, given that this CERN location used for the experiment is unique.

There are other long-baseline neutrino experiments out there, such as MINOS [fnal.gov] .

Re:Not Unique (5, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098110)

MINOS as it now exists can only check the 730 km trip from CERN to Italy, not the 18-metre (60-light-nanosecond) trip across the iron "hadron stop" at the end of the decay tunnel at CERN, which may be at the heart of the result. This is because MINOS uses a matched near detector / far detector layout, whereas OPERA measures from the original protons (which are "upstream" from the hadron stop).

Posted by: John Costella | November 18, 2011 01:37 AM, Neutrino experiment affirms faster-than-light claim - November 18, 2011 [nature.com]

The 60 LnS thick hadron stop, and neutrinos getting to a detector 60 nS too soon is just plain suspicious.

Re:Supernovas (4, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097448)

Which would seem to imply that if there's an effect here, it should probably be related to neutrinos-through-matter vs neutrinos-through-vacuum. That skepticism is well advised, but it doesn't make it impossible.

Re:Supernovas (5, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097594)

And how much of a vacuum can you really get in this universe? With all the virtual particles popping in and out all the time. It seems you'd need to be as weakly interactive as a neutrino to avoid being slowed down just by spacetime and all it's particles kicking up all the time. Considering vacuum space is going to have something in it, I wouldn't be that amazed if neutrinos just travel at closer to actual C than light does.

Spacetime curvature (5, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097626)

if there's an effect here, it should probably be related to neutrinos-through-matter vs neutrinos-through-vacuum

That, or interaction with the gravitational field. Neutrinos from the supernova traveled through essentially flat spacetime, far from any masses.

Re:Spacetime curvature (4, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098120)

if there's an effect here, it should probably be related to neutrinos-through-matter vs neutrinos-through-vacuum

That, or interaction with the gravitational field. Neutrinos from the supernova traveled through essentially flat spacetime, far from any masses.

Neutrinos from 1987A traveled 168,000 light-years. Is there enough mass along that path even in interstellar vacuum to be the equivalent or more of going through a section of the earth?

Re:Spacetime curvature (1)

dmitrybrant (1219820) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098238)

That, or interaction with the gravitational field. Neutrinos from the supernova traveled through essentially flat spacetime, far from any masses.

How about the mass of the supernova from which the neutrinos had to escape?

Re:Supernovas (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097450)

This is so yesterday.

Re:Supernovas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097498)

If neutrinos don't travel faster than the speed of light then wouldn't they arrive *with* the light, rather than before it?

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097542)

Not in a supernova burst. The initial implosion is deep inside the neutron star, and there's a lot of matter shielding it. Light interacts with matter, so it gets delayed on its way out, but the neutrino burst from that initial implosion doesn't. The predicted delay was of the same order of magnitude as the delay seen in SN1987a.

Re:Supernovas (5, Insightful)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097502)

Seems even the OPERA people who first ran the test are skeptical, so you're in good company. :) I think everybody is doing a we're not sure what we've got, but SOMETHING is happening, lets figure it out.

Re:Supernovas (1)

asc99c (938635) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097504)

Remember though, the team who have discovered this effect have pointed out as much, and are also still skeptics of their own results. I don't mean to sound unskeptical of the result, but I think it is possible that neutrinos can under differing circumstances travel at different speeds.

That is unpossible! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097640)

I don't mean to sound unskeptical of the result, but I think it is possible that neutrinos can under differing circumstances travel at different speeds.

No way. Every time I get in my car and start the engine, I instantaneously accelerate to my top speed and stay there until I turn the engine off. The idea that variable speed can be achieved, perhaps through varying energy input, is clearly blasphemous foolishness.

Remember though, the team who have discovered this effect have pointed out as much, and are also still skeptics of their own results.

That is because they are heretics, and refuse to acknowledge what all Internet forum participants know - that Science must never be based on observation, skepticism and experimentation, but rather in a pure and blind faith in the High Preceptors of Science, who can be identified by their Holy White Lab Coats.

Common folk who only believe their own eyes can never achieve True Science, and should probably be burned at the stake to prevent the corruption of the young. Remember, the Currently Accepted Theory is holy writ, and must never be challenged!

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097524)

The OPERA experiment was repeated. The data your refer to (citation please) has only one event to support it. Please either perform a repeat experiment to support your data, or refrain from criticizing better supported studies.

Re:Supernovas (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097650)

Oh, come on, seriously? You're going to insist that we watch 5000 supernovas before you'll accept this as a valid point? A single carefully measured *truly independent* data point is more valuable than a thousand repetitions of the same experiment.

Or to put it another way: say you measure the voltage of a battery 100 times with a voltmeter, and measure 0 volts every time. I hook it to a light bulb and the bulb lights up. Are you going to insist that my single observation is useless, or is it possible your voltmeter is broken?

Re:Supernovas (3, Funny)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098026)

Well, there are two possibilities here, one of the is that anonymous GP is a prat.

The other is, WOOOSH.

Wait, was that a neutrino?
 

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097562)

wikipedia says that the speed of tachyons increases when their energy decreases. what if the supernova neutrinos are more energetic (thus slower)?

Re:Supernovas (0)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097590)

MaybE it's because the world is only 5770 odd years old, as the Bible claims.

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097614)

The Bible does not list an age for the Universe, nor even for planet Earth.

Re:Supernovas (2)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097742)

The Bible does not list an age for the Universe, nor even for planet Earth.

Tell that to these guys [answersingenesis.org] .

Re:Supernovas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097624)

And how do you know for a fact that they never?
Neutrinos could have quite easily just been whizzing straight past for months without a single hit event.
And considering neutrino density would have been lesser the further out it got, even less a chance for hitting the targets.

Neutrino capture is still pretty hit or miss when it comes down to it. (quite literally)

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097660)

Are we certain of the distance to the supernova? We have no idea of the exact distance of Betelgeuse [wikipedia.org] , and it's supposed to be relatively close (180-1300 ly).

Re:Supernovas (4, Informative)

chocapix (1595613) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097914)

No need to know the distance, what was measured was the delay between the neutrino burst and the light burst.

Re:Supernovas (1)

Will Steinhelm (1822174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097674)

Didn't catch it last time, so let me claim ignorance and ask... If the neutrino burst from the 1987a supernova arrived any time before the light (even hours), what is the explanation that doesn't include the neutrinos traveling faster than light?

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

arcctgx (607542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097792)

Simply put, the neutrino emission starts before the emission of light. This article has details: http://library.lanl.gov/cgi-bin/getfile?25-14.pdf [lanl.gov]

Re:Supernovas (1)

Will Steinhelm (1822174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097810)

Thanks!

Re:Supernovas (4, Informative)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097854)

A supernova explodes from the inside - so the initial burst of photons and neutrinos from the supernova is shielded behind the rest of the neutron star. Light gets blocked, but neutrinos don't, so they get out first.

Re:Supernovas (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098102)

a supernova starts in the core of a star. As soon as that happens the neutrino's and the light are send out from the core outward. The neutrino's ignore the matter of the star and thus they have only a ligh speed delay between the core and the outer layer.
Light doesn't ignore the star's matter and thus it bounces around for a few hours before it reaches the outer layer.
The neutino's and the light travel with the same speed after they have left the star so the delay the light has is still there when they hit earth.

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

PvtVoid (1252388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097676)

The new measurement is much more convincing than the previous one. The difference is the size of the proton bunches used to produce the neutrinos at CERN: in original measurement, the proton bunches where huge (milliseconds) compared to the claimed offset in the neutrino pulse (60 nanoseconds). This required a lot of knowledge about the shape of the proton bunches, and a lot of statistical fitting. The new analysis includes a special run with nanosecond-width proton bunches, widely separated from one another, so that each neutrino can be definitely associated with a particular proton bunch at CERN, with knowledge of the production time at the nanosecond level.

Personally, I'll still be skeptical until it's confirmed by an independent group, but the result is a lot more believable now.

Re:Supernovas (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097696)

Has anyone explained why neutrinos have to have a single velocity yet? Pretty much all the commentary I am reading in these stories assume that a neutrino from one source is going to have the same velocity as a neutrino from another source.

Re:Supernovas (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097824)

The theory is that neutrinos are massless, and massless energy particles always travel at the speed of light (things like light and gravity. And neutrinos). Why is a slightly harder question, but essentially it comes down to "because they can."

Re:Supernovas (2)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097826)

It's quite ingrained to think of neutrinos as being massless, which would give them a single velocity, that of light. That might not be helping.

Since at least two of the neutrino species apparently *aren't* massless, they then would certainly have a different, and slightly slower, velocity. But they're so light that that velocity would be somewhere up near the velocity of light - so while they won't have the same velocity, I imagine the spread will be fairly unimportant.

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097832)

Are you trying to claim that an uncontrolled burst from an exploding star and a carefully modulated pulse from a planet based generator could have different output velocities?

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097928)

The mass of neutrinos is very very low, for any energy much bigger than this mass, the
neutrino will travel at a speed very very close to the relavistic invariant speed, (which is
normally the speed of light). Interestingly for tachyons, they move nearer the speed of
light for high energy, and are infinitely fast for zero energy (which doesn't matter because
you can't detect a zero energy particle).

---

Axial force for Neutrino Speed [blogspot.com]

Re:Supernovas (5, Interesting)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097700)

OPERA measures muon neutrinos, not electron neutrinos. It's possible that only one kind travels faster than light.

Re:Supernovas (5, Interesting)

Richard_J_N (631241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097730)

Yes... but maybe we missed them. Neutrinos are really hard to detect, let alone identify the source direction. Given a non-directional, not-very-strong pulse, possibly widely distributed in time, an unknown amount of time before the supernova, which we weren't expecting, would it really be surprising to have missed it?

Re:Supernovas (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097736)

*Rolls eyes* RTFA - in this case the very first article by the OPERA group. They covered the supernovae - the neutrino energies are quite significantly lower than those used in the experiment. Less energy -> slower neutrinos.

Re:Supernovas (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097746)

If I remember it correctly, the neutrinos should arrive years, not months before the light. That can be explained by the fact that we just weren't looking years before the fact. I know, it is a quite weard explanation, for that to be true the neutrinos should travel on just this speed, not a lower one, but we do have weard data to fit.

That second experiment from Opera, with the short bursts just takes away all simple explanations for the result. We have now just the possiblity they corrected some delay wrong (they forgetting to correct something isn't a viable explanation), or that the neutrinos are faster than light.

Re:Supernovas (1)

boethius78 (1002975) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097764)

As I understand it, these are higher energy neutrinos than would be expelled from a supernova. I gather one of the theories is that the neutrinos can slip into extra dimensions at very high energies.

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097848)

"We would have expected the neutrino burst from the 1987a supernova to arrive months, rather than hours, before the light came."

What is the rationale behind that claim? Was the path that the neutrinos would have taken measured and calculated for time?

Is it possible in this circumstance that the path of the neutrino burst from the supernova was effected by the gravity of all the space-crap (excuse the scientific jargon) that it may have passed on it's path to us?

Re:Supernovas (5, Informative)

forand (530402) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097868)

This is addressed in the paper. The 1987a neutrinos have energies in the 1-20 MeV range while the OPERA result is for neutrinos in the 3-100 GeV range. That is around three orders of magnitude higher than the 1987a result. Page 3 section 1 paragraph 3 covers this (for some reason Slashdot won't let me block quote it):
http://arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897v2 [arxiv.org]
Superluminal neutrinos must have energy dependent velocities.

Re:Supernovas (0)

X.25 (255792) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097900)

As others here noted last time this result came around, if neutrinos really travel that much faster than the speed of light, then we would have expected the neutrino burst from the 1987a supernova to arrive months, rather than hours, before the light came. Thus, I am skeptical.

Yes, because the test conditions were the same as for supernova, so it is comparable.

Jesus, is this what scientific community looks like these days?

There are so many differences between OPERA test and that supernova, that it is mind boggling that someone would even dare to compare one to another (or use one to disprove another).

Real scientists will use both to learn more, not one to disprove another.

Oh well, instant gratification generations are taking over finally, I guess.

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098014)

As others here noted last time this result came around, if neutrinos really travel that much faster than the speed of light, then we would have expected the neutrino burst from the 1987a supernova to arrive months, rather than hours, before the light came. Thus, I am skeptical.

That's not true. If the neutrinos travel superluminally only as they travel through matter due to an imaginary mass term, then the difference would be hours, which is what was observed. Independent verification of the results are certainly needed, but don't be so dismissive of a result that contradicts our CURRENT understanding of the physics.

Re:Supernovas (2, Insightful)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098062)

1987a was 168,000 ly from Earth. The anomalous neutrinos had a excess speed of 1/40,000 c. So I'd expect them to arrive four years (ok, 50 months) prior to the light.

Except we wouldn't know what we were looking at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098132)

Because those neutrinos would have arrived some years before we saw a supernova explosion and bothered to look in that direction for any neutrinos we would expect from it.

We also have fewer neutrinos from our sun than we expected from solar physics.

Would this be because they arrived early and were discounted as rogue?

Re:Supernovas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098266)

What if the index of refraction for neutrinos is less than unity? If so, illions of light-years of empty space, and the neutrinos arrive at the same time as light. Shoot them through Earth's crust, slightly faster than light. Try shooting them straight through Earth's core. Greater density means greater differential. Then you know.

More tests please. (2, Informative)

nelson.milum (2494144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097452)

Of course, there is good reason to be skeptical of this claim. A post from Universe Today (http://www.universetoday.com/89933/special-relativity-may-answer-faster-than-light-neutrino-mystery/), seems to indicate that OPERA may not have taken certain things into account in their measurements. Something about the relativistic motion of the GPS clocks. I'm not a Physicist, so I won't claim to understand fully all of the data. but I agree that independent checks are crucial.

Re:More tests please. (5, Funny)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097566)

They're probably still trying to sync with time.windows.com. It's a common mistake.

Re:More tests please. (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097568)

Absolutely. They're planning on rerunning the experiment again and loosening their dependence on GPS to test this. Another possible (and loosely related) contaminant that doesn't involve new physics is the different clock rate at the two labs coming from the different gravitational field strength. Personally I'd expect that to be pretty insignificant, but it has to be checked before we all go haywire shouting that neutrinos are propagating off the brane, or whatever.

Re:More tests please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097586)

Precisely. Nature did an article on this shortly after the first claim citing the GPS clocks were indeed the likely candidate for the anomaly, because the researchers didn't take the clocks relativity into account.

Re:More tests please. (5, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097920)

Ummm, no? They didn't just use GPS clocks, they physically carried atomic clocks from one location to the other. Look up the actual science behind what they did, it's pretty interesting. Oh, and relativistic factors of GPS systems is pretty standard learning in basic science. Maybe there was a compounding effect that they missed... but I doubt it. That article is 100% pure speculation. And it's bullshit, quite frankly. Check out this: Ars [arstechnica.com] article for what the team did. (They also ran photons between the sites to check the time, in addition to GPS and portable atomic clocks.)

Re:More tests please. (5, Insightful)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098200)

Whatever it is, I give them props for trying to solve this in the most honest, transparent way possible and remaining open to being wrong. They're exemplifying "good" scientific method and that makes them more credible to begin with.

Try, try again... (3, Interesting)

isaachulvey (964254) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097458)

While I want to think that we could be on the verge of some new physics discoveries... I have my doubts. It very likely could be that OPERA is still using a flawed method and thus seeing flawed results.

That being said, if and when other (independent) groups can verify this claim, that will be an exciting day.

Re:Try, try again... (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098106)

I expect that there may well be some new physics here, but I don't expect that physics to be "Neutrinos travel faster than light". Maybe the neutrinos are being produced slightly earlier than we expected, that would be new physics. Maybe there is some localised small-scale faster-than-light-or-back-in-time Feynman Diagram chicanery going on, after which they settle down to traditional lightspeed travel. But one thing I'm pretty certain of - you can't use this phenomenon to send the lottery numbers back to yourself.

GPS tracking error (0)

lexa1979 (2020026) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097468)

Wasn't it related to some GPS tracking error ? can't remember where I read that, but CERN has found why they measured that speed and went public about that...

Re:GPS tracking error (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097992)

There was such a claim. OPERA claims they corrected for the potential GPS error.

how does this fit? (1, Interesting)

SemperUbi (673908) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097508)

Could this all just be measurement error? But the people who'd know are taking these findings seriously, so probably not.

Photons have to travel at the speed of light because they have no mass. What if there were a way for neutrinos to have negative mass?

That's probably too freaky even for physics.

Is there a way to do some arm-waving about string theory that makes this all work?

Re:how does this fit? (5, Interesting)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097684)

1) Yes, it could, they've attempted to take that into account. The main error would be in the length of the neutrino pulse; a long pulse is easier to detect (I think ~2000 neutrinos, or perhaps even more) but it's hard to pin down a precise time. The repeat experiment used very short pulses, which are harder to detect (~20 neutrinos) but which yield much more precise timings.

2) All observations so far are suggesting that neutrinos have a positive mass (or, to be more picky, that at least two of the neutrino species have a positive mass) of the order of a tenth of an electron volt or less. (Also, I think it would involve an imaginary mass to move faster than light, at least if you want to stick within current relativity - this result would suggest we might not want to do that, though.)

3) Yes. For instance, if we're confined to a 3-brane -- basically, a three-dimensional sheet that we and everything around us is trapped on -- and neutrinos are allowed to leak slightly from the brane then little kinks and ripples in the brane will let them take short-cuts through the other seven spatial dimensions. Gravity can do the same, but the idea is that neutrinos would be more tightly trapped to the brane, while gravitons can roam freely.

Typical Italian sense of time (4, Funny)

GGardner (97375) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097518)

Given my experiences in Italy, if the neutrinos arrived exactly when they were supposed to, Italians would consider that about 15 minutes too early.

Re:Typical Italian sense of time (4, Funny)

bindo (82607) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097642)

As an italian I can testify you are wrong.

You don't arrive late thinking you are in time.
You arrive late and blame traffic, war, biblical plagues; and share simpaty with other meeting partecipants.

I hope the neutrinos were early (for the sake of new physics), but still, they were behaving terribly rude! ;)

I think I speak for all of us... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097540)

Is this going to make their browser run Farmville even faster?

Might the time of day have an effect here? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097584)

I notice that lunch-time definitely passes faster than any other time.

Re:Might the time of day have an effect here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098218)

Time is relative-lunch time, doubly so.

skipdrive, slipspace drive, FTL... (0)

Dark Lord of Ohio (2459854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097602)

it's all going to happen soon! Then we will find the Covenant, The Flood, Wraith ehmmm themmm..... Cylons! Borgs and thanks to some genius Italian we will all die suffering from plasma burns (remember, rebels don't have plasma guns...), we will be assimilated and we are really screwed now.

I got it! (0)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097630)

So now we just need to figure out how to reduce everything to 0 mass or create a warp field. No problem. I'll take care of it. Of course, I'll have to bone up on my math. Lets see. In school I got as far as that. Hmmm. Anyone have a link to a basic algebra howto? XD

compare light with neutrinis inside massive bodies (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097634)

It might have nothing to do with neutrinis at all but be more general: the distance through matter could simply be smaller. Mass is known to change the metric, but maybe it does in a different way. What would be nice to check is to compare the light and neutrini speed through matter. Lets dig a tunnel through the moon ....

General Relativity is Wrong (5, Interesting)

invid (163714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097644)

General Relativity is a classical theory, but the underlying nature of reality is quantum. So General Relativity, like Newton's theory of gravity, is an approximation of reality. Now, I'm not saying that the neutrinos went faster than light, however, perhaps this experiment has finally revealed a hole in General Relativity in the way the equations are applied to the timing of the event.

Re:General Relativity is Wrong (5, Interesting)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097776)

Yes, maybe. My (more or less) professional opinion is that the experiment almost certainly hasn't shown this, and instead it will either turn out to be experimental error or a *demonstration* of relativity (either special or general; both affect clock rates in ways that can be significant for this experiment), but yes, it could finally be some experimental evidence against relativity. And since you're quite right in saying that general relativity is definitely "wrong" in that it's not a fundamental theory and cannot be treated as such, this shouldn't be terrifying - just very exciting.

But I'll withhold judgment for a while - I'm very sceptical about these results.

Re:General Relativity is Wrong (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097922)

That objects can't travel faster than light is in special relativity, which does not contradict quantum mechanics.

Re:General Relativity is Wrong (1)

invid (163714) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098260)

I don't think the neutrinos went faster than light (see Supernova argument above). I'm saying that the issue might be in how we calculate relativistic time with the GPS.

Light refracting from dark matter hypothesis (5, Interesting)

LeDopore (898286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097648)

(Near re-post of http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2507746&cid=37936976 [slashdot.org] )

OPERA shows light travels little bit slower than the fastest objects we've measured. A little while ago we heard that in galaxies far, far away, either the electric charge is larger, Plank's constant is smaller or the speed of light is smaller (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2507746). If it's the speed of light that's smaller, the required slow-down is of the same order of magnitude as the factor by which photons are slower than neutrinos as observed by OPERA.

Here's my take. There's a field of undetected particles (dark matter?) that refract light a tiny bit, and this field was denser in the early universe. This field would not affect the apparent speed of light as an observer moves through it, just as (ignoring dispersion) light traveling through moving glass doesn't pick up the glass' motion vector (i.e. this wouldn't manifest itself as the Luminiferous aether, which is experimentally disproved). Light from the 1987A supernova would not be delayed too much relative to the neutrinos because most of the journey was through regions of space with low dark matter density.

There: three mysteries (dark matter, OPERA neutrinos and the fine structure "constant") all tied together with a bow on top. If you know more physics than I (honours undergrad) and you think I've missed something, please tear into this hypothesis, either here or on my blog: http://many-ideas.blogspot.com/2011/11/ftl-neutrinos-and-fine-structure.html [blogspot.com] . I look forward to hearing from you!

Best,

LeDopore

Re:Light refracting from dark matter hypothesis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38097840)

I am intrigued by your ideas and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Experiment Methodology (1)

LordBmore (1794002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097904)

I am by no means a physicist, so maybe someone can explain this to me. Instead of just measuring the time that it takes for the neutrinos to travel the span and comparing that to the known value based on the speed of light, why not shine a beam of light across the distance, measure that time, and then compare the values directly? It seems like that would remove some possible errors in timing and distance measurement.

Re:Experiment Methodology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098040)

You want to shine a light trough solid rock?

Re:Experiment Methodology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098072)

There is this thing called "Alps" between CERN and Italy... google it to find out why a beam of light might be tricky...

Re:Experiment Methodology (2)

Message (303377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098098)

CERN is in the suburbs of Geneva Switzerland and the experiment was at Gran Sasso in Italy... probably a 800+KM distance

Opera is faster than light? (4, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097908)

Opera is faster than light? That should put Google's chrome out of business.

Re:Opera is faster than light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098128)

Try printing in Opera. Kiss your ink/toner good-bye!

Skepticism is fine (3, Funny)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097936)

But we should also stop assuming that the theory of relativity is more reliable than it is or that our knowledge is anything other than incomplete and premature. I think it is only a matter of time until we something that can exceed C.

It's getting interesting (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097970)

But I remain sceptical until an independent experiment ran by another team confirms it.

Not at overthrowing Einstein yet (3, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38097998)

Nobody's going to can relativity on the basis of one experiement done at one facility, even if it's consistently repeatable. There's just too much chance that you overlooked something, no matter how careful you are (and OPERA, to their credit, have apparently been *very* careful). The problem is that there's no other facility that can do this experiment at the required precision, and with no idea as to what we're actually seeing, there's no way to design another experiment to get another look at it. The next big news will be when MINOS's upgrades come on line in 2012. Then we'll have independent confirmation (or not).

speed comparison (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098012)

It might have nothing to do with Neutrinis at all but be more general: the distance through matter could simply be smaller. What would be nice to check is to compare the light and neutrini speed through matter. Lets dig a tunnel through the moon ....

Re:speed comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098270)

WTF is a neutrini? It's Neutrinos.

Release Schedules out of control (4, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098068)

These browser release schedules are getting out of control. First, FireFox considered updating as often as once every 5 weeks. Now, Opera is going to top them by developing faster than light technology so they can post updates before their predecessors were released! (Side note: I'm now running Opera version 10,573 and it's great. I expect to be able to update to 10,574 yesterday.)

Teeny Tiny Supposition (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38098168)

What if the neutrino isn't a moving object but an exchange of events? Don't be too hard on my because I don't have the education or math skills to propose a theory or provide formula; but, I have a theory. A supposition really. Anyway.

Suppose there is a teeny tiny object (tT) with the following characteristics.
1) In its natural state, a state of complete rest 0 kelvin, it occupies a single dimension.
2) If it comes into contact with another object, not at rest, it reacts by changing its dimensional state. Kind of like a heat exchange.
3) When it changes to occupy a multidimensional state it releases gravity.
4) When the tT's occupy multiple dimensions they make up objects with a strong force, neutrons, protons, electrons, etc...

My supposition:
Suppose a large sheet of these tT's are sitting at rest forming a massive one dimensional sheet. Along comes a tT that is not at rest, multidimensional tT (mtT). When this mtT comes into contact with a point on the sheet the tT's, in the immediate area of contact, change their shape and release gravity. As a result more tT's get pulled in. They in turn change to occupy more dimensions, create more gravity, and the process snow balls. As the tT's increase their multidimensional occupation they change into objects with strong force. The strong forces react greater and greater upon themselves until the amount of gravity being produced by the changes in state isn't stronger than the strong forces being exerted by the multidimensional objects they are becoming. Insert big bang here.

If my supposition is in any way correct it would be possible for the neutrino not to be a moving object but a reaction at the tT level. For example, the mtT comes into contact with the first object in its path, the next object's mtT's react by changing to match that object, which effects the next object in the path and so on until a duplicate of the original object is recorded at the end of the process. It would simply mean the reaction is happening faster than light. Assuming gravity at that minuscule level could be measured it would, at least, make my supposition a little more interesting.

nothing can reach the speed of C (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38098182)

nothing can reach the speed of C, that has been proven over and over again.
You would have to disassemble the universe, and then assemble it again to have any hope in being faster than C.

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