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A Small Glimmer of Hope For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the wouldn't-put-much-money-on-it dept.

Science 183

sciencehabit writes "The CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva has confirmed Wednesday's report that a loose fiber-optic cable may be behind measurements that seemed to show neutrinos outpacing the speed of light. But the lab also says another glitch could have caused the experiment to underestimate the particles' speed. The other effect concerns an oscillator that gives its readings time stamps synchronized to GPS signals. Researchers think correcting for an error in this device would actually increase the anomaly in neutrino velocity, making the particles even speedier than the earlier measurements seemed to show."

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Last Post (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156157)

Well, if FTL works, it will have gone back in time to be sooner than that.

In other news (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156179)

Scientist admit... the world may be FLAT!

Re:In other news (4, Funny)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157065)

Mr. Relativistic Physics appears to be having an affair with Ms. Soap Opera. Therefore, please don't be surprised by any outcome.

Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidence. (1, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156187)

Sorry, but they have found two errors already. I'm not going to buy extremely outlandish claims with two known failures already throwing off the results.

Sorry, CERN, but you need to pick up the workmanship before you can be taken seriously.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156197)

Only on Slashdot would arn armchair critic post crap about CERN's 'workmanship' late on a Friday night.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (-1)

tysonedwards (969693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156385)

It's more that CERN claimed to find one result that was *too good to be true*, said result was found to be *too good to be true*, and now just days later are making the exact same *too good to be true* claim.

There is one of those children's stories about a kid, a wolf, and some towns folk that seems to apply.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156455)

Science doesn't work that way. It's not "should we believe him that there was a wolf", it's "is his account plausible as a real wolf sighting, is there any wolf traces and should we expend resources to try and confirm/disprove his claim"

Yes, they found one result "too good to be true" and now they're checking that result. If you'd RTFA (outlandish, I know) you'd notice this snippet at the end:

The two effects will get a new round of tests in May, when the two labs are scheduled to make velocity measurements with short-pulsed beams designed to give readings much more precise than scientists have achieved so far.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0, Flamebait)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156987)

The problem is that we have one peephole and one organization looking through it and crying wolf. Under normal scientific circumstances, if you say something preposterous, I go spend my $20 replicating your experiment and prove you're a fool. But when your instrument costs us billions dollars and you use it to make absurd, demonstrably insane claims, only to admit you're working the instrument wrong—and you do this repeatedly—you make us all look like fools for spending the money on you. Which is a shame, because the world would be a better place with more research.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Insightful)

Alamais (4180) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157051)

Uh, new science stopped costing "$20" a long time ago.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157059)

First of all, they're not making "demonstrably insane claims". They published the data they collected during experiments and are looking for explanation - which might be "experimental error". Discarding anything as "demonstrably insane" before you investigate the reasons for data you got is just the other side of accepting anything you hear as true without investigation. Sadly, latter is modus operandi for modern journalism, which is why this all got blown out of proportion.

Second, you sound like you personally invested in development of FTL engine at CERN and now found out it was a fraud.

OPERA was looking for tau neutrinos and found them, AFAIK, and FTL neutrino sighting was just a strange data point they will now try and reproduce to shut this case.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156463)

It's more like CERN isn't going to pull any punches and will release all the information they have about things instead of holding it back to make themselves look good.

Hell, some people seem to think CERN only did one experiment then screamed about faster than light. Instead, they did hundreds if not THOUSANDS of experiments before releasing a paper with a cautioning tone, asking for others to attempt replication or determine what could be the issue.

The fact that they found two *potential* issues, doesn't detract from the fact that they're an extremely cautious and skeptical group.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157055)

No one is debating that. The original press release said that they were checking results elsewhere to ensure that they were correct. Broken / miscalibrated equipment is the bane of every scientist, and with-holding of results until after several of your friends confirm things is always a good idea (it helps prevent publications of perpetual motion machines and what not).

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Informative)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156557)

Actually Cern did not claim it. It said that it had found some results that it could not account for yet. At no point did cern go "We have found FTL neutrinos".

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156569)

If they're effectively communicating to you that they feel the result is 'too good to be true', then you really don't have a lot to really complain about, do you?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156643)

Anyone with half a brain can figure out that any claim of "shit going faster than light" is too good to be true. Kind of like "you can fertilize your lawn with used motor oil, it's true!", "you too can earn 600 dollars an hour in your own home based business, just go to imacrackwhorewithnomarketableskillswhowantstoberichandfamous.biz", and "order this product now for perfectly safe, natural male enhancement."

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156875)

"This result is probably wrong" != "fertilize your lawn with motor oil"

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156545)

Only on Slashdot do you find scientists reading forums from their labs at 1AM on Saturday mornings while waiting for experiments to finish up.

*Looks over at refluxing reaction vessel*

Dammit.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156749)

You're not going to get nice shards out of that one.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156659)

I have to say that these CERN guys really screwed up. First they claim that they have checked everything. They ask for help to solve the riddle. Then they find out there is a frigging cable loose, but at the same time say that another error will probably compensate for it. As an experimental physicist I must say that I am a bit shocked by the way this is going. There are experts in the world on clock synchronisation. 60 ns absolute timing accuracy is not a lot. People in the atomic clock business do a lot better. How can these cern people have screwed this up?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156759)

I bet their networking engineers are frantically trying to distance themselves from such a basic mistake.
"It's the cleaning lady! She must have bumped into it!"

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156927)

As Albert Einstein (I faked my death and have been hiding in Venezuela because the Illuminati and Scientologists are both after me, for differing reasons of course) I have to say I admire their pluck. I didn't ever say that it wasn't possible for masses to travel faster than light. I said it was impossible for things of zero or greater mass to travel faster than the speed of light. There is plenty of room in the equations for things with negative or imaginary mass to move at any speed. They're on a good track and I would wish them luck - if I believed in luck. Anyway, Godspeed to them (pun intended).

John Titor is here and he has some questions about APL, but he's been into the Yukon Jack and I can't quite make out his question. Something about translations of a 6D matrix. Maybe next time, if there is one - he's fallen backwards into the pool now and may or may not drown, which opens up some interesting Heisenberg questions as he's just a teen and not been on his journey yet. I'm sure that will sort itself out in time (hint, hint).

Your online girlfriend says "hi baybee" and wants to know if you've forwarded the funds from her eBay sales and that wire transfer. Apparently she could use the money because times are getting a little tough in (Estonia? Chengdu? Lagos?) Darn, I can't make that out either but hey - her Roofies and my Viagra are kicking in so I gotta go.

Until next time,

Al

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1, Funny)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157069)

*shrugs* It may be possible to travel faster than light. However, we do tend to have a good idea how fast various known particles DO travel. There may be unknown particles that do travel faster than light, and / or other methods that allow normal matter to traverse space / time much faster than what is currently considered feasible.

However, CERN wasn't, to our knowledge, using wormholes or exotic matter or what not that particular day (Thursdays are wormhole days, Fridays are black-hole days, Saturdays are the day that they perform tune-ups on the chips they implanted in the EU politicians' brains, Sundays are tapioca pudding days), so no one is taking the experimental results too seriously.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (2)

fusiongyro (55524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156969)

How many gratuitous errors and claimed impossibilities do you generally consider acceptable in your version of science?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157035)

While not belittling CERN's accomplishments nor their professionalism, it is a little annoying to let the press pump out another headline talking about 'hope' while they are still dealing with potential errors in their experimental setup. It ranks up there with the "New Cures for AIDS" postings on r/Science, where a new cure is apparently found every week -> it becomes tabloid material.

The standard protocol remains the same -> fix the broken equipment, run the experiment, check results, run the experiment again, check the results again, call some of your friends somewhere else & have them run the experiment a few times, compare results, call another friend, run the experiment again, compare results...and so on, at least a dozen or so times...then, very cautiously, inform the scientific community that you are intending to put out a paper regarding said results, and have your editor & interested parties review an advance copy to try and find any errors, then publish & batten down the hatches. The general idea being that someone, somewhere will have properly functioning equipment, and they will spot the error before removing it (at a later time) becomes a political problem. Once it makes it into the science textbooks, it becomes almost impossible to remove, and what more, a lot of people will be operating with the incorrect information.

So, CERN should fix the equipment (upgrade if they can), check their results, do the rest of the above, then call in the reporters to state whether or not we need to worry about rewriting the known laws of physics.

 

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156203)

I should also add that I will be conducting my own experiments in my basement with a neutrino cannon, flashlight and stop watch. If I see anything interesting, I'll post the results here.

If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself!

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156265)

Thats why you have to do all your science from scratch. No handholding.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157071)

Agreed. I mean, what self-respecting super-villain doesn't have a particle collider of their own? The ones having trouble coming up with this month's rent, that's who.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156307)

Where can I get me one them neutrino cannons?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Funny)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156377)

Just reverse the tachyon field on your deflector array, and then inject a stream of polarons into the positronic matrix.

Jeez, do I have to do everything around here?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156483)

Only if you want it done right. Or at all.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156511)

Simple versions are actually quite easy to make. All you need is some aluminum (i.e. foil), a weak radioactive source (available by mail order), a controllable current source (probably the most expensive bit), and something to give it shape. A cardboard tube would work fine. Now just point the tube towards the sun, throw the rest of that shit away, and voila! Hundreds of billions of neutrinos will be coming out the end of it every second, for you to do with as you please!

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156913)

My car fires neutrinos out the back of the engine to pick up momentum and go down the street. The neighbors were making fun of it recently saying my car only uses weak interactions. I said quit pissing me off or you might get a faster-than-light whack in the head while asleep in your house at night.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157109)

It's been a while, and I'm too lazy to fully read Wikipedia, but I want to say from the decomposition of neutrons. Neutron decay = 1 electron, 1 proton, & 1 neutrino.
Though I may be wrong.

Wait, checked it. Close, the above is Beta negative decay, so it emits an anti-neutrino. So, you want Beta positive for a regular (electron) neutrino.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_decay

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156321)

At least we know that light does travel faster than sound. Often a person will appear bright until you hear them speak.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156435)

I should also add that I will be conducting my own experiments in my basement with a neutrino cannon, flashlight and stop watch. If I see anything interesting, I'll post the results here.

Ha! Unlikely! I don't see duct tape [wikipedia.org] on your list. How do you expect to be taken seriously if you aren't using the miracle tool of the modern age? What next, cold fusion without a salad shooter? Pshaw!

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156625)

Quoting ArcherB:
    > "I should also add that I will be conducting
    > my own experiments in my basement with a neutrino cannon,
    > flashlight and stop watch. If I see anything interesting,
    > I'll post the results here."

Actually, if you get any results, please put them in the first post so everyone can see them.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156719)

Quoting ArcherB:

    > "I should also add that I will be conducting

    > my own experiments in my basement with a neutrino cannon,

    > flashlight and stop watch. If I see anything interesting,

    > I'll post the results here."

Actually, if you get any results, please put them in the first post so everyone can see them.

If I get any interesting results, I'll post them yesterday.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

Guignol (159087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156847)

That's what your parent was saying...
Also, you don't actually need the flashlight to conduct the experiment, give it back to me please

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156217)

It's a good thing that no one, in the scientific community, or otherwise, cares if you take them seriously.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156233)

They care when they need money, and citizens are voting for givernments that will or won't give it them.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Insightful)

Arterion (941661) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156429)

Actually, that's just the current paradigm. It's certainly not the only paradigm.

Science begets technology which begets economic growth. If scientists wanted to make money, they wouldn't have any problems... they'd just have to start doing things differently. A lot of research is done by grants that end up being public knowledge that is published in peer-reviewed journals and it's all academia. If they wanted to privatize and get out of the academic world, it would probably be bad for society as a whole, but pretty damn good for scientists.

It's basically the idea of peace on earth, goodwill to all men, and that kind of thing. Pretty much our whole economic engine has been created by scientists. They should really be lauded as heroes for all that they do and how little they do it for.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156505)

Richard Feynman said, "Physics is like sex. It may have practical uses but that's not why we do it." Anyone smart enough to acquire an advanced STEM degree could do plenty well making money if all they cared about was making money - we do it because we love learning and creating and designing.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156775)

A rational government would take the money collected in the churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples and give it to the universities.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157247)

A rational government would not confiscate the assets of private institutions unduly.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157279)

So Henry VIII was the only rational governor in the history of the world?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (5, Informative)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156273)

The fault is not with CERN but the press coverage. The claims out of CERN was an effect they could not explain, and that was the literal truth. Now they are getting deeper into it and finding flaws, which is not a surprise when working this close to what is possible with current technology. Before they can reliably say either way, they will need to do a lot more experiments and have independent verification. The scientists never claimed otherwise. Who you should stop taking seriously is journalists writing nonsense about things they do not understand.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Funny)

TheCouchPotatoFamine (628797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156287)

sarcasm meter must be on the fritz again - all i pick up is asshole.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156331)

sarcasm meter must be on the fritz again - all i pick up is asshole.

Or perhaps you're just anal

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1)

AgNO3 (878843) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156339)

How does that explain OPERA groups results then? Do they not meet your standard either?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156361)

What matters is what's real, not whether you 'buy' it.

In this case, it's win-win for science. Either we get knowledge of FTL neutrinos, or we improve our measuring techniques/instruments. Who can complain about either scenario, merely because we don't come up with the answer immediately?

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (0, Troll)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156381)

Very much on point. Science results are at best only as good as the equipment and calibration that go into the measurements and as everybody except the so very smart scientists at CERN who decided to publish highly questionable results, it turns out now that there appear to have been faults in both.

What's more troublesome is the rush to publish these bad results and the resulting media show that can only make science look bad.

Bad science has that effect.

If you have a theory in which you are x% confident you shouldn't be publishing results that conflicts with that theory unless your confidence in your experimental apparatus, calibration and analysis are better than x%. Instead, you should say, "Gosh, it's a whole lot more likely that there's something wrong in my experiment than that the theory is wrong."

It would be damned hard to design an experiment that's sufficiently reliable to call relativity into question at this point. These guys should have their Ph.D.'s impounded until they grow some humility and common sense.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156437)

They didn't say the theory was wrong. What they said is we have a weird result and we can't find out why its showing up. You're mad at science writers who blow things out of proportion instead of saying the blunt truth. They had a weird result and were trying to find out what went wrong, period. Of course speculation about 'what if' it was right would happen, but that's starkly different from you're claim that they released a *statement* that current theory was *wrong*.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156529)

No moron, that is not how science works. They released these results so that their peers can independently analyze them. Many eyeballs makes all bugs shallow is the way science has worked for hundreds of years its nothing new. The media are to blame for the circus by delving into the middle of a process that they do not understand or care to.

If you do not want to read media hype, don't. Go to the source, get some data and send them an email suggesting they had a loose fiber optic cable.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (2)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156553)

You know how I know you don't know what their original paper said or how people associated with CERN work? Because you seem to think they took one measurement with uncalibrated instruments and then ran to the presses to publish "zomg, ftl neutrinos!" For crying out loud, do you actually think they would have originally made an announcement like this if there weren't a considerable number of standard deviations between expectation and result?

This recurring trope of "Armchair quarterback posits that people who have spent their entire adult lives studying X made a mistake because they missed some obvious thing the quarterback noticed after 15 seconds of thinking about X" really baffles me. One would think the (ostensibly) smart and educated inhabitants of slashdot would know better.

Re:Poor Quality Assurance does not boost confidenc (1, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156717)

This is how science is done though. It's not all "Theory -> Test -> Proof!" It's often just like this... messy, details, flaws, re-testing, often in cycles.

If we could get a OUNCE of this type of thinking applied to religion, God wouldn't stand a chance.

Poor quality assurance indeed.

Another Round! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156211)

I'm thinking CERN should run another batch of tests after they review their equipment. That's the only way to get some concrete proof without being subject to the prejudice that people throw around.

The new equation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156243)

E = MC^2 * (1 + ($M - $P ) / L ) + ( Ic/Ir )

Where:

E = Energy
M = Mass
C = Speed of light
M = Monster cable
P = PC Warehouse cable
L = Length of cable
Ic = Interval between calibration scheduled
Ir = Interval calibration required

Re:The new equation (2)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156327)

When we remember to include the Denon cable and compensate for its effects, the actual equation comes out to:

E = (MC^2 * (1 + (($M - $P + $D) * $D) / L ) + ( Ic/Ir )) ^ dem

Where:

D = Denon cable
dem = number of demons released

Re:The new equation (1)

electron sponge (1758814) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156447)

When we remember to include the Denon cable and compensate for its effects, the actual equation comes out to:

E = (MC^2 * (1 + (($M - $P + $D) * $D) / L ) + ( Ic/Ir )) ^ dem

Where:

D = Denon cable dem = number of demons released

You're failing to account for a crucial divisor: the number of Slashdot members who have had sex with another person (q).

So:

E = ((MC^2 * (1 + (($M - $P + $D) * $D) / L ) + ( Ic/Ir )) ^ dem)/q

The mean, median and mode are all zero. Some of us are outliers in the data, but we must press on. Using this totally scientifically modified formula, my calculations indicate the world will end on December 21, 2012, due to shoddy coding.

Re:The new equation (1)

slackware 3.6 (2524328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156489)

My hand is another person.

Re:The new equation (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156751)

If you divide by zero and get zero, you're doing it wrong.

Incidentally, this could also explain the black hole that has mysteriously developed near the French/Swiss border....

This will require time (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156245)

Doing measurements like this is extremely tricky, as it exceeds the usual equipment precision by a lot. I expect that confirmation either way will at least require months, possibly years. I would not be surprised if they need to recalibrate a lot of equipment and may have to build some especially for this experiment. Anyways. in the course of doing so, they will learn a lot and the improved measurement techniques developed will be available in the future. This is science at work. I do not find any fault with the researchers, just the press coverage. But the press has never understood how science works or what scientists do.

Extraordinary claims also require extraordinary proof. So the original measurement would not have been enough anyways, even if no flaws were found. I also seem to remember that they never claimed FTL neutrinos, but an effect they could not explain, leaving it open whether this was a measurement error or something not consistent with current physical theory.

Re:This will require time (1, Flamebait)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156371)

But that's the problem. They need to stop announcing things before they verify the results.

Re:This will require time (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156427)

Thats exactly what they did.

They released their results and said "we didn't quite yet figure out if there is a problem with our stuff, but here, maybe you guys can find something".

They didn't come out day one and shouted "we have FTL nutrinos, fuck all you bitches in chemisty".

Re:This will require time (1)

solidraven (1633185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156955)

No, only the major news outlets did that...
But the real problem we're seeing here is that they might be hunting for their previous result instead of reality.

uh oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156261)

Obviously they found FTL speed and are hiding it from everyone. No way they'd let this information out with the situation our world is in now.

Praise Jesus~!
Hail Satan~!
Allahu akbar~!

Like 0.0001% faster anyway (2, Insightful)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156279)

Just to clarify, the FTL claim was bordering on a measurement error from the very start, it was painfully obvious that they were using a skewed meter and measured the same error many times with it, for me, this confirms more then it contradicts the constant.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156345)

But a lot of discoveries border on the measurement error initially, otherwise the discovery would have been made earlier with even cruder instruments.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156375)

A 6 sigma is not usually considered bordering on a measurement error. Additionally, this was not an insignificant speed increase. 0.001% of the speed of light is still very fast. 300000m/s give or take.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157105)

0.001% of the speed of light is still very fast. 300000m/s give or take.

Take out a couple of more zeroes. It's 3 km/s.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (0)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157151)

No it's not. The parent is correct.
c=3*10e8 m/s , so 1/1000 of that is 3*10e5 m/s , or 5 zeroes.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157185)

except that 1/1000th != 0.001%, but it really is 1/100,000th, i.e. 3 zeroes or the claimed 3km/s. Didn't look it up, but even with the 0.0001% from the headline rather than the body, it still is 300m/s.

Re:Like 0.0001% faster anyway (2)

Jamu (852752) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157305)

6-sigma represents random errors. You can have 6-sigma, and also have systematic errors in the results.

dual doom for data (4, Insightful)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156289)

I think that at this point they ought to establish two different links using different technologies, for the data, in parallel, if they can. There they'll be able to say "Oh. now we're not sure which one is correct." :)

I believe Wizard Tim would say "Three links, I say three. No more and no less is the number." And something about swallows, coconuts, and neutrinos.

Re:dual doom for data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157343)

That's Tim the Enchanter to you sir.

Re:dual doom for data (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157383)

"What is the airspeed of an unladen neutrino?"
"What do you mean? Electron or muon?"
"What? I don't kno- WHAAAAAH!"

A good side effect of all this (4, Insightful)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156343)

Regardless of the outcome, there is a good side effect of all this. All the equipment will be checked like crazy. Everything is going to be blueprinted to perfection. We might even advance the whole science of measurement. We might come up with better procedures for QA that could be transferred to other experiments. I hope influential people are taking notes and applying what they learn to other situations.

Re:A good side effect of all this (4, Funny)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156365)

We might even advance the whole science of measurement.

And metrology, too!

Re:A good side effect of all this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157203)

We might even advance the whole science of measurement.

And metrology, too!

Metric is socialism!!1! Foot-ology, or inchology, or maybe mileology puhlease.

Re:A good side effect of all this (5, Insightful)

dasunt (249686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156701)

Regardless of the outcome, there is a good side effect of all this. All the equipment will be checked like crazy. Everything is going to be blueprinted to perfection. We might even advance the whole science of measurement. We might come up with better procedures for QA that could be transferred to other experiments.

In teaching engineering, I'm told, part of the experience is learning how engineering projects failed.

Perhaps science needs to include the same. Perhaps we should be teaching why experiments got the wrong result, or why an effect was not detected when it should have been. It could be anything from equipment malfunctions to sampling and interpretation bias.

Re:A good side effect of all this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156785)

Science! Fuck Yeah!

Schrodinger's neutrino (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156373)

At this point, can we just call it Schrodinger's neutrino and say that it is both faster and slower than light?

Re: Schrodinger's neutrino (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156815)

Depending on whether or not anyone observed a loose cable.

Only way to be sure (1, Informative)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156431)

Vasquez: [after barely surviving the humilation of a loose fiber-optic cable] Okay. We have several canisters of neutrinos. I say we go back in there and remeasure the whole fuckin' experiment.

Hicks: It's worth the try, but we don't know if that's gonna affect anything.

Hudson: Let's just bug out and call it even, Mat! What are we even talking about this for?

Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Hudson: Fuckin' A!

Burke: Hold on a second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.

Ripley: They can *bill* me.

Burke: Okay, I know this is an emotional moment for all of us. I know that. But let's not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly an important experiment we're dealing with and I don't think that you or I, or *anybody*, has the right to arbitrarily kill it.

Ripley: Wrong.

Vasquez: Yeah, watch us.

Hudson: Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!

Lab report grade (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156433)

According to my advisor, this error would have resulted in points marked off if made in the course of an undergraduate lab. Step it up, experimentalists! While you're at it, go ahead and observe Higgs so the high energy theory job market picks up.

Shut up Scully, with your 'logic' (2)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156445)

I want to believe in extreme possiblities

Two small problems? (1)

Dancing Propeller He (632229) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156451)

Once an impossible result shows up then they check their equipment? I think their calibration procedure must have got pushed off into the future just like the Nutrino's.

Any way (1)

Adam Appel (1991764) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156533)

IANAP. Why would neutrinos that travel faster then light travel linearly? I understand why they should, but if they violate causality why would they end up where you expect them?

Re:Any way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156615)

In relativity they say there is a speed limit for particles. We always assumed that it was the speed of light. It could in effect be slightly faster then light and causality is maintained. However we then need to explain a slew of phenomena like why do photons (massless particles) in a vacuum travel slower then the speed limit of the universe etc.

So causality can be respected if we can explain why a ton of things don't pass the speed of light when neutrinos do. There are ideas that there is an uncertainty principal in causality (really not sure but there was a physics conference last week at my university were a professor raised a similar idea). Equally it could end up that only particles that only interact by weak force can go faster then light but under the speed limit of the universe. This would be due to the fact that being able to interact with other forces would slow down the propagation those type of particles. Perhaps due to interaction with virtual particles that come from the fluctuation of vacuum some how slow down other type of particles more then neutrinos.

Re:Any way (1, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156637)

In relativity they say there is a speed limit for particles. We always assumed that it was the speed of light. It could in effect be slightly faster then light and causality is maintained.

What if causality is a faulty assumption. Goes against our intuitions, sure, but so do lots of other things physicists have discovered.

Re:Any way (1)

Wingman 5 (551897) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156829)

Causality, Relativity, FTL Communication. Pick any two.

Re:Any way (1)

deimtee (762122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157273)

Causality, Relativity, FTL Communication. Pick any two.

If I get a choice, I'll take Causality and FTL Communication thanks.

WTF CERN (0)

virb67 (1771270) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156623)

Get your shit together. This is sounding more and more like a fly by night operation every day.

It's not CERN (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39156667)

The original article is way, way misleading. It makes it sound like the people in CERN are to blame. However, CERN is just the source of the neutrinos. The detectors in the other end is the Gran Sasso lab in Italy. The whole shebang is called the OPERA experiment.

Now, the problem(s) were found in the Gran Sasso side. For a slightly more accurate reporting, see http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/02/24/finally-an-opera-plot-that-makes-some-sense/, especially the first comment.

we're so sorry ... Uncle Albert ... (1)

opencity (582224) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156723)

I, for one, was rooting for FTL. And I thought they'd have a more interesting gravity well or frame of reference mistake.
A loose cable? It's like they've got some out of work audio techs doing their setup.

Re:we're so sorry ... Uncle Albert ... (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#39156997)

Yeah, they should have hired an audiophile. They surely know how important high quality cables are.

lets say we found some particles faster than light (1)

v4vijayakumar (925568) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157029)

what now?

convert everyone into bunch of these particles
travel faster than light
convert particles back to everyone

what all we are going to do after finding this particle, can also be done now, like a thought experiment..

cannot exclude FTL neutrinos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39157131)

Uhm, I would read the post as
"since we made a lot of mistake, we did not measure anything. then, we cannot exclude neutrinos are faster than light, exactly as if we did not do the experiment!"

As unlikely as it may be...HOW fast matters, right (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 2 years ago | (#39157221)

Suppose, for the sake of argument (I know the chances are between slim and none, I suspect that the speed limit on the universe is to prevent game-breaking exploits of the universe itself) that FTL neutrinos are possible. How fast do they need to travel before you can send messages to the past?

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