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Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit
NY Times ^ | September 22, 2011 | DENNIS OVERBYE

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 ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: cern; neutrinos; physics; specialrelativity
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1 posted on 09/22/2011 9:54:43 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

I think the trickiest part would be in the accurate measurement of the speed. Who is holding the stopwatch?


2 posted on 09/22/2011 9:58:26 PM PDT by Explorer89 (And now, let the wild rumpus start!!)
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To: neverdem

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...


3 posted on 09/22/2011 9:59:47 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: Explorer89

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.


4 posted on 09/22/2011 10:02:47 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: neverdem

So what was their mass?


5 posted on 09/22/2011 10:05:04 PM PDT by mnehring
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To: mnehring

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?


6 posted on 09/22/2011 10:11:00 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: neverdem

I hope this is true.... Maybe they could finally fix my AM radio interference.


7 posted on 09/22/2011 10:19:02 PM PDT by Bullish (Recovery won't begin until Obama loses HIS job.)
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To: neverdem; xzins

The Neutrinos are not traveling faster than the speed of light. They are traveling backwards through time.


8 posted on 09/22/2011 10:22:24 PM PDT by P-Marlowe (LPFOKETT GAHCOEEP-w/o*)
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To: neverdem

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.


9 posted on 09/22/2011 10:24:32 PM PDT by garjog
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To: neverdem

I haven’t 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?


10 posted on 09/22/2011 10:27:45 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: garjog

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


11 posted on 09/22/2011 10:35:02 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Mark Halperin - Learned the hard way what happens when you speak the truth on PMSNBC.)
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To: neverdem

"Well, see, Darlin', me 'n' Snowman finally figured out
that we could do it by switchin' to Coors Light...."

12 posted on 09/22/2011 10:35:31 PM PDT by Hunton Peck (See my FR homepage for a list of businesses that support WI Gov. Scott Walker)
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To: Explorer89

>> Who is holding the stopwatch?

I think you need two of ‘em and a few mirrors.


13 posted on 09/22/2011 10:36:45 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been Redistributed. Here's your damn Change!)
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To: neverdem
"But it is too soon for such mind-bending speculation. The Opera results will generate a rush of experiments aimed at confirming or repudiating it, according to Dr. Learned. “This is revolutionary and will require convincing replication,” he said."

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."

14 posted on 09/22/2011 10:38:48 PM PDT by Neanderthal
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To: Pontiac

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.)


15 posted on 09/22/2011 10:53:58 PM PDT by E8crossE8
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To: neverdem
Light speed deniers should be excluded from the debate.

16 posted on 09/22/2011 10:56:09 PM PDT by I see my hands (Keep your sunny side up!)
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To: Neanderthal
Good point.

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.

17 posted on 09/22/2011 10:56:20 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: Pontiac
how exactly do you accelerate a neutrally charged particle

You don't. It is a product of a high energy collision, like a piece of plastic headlight trim.
18 posted on 09/22/2011 10:56:20 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: neverdem
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.

"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."

"Huh?"

"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 morning—I 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."

-- Robert A. Heinlein, Time For the Stars, 1956
19 posted on 09/22/2011 11:09:06 PM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: Hunton Peck

Cowboys love fat calves :)


20 posted on 09/22/2011 11:09:27 PM PDT by onona (Still seeking the ultimate challenge)
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To: Explorer89
I think the trickiest part would be in the accurate measurement of the speed. Who is holding the stopwatch?


21 posted on 09/22/2011 11:14:51 PM PDT by Cementjungle
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To: Shalmaneser

It was a long time ago when I read it. How were the telepaths able to communicate instantaneously over the vast distances again?


22 posted on 09/22/2011 11:42:04 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: neverdem

bflr


23 posted on 09/22/2011 11:58:54 PM PDT by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: neverdem

i want broadband at this speed!!!


24 posted on 09/23/2011 12:36:42 AM PDT by Irishguy
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To: neverdem

Sounds like they’re equivocating. Are the neutrinos going faster than light in a vacuum, or just faster than light would through a material. The speed of light varies. Since neutrinos don’t interact with material, perhaps they don’t slow down, whereas photons do interact, and do slow down.

So are they saying that neutrinos go faster than light in a vacuum?


25 posted on 09/23/2011 12:40:52 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: HiTech RedNeck
These are crazy little particles that are understood to have a very small mass, a fraction of an electron volt

According to Einstein's theory, if they have any mass at all the mass would grow to infinity as the particles approached light speed. That is why objects with mass are not supposed to ever reach light speed. But an object with mass **exceeding** light speed???

26 posted on 09/23/2011 12:51:44 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Born to Conserve

Light slows down about .1% in the atmosphere, so the difference of .0025% between the faster neutrinos and slower photons is miniscule. What speed of light are they comparing the neutrino speed to, vacuum, or through the air?


27 posted on 09/23/2011 12:53:23 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: Born to Conserve
Are the neutrinos going faster than light in a vacuum, or just faster than light would through a material. The speed of light varies.

Light/electromagnetic radiation does indeed vary in speed through various medium. But it only goes slower, not faster.

28 posted on 09/23/2011 12:58:12 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: HiTech RedNeck; SuziQ

CERN’s neutrinos pass through 450 miles of the earth’s crust and upper mantle (solid rock) on their way to (early) detection in Gran Sasso, Italy.


29 posted on 09/23/2011 1:01:10 AM PDT by SirKit (Truth is Precious---The Truth is of the Essence of God)
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To: ETL

Your point?


30 posted on 09/23/2011 1:19:50 AM PDT by Born to Conserve
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To: SirKit

OK, now how about the electromagnetic wave that they are racing? Same rock, or some different route?


31 posted on 09/23/2011 1:21:53 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page) [rednecks come in many colors])
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To: Born to Conserve

That you are wrong that light/EM radiation is known to travel *faster* than light speed through different materials?


32 posted on 09/23/2011 1:29:35 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Born to Conserve
The speed of light varies.

The speed of light is the speed of light: 186,000 miles per second. However, there are some theories claiming that 'c' does vary over very long periods of time (as the universe evolves). But I don't think that that is what you were referring to here?

33 posted on 09/23/2011 1:35:13 AM PDT by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: garjog

“That would mean that it might be possible to send communication signals through these other dimensions and perhaps get a message from the future.”

I’m finally beginning to see some people agreeing with my opinion that time is not a dimension, but merely the way our brains deal with the fact that everything in the universe is in constant motion.

You can’t go back in time, because the past is gone. Things have moved on. You can’t go forward in time because the universe has not assumed that configuration yet. It’s not there.


34 posted on 09/23/2011 2:11:23 AM PDT by dsc (Any attempt to move a government to the left is a crime against humanity.)
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To: garjog
reminds me of one of the creepiest movies I ever saw- Prince of Darkness- where people who fall asleep near this artifact start having dreams that turn out to be a message live broadcast from the future telling them NOT TO OPEN the artifact because it releases the devil


35 posted on 09/23/2011 2:17:10 AM PDT by Mr. K (Palin/Bachman 2012- unbeatable ticket~!!!)
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To: sinanju

By thinking to one another. It was a talent they were born with.


36 posted on 09/23/2011 3:13:09 AM PDT by Shalmaneser
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To: neverdem

186,000 miles per second. Not just a good idea, it’s the law.


37 posted on 09/23/2011 3:18:13 AM PDT by roxtar221 (It's only hubris if I fail)
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To: neverdem
There is an excellent book out called - Bending The Ruler - Might be in second print. Lindemann Discussed this in depth and why Uncle Albert was incorrect in some of his assumptions. I think the book has a site by that name.
38 posted on 09/23/2011 3:18:50 AM PDT by CERNROCKS (Cern is awesome!)
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To: neverdem

So... does this mean we will be able to build a headlight that enables us to see when we are traveling faster than the speed of light?


39 posted on 09/23/2011 3:48:39 AM PDT by Hatteras
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To: roxtar221

Time is not a constant when approaching the speed of light, so how can something like 186,000 miles per second be the “law” if it is a function of time?

The scientific community thought the speed of sound was an impassable barrier until Chuck Yeager proved them wrong.


40 posted on 09/23/2011 4:21:36 AM PDT by MikeSteelBe (Austrian Hitler was as the Halfrican Hitler does.)
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To: neverdem

Is it possible that neutrinos have no mass and are therefore not subject to Einstein’s equations? That seems to be about as likely as an ability to exceed the speed of light. I know that that hypothesis calls for a redefinition of energy.


41 posted on 09/23/2011 4:31:32 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Big Brother is not a person. Big Brother is the Federal Government.)
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To: garjog
"What if you could send a message to your past self? That could come in handy so that you could avoid stupid mistakes."

I'd spend so much time on the phone I wouldn't get anything else done.

42 posted on 09/23/2011 4:36:13 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Big Brother is not a person. Big Brother is the Federal Government.)
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To: Born to Conserve
Light slows down about .1% in the atmosphere...

So does light speed up again when it reenters a vacuum?

43 posted on 09/23/2011 4:46:35 AM PDT by TangoLimaSierra (To the left the truth looks Right-Wing.)
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To: TangoLimaSierra

So just where are the police to give these reckless fools speeding tickets????????


44 posted on 09/23/2011 5:00:59 AM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: TangoLimaSierra
Yes.

THe speed quoted in the article and discussed in general is the speed of light in a vacuum.

When photons hit another medium, air, glass, etc., it slows down a tiny bit.

As an example, if light passes from vacuum to the atmosphere then through a piece of glass and then back to vacuum, the measured speed of light will slow down in the air, slow down more in the glass and then jump back up upon returning to the vacuum.

45 posted on 09/23/2011 5:09:49 AM PDT by Freeport (The proper application of high explosives will remove all obstacles.)
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To: TangoLimaSierra
Yes.

The speed quoted in the article and discussed in general is the speed of light in a vacuum.

When photons hit another medium, air, glass, etc., it slows down a tiny bit.

As an example, if light passes from vacuum to the atmosphere then through a piece of glass and then back to vacuum, the measured speed of light will slow down in the air, slow down more in the glass and then jump back up upon returning to the vacuum.

46 posted on 09/23/2011 5:09:49 AM PDT by Freeport (The proper application of high explosives will remove all obstacles.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I guess it’s really dark when the neutrinos get to their destination?


47 posted on 09/23/2011 5:44:09 AM PDT by Eagle Bomba
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To: neverdem

Some French guy, as well as someone in California, has been doing this for years, maybe over a decade (because I was still in grad school then) though using some other subatomic particle.


48 posted on 09/23/2011 5:46:31 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: neverdem

Waht about Cherenkov radiation?


49 posted on 09/23/2011 5:47:19 AM PDT by CPOSharky (The only thing straight, white, Christian males get is the blame for everything.)
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To: Eagle Bomba
I guess it’s really dark when the neutrinos get to their destination?

I guess it depends on whether that destination was already illuminated.
50 posted on 09/23/2011 5:48:10 AM PDT by aruanan
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