Skip to comments.2nd test affirms faster-than-light particles
Posted on 11/18/2011 11:53:59 AM PST by TN4Liberty
A second experiment at the European facility that reported subatomic particles zooming faster than the speed of light -- stunning the world of physics -- has reached the same result, scientists said late Thursday.
The "positive outcome of the [second] test makes us more confident in the result," said Fernando Ferroni, president of the Italian Institute for Nuclear Physics, in a statement released late Thursday. Ferroni is one of 160 physicists involved in the international collaboration known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus) that performed the experiment.
While the second experiment "has made an important test of consistency of its result," Ferroni added, "a final word can only be said by analogous measurements performed elsewhere in the world."
That is, more tests are needed, and on other experimental setups. There is still a large crowd of skeptical physicists who suspect that the original measurement done in September was an error.
CERN clocks subatomic particles traveling faster than light Video: Faster-than-light measurement shocks physicists God Particle riddle could be solved "by 2012"
Should the results stand, they would upend more than a century of modern physics.
In the first round of experiments, a massive detector buried in a mountain in Gran Sasso, Italy, recorded neutrinos generated at the CERN particle accelerator on the French-Swiss border arriving 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected. CERN is the French acronym for European Council for Nuclear Research.
A chorus of critiques from physicists soon followed. Among other possible errors, some suggested that the neutrinos generated at CERN were smeared into bunches too wide to measure precisely.
So in recent weeks, the OPERA team tightened the packets of neutrinos that CERN sent sailing toward Italy. Such tightening removed some uncertainty in the neutrinos' speed.
The detector still saw neutrinos moving faster than light.
"One of the eventual systematic errors is now out of the way," said Jacques Martino, director of the National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics in France, in a statement.
But the faster-than-light drama is far from over, Martino added. The OPERA team is discussing more cross-checks, he added, including possibly running a fiber the 454 miles between the sites.
For more than a century, the speed of light has been locked in as the universe's ultimate speed limit. No experiment had seen anything moving faster than light, which zips along at 186,000 miles per second.
Much of modern physics -- including Albert Einstein's famous theory of relativity -- is built on that ultimate speed limit.
Should Einstein be worried?
The scientific world stopped and gaped in September when the OPERA team announced it had seen neutrinos moving just a hint faster than light.
"If it's correct, it's phenomenal," said Rob Plunkett, a scientist at Fermilab, the Department of Energy physics laboratory in Illinois, in September. "We'd be looking at a whole new set of rules" for how the universe works.
Einstein’s gonna be pissed.
I tried looking up this information, but found nothing much: what makes light travel at any given speed; what governs it? Is it the maximum speed of an electron in orbit around a nucleus?
Everyone be sure to keep this in mind the next time some blowhard claims that “the science is settled” regarding global warming.
So? The speed of light is something most people will never grasp. Of the few who can, most of them don’t care. It is interesting to a miniscule portion of the planet, just something else for the 99% to protest.
I’ve never believed in the light-speed limit. Ever.
Not that I had a scientific reason for it....it just sounds stupid to me.
It’d be cool if the experiments are confirmed by other teams: I don’t mind being right for no reason other than I totally guessed the answer.....
Einstein doesn’t care. He’s dead. He has other things to worry about, or he doesn’t. In that case, he can ask God directly for the secrets of the universe.
If there is a consensus it has to be the truth! Right?
Superluminal speeds just ain’t what they used to be!
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts
Einstein may now have been debunked on the Speed of Light, as was in his theorems gravitational forces.
We think we know so much, when we hardly know anything
“I tried looking up this information, but found nothing much: what makes light travel at any given speed; what governs it?”
I am thinking the NRC or maybe the EPA governs it.
“He has other things to worry about, or he doesnt”
They didn’t bury him in that box with the cat, did they?
Next Wednesday afternoon on the interstates leaving Atlanta the cops won't bother pulling over anyone doing less than that.
Quite right. This second experiment presumably measures time-of-flight in the same way as the first one did - and I'm betting there's an incorrect assumption (or perhaps subtle equipment malfunction) in that measurement.
Proves at least what I have always thought could happen, is that we could actually be going down a branch of physics that, however suitable for many purposes, is actually a rabbit trail.
Should this be accepted as good data, it opens up a whole new debate as to how did this happen, who did what and why, is this similar to the East Anglia debacle, to further one’s own carrer, political, etc.
Damn, I miss that congresscritter from Ohio with the muskrat on his head.
Then again, had Einstein been aware of this new information, he may have been able to work out his unification theory.
I don’t miss him.
Trafficant was entertaining but he was still a crook rat.
There is no way! Einstein himself used this in computations. Science cannot be wrong again. Say it isn’t so. Isn’t anything settled anymore.
I’ve never bought into the SOL limit.
I try to keep up on some of this stuff, as much as I can, but I don’t have the advanced math to follow it all.
Many of the newer interpretations say that not only is FTL possible, it’s also necessary.
Some of them are Kaluza-Klein models with a few more dimensions than 5, it’s looking like they don’t need 11 or more. String theory is actually dying on the vine, sort of, as more classical explanations are starting to fill the void.
Well, imagine a distance whereby light needs 1 hour to travel the distance but it takes only a half hour.
What does Sheldon from “The Big Bang Theory” have to say about this?
I would just guard against saying that this new discovery is now the new upper limit of what is possible in terms of speed.
distance / time
“I tried looking up this information, but found nothing much: what makes light travel at any given speed; what governs it? Is it the maximum speed of an electron in orbit around a nucleus?”
It comes from examining Maxwell’s equations, which completely define electromagnetic behavior. The speed of light (c) is an integral part of these equations...and is necessary to get all the rest of the measurement bits to fit. Einstein’s gift was to examine how one would have to “warp” these equations in order to explain what you would see if you observed an EM wave whilst moving...and the warping is the famous time change. The “speed limit” also arose from these equtions. Now, this speed limit is attached to things with mass, and also appears to be associated with the transmission of “information”.
We’ve already got examples of “something” happening at greater than light speeds when examining quantum interconnectedness...but this “something” does not carry information with it.
Things out there are much weirder than we know...which is what makes physics so fascinating.
“Men make plans...God laughs”
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5).
I never cease to be amazed at the overweaning arrogance of scientists who think that they can "know" the mysteries of God's universe.
I think I recall reading that they didn't take the orbital motion of the GPS satellites into account, with respect to the difference in inertial reference frame of the GPS clock and the surface clock. They apparently calculated as if the GPS clocks were on the ground, not in orbit.
Ah yes, here we are:
The motion, once factored in, came to almost exactly the time difference they measured in the neutrino arrival.
This is how science is supposed to be done. Get a result. Try to determine how it could be in error. Fix that. Get the result again. Get a different team with a different set of equipment. Replicate the experiment. Compare the data. Check, question, recheck.
Now, compare that to how "Climate Science" is done. Invent a hypothesis. If the data do not support the hypothesis, discard the data. If anyone questions the hypothesis, label him/her a "Denier" and refuse to let him/her publish. Design a computer model to "confirm" the hypothesis. Refuse to let anyone see the code for the model.
Have they accounted for the GPS errors? The GPS satellites have relavistic errors in the same range as the apparent ‘faster than light’ measurement; which would explain why they seem ‘faster than the speed of light’ but aren’t.
If your accurate clocks are skewed by 32 nanoseconds, due to GPS relativistic errors, this will more than make up for the reported increase.
Electrons really don’t orbit around the nucleus of an atom.
No, but, see, science settled it already.
Solutions for sickness demanded bloodletting. Science settled it.
The appendix and a whole bunch of other organs were concluded to be vestigial and not used anymore. Science settled this a long time ago.
Mental problems were solved by taking a thin metal rod behind the eye and wiggling it around in a person’s prefrontal cortex and scrabling it. Science settled this.
Now everything someone suffers from has to be a disease or syndrome to have the symptoms managed by drugs rather than cured. Science is settled on this too.
These experiments were not carried out in a vacuum. Other particles, which are less affected by the material around them - such as neutrinos - may well move faster than light in that partular medium.
Given that something can move faster than the speed of light ... might be used to look back in time. What we see NOW is always something that happened in the past
Folks, we're looking at technology that might provide humans with time travel observations, the ability to see things that happened in the past.
And, perhaps, the future?
Scratching my head....
No, that was Schrödinger ;^)
Unless you are on I-75 South...time will speed by as you crawl along slower than a turtle.
In other words, the Tom Tom came out of the dashboard suction cup again.
Yes but how do you measure it?