Skip to comments.Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit
Posted on 09/22/2011 9:54:37 PM PDT by neverdem
Roll over, Einstein?
The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit the speed of light that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.
If true, it is a result that would change the world. But that if is enormous.
Even before the European physicists had presented their results in a paper that appeared on the physics Web site arXiv.org on Thursday night and in a seminar at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, on Friday a chorus of physicists had risen up on blogs and elsewhere arguing that it was way too soon to give up on Einstein and that there was probably some experimental error. Incredible claims require incredible evidence.
These guys have done their level best, but before throwing Einstein on the bonfire, you would like to see an independent experiment, said John Ellis, a CERN theorist who has published work on the speeds of the ghostly particles known as neutrinos.
According to scientists familiar with the paper, the neutrinos raced from a particle accelerator at CERN outside Geneva, where they were created, to a cavern underneath Gran Sasso in Italy, a distance of about 450 miles, about 60 nanoseconds faster than it would take a light beam. That amounts to a speed greater than light by about 0.0025 percent (2.5 parts in a hundred thousand).
Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with longstanding notions of cause and effect. Einstein himself the author of modern physics, whose theory of relativity established the speed of light as the ultimate limit said that if you could send a...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I think the trickiest part would be in the accurate measurement of the speed. Who is holding the stopwatch?
the cosmic speed limit the speed of light that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.
He was fast that Einstein, the mafia killed him you know,
he knew too much...
Sounds like a race between a normal burst of electromagnetic energy (radio wave?) and the neutrinos, and the neutrinos are winning. This is bizarre. I’m assuming that both are passing through empty or near-empty space.
So what was their mass?
These are crazy little particles that are understood to have a very small mass, a fraction of an electron volt, but this mass varies widely.
Could these be the first tachyons known to mankind? Why weren’t neutrinos caught by the cosmic cops before this?
I hope this is true.... Maybe they could finally fix my AM radio interference.
The Neutrinos are not traveling faster than the speed of light. They are traveling backwards through time.
Later in the article it says this could be evidence that particles travel trough other dimensions to break the speed limit.
That would mean that it might be possible to send communication signals through these other dimensions and perhaps get a message from the future.
Or have real time communication with someone on Mars (instead of the ten minute delay that light speed would require).
People in the 1860s had no idea of amazing discoveries of science in the following 140 years.
What will we witness in the coming years? Future time communication?
What if you could send a message to your past self? That could come in handy so that you could avoid stupid mistakes.
I havent spent any time keeping up on particle physics since high school (a long time ago) so maybe it is a stupid question, but how exactly do you accelerate a neutrally charged particle?
I figured out how to get messages from the future...oh wait, here comes one now: B-y.. g-o-d.. m-a-n... d-o-n-t... e-l-e-c-t...O-b-a-m-a....t-o...a....2nd.....t-e-r-m
"Well, see, Darlin', me 'n' Snowman finally figured out
that we could do it by switchin' to Coors Light...."
>> Who is holding the stopwatch?
I think you need two of ‘em and a few mirrors.
I like this guy's scientific approach. Maybe we should ask him to check out global warming. Oh, wait. The science is "settled" on global warming, so no need for "replication."
In this experiment the neutrinos were not accelerated by the experimental equipment. There was acceleration of something else, however: the neutrino beam is produced by accelerating a beam of protons to an extremely high speed (400 GeV/c - this is actually their mean momentum value) - the acceleration of the protons is accomplished by controlling precisely configured magnetic fields in a device called a synchrotron (the CERN Super proton synchrotron). The accelerated protons are then allowed to collide with a specially prepared “neutrino production target” made up mostly of graphite. There the protons decay into a number of other types of particles, the important ones of which are called pions and kaons. There is a natural pion/kaon decay process into muons and their associated neutrinos that then takes place along a long, evacuated tunnel. A variety of decay products are “stopped” using various materials, and what finally results is a highly pure beam of neutrinos, that continue to propagate forward. (There are actually three types of neutrinos that we know about, and this beam is almost purely (~97%) made up of so-called muon neutrinos.)
In the realm of real science, even Einstein is questioned.
In the realm of political science, AGW is settled and we should lock up the deniers.
Janet's eyes were shining... like a woman in love, or like a relativistic mathematician who has just found a new way to work a transformation. "So they've done it!" she said in a hushed voice.-- Robert A. Heinlein, Time For the Stars, 1956
"Done what?" I asked. She was certainly taking it in a big way; I hadn't realized she was that anxious to get home.
"Tommie, don't you see? They've done it, they've done it, they've applied irrelevance. Dr. Babcock was right."
"Why, it's perfectly plain. What kind of a ship can get here in a month? An irrelevant ship, of course. One that is faster than light." She frowned. "But I don't see why it should take even a month. It shouldn't take any time at all. It wouldn't use time."
I said, "Take it easy, Janet. I'm stupid this morningI didn't have much sleep last night. Why do you say that ship... uh, the Serendipity... is faster than light? That's impossible."
"Tommie, Tommie... look, dear, if it was an ordinary ship, in order to rendezvous with us here, it would have had to have left Earth over sixty-three years ago."
"Well, maybe it did."
"Tommie! It couldn't possibly because that long ago non body knew that we would be here now. How could they?"
I figured back. Sixty-three Greenwich years ago... mama, that would have been sometime during our first peak. Janet seemed to be right; only an incredible optimist or a fortune teller would have sent a ship from Earth at that time to meet us here now. "I don't understand it."
"Don't you see, Tommie? I've explained it to you, I know I have. Irrelevance. Why, you telepaths were the reason the investigation started; you proved that "simultaneity' was an admissible concept , . . and the inevitable logical consequence was that time and space do not exist."
I felt my head begin to ache. "They don't? Then what is that we seem to be having breakfast in?"
"Just a mathematical abstraction, dear. Nothing more." She smiled and looked motherly. "Poor 'Sentimental Tommie.' You worry too much."
Cowboys love fat calves :)
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