Skip to comments.Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos: OPERA Confirms and Submits Results, But Unease Remains
Posted on 11/19/2011 8:49:24 PM PST by neverdem
New high-precision tests carried out by the OPERA collaboration in Italy broadly confirm its claim, made in September, to have detected neutrinos travelling at faster than the speed of light. The collaboration today submitted its results to a journal, but some members continue to insist that further checks are needed before the result can be considered sound.
OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus) measures the properties of neutrinos that are sent through the Earth from the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and arrive in its detector located under the Gran Sasso mountain in central Italy. On 22 September, the collaboration reported in a paper on the arXiv preprint server that it had measured neutrinos arriving some 60 nanoseconds earlier than they would have if travelling at light speed. The researchers obtained that result by statistically comparing the temporal distribution of protons within the 10.5 microsecond pulses that produce the neutrinos at CERN with that of the neutrinos observed in its detector.
The new tests, completed 6 November, did away with the statistical analysis by splitting each pulse into bunches just 1- to 2-nanoseconds long, allowing each neutrino detected at Gran Sasso to be tied to a particular bunch produced at CERN. These tests were carried out over 10 days and provided 20 events. The researchers confirmed that the neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds early, with an uncertainty of about 10 nanoseconds, comparable to that of the initial result.
The collaboration has also checked its original statistical analysis, but today's decision to submit the results to a journal was not unanimous. "About four people" among the group of around 15 who did not sign the preprint have signed the journal submission, according to a source within the collaboration, while "four new people" have decided not to sign. That leaves the number of dissenters at about 15, compared with about 180 who did sign the journal submission.
A major concern among the dissenters is the fact that the "time window" within which neutrinos were detected by OPERA in the most recent run had a width of 50 nanoseconds, something that the leader of the superluminal analysis, Dario Autiero, only revealed once the tests had been carried out. It was initially assumed that this window was just 10 nanoseconds wide. This difference does not affect the final result itself, the source notes, but dissenters say it highlights poor experimental procedure. Some researchers are also unhappy that only a small fraction of the analysis, which was carried out by Autiero, has been independently checked by others within the collaboration. This leaves open the possibility, they say, that not all possible errors have been accounted for.
The question of whether or not OPERA really has seen faster-than-light neutrinos will probably be settled only once the results of other experiments are in. Meanwhile, within OPERA, "People are exhausted," says the source. "Everyone should be convinced that the result is real, and they are not."
These are not sufficient data points (20 events) to get all lathered up over.
Ahh...! So warp drive will be neutrino based? The dilithium crystals ‘ol Scotty worked with will need an update!
“”..dissenters say it highlights poor experimental procedure. ...This leaves open the possibility, they say, that not all possible errors have been accounted for. ... “Everyone should be convinced that the result is real, and they are not.””
Sounds like AGW.
Why can't another team of physicists use the CERN particle collider, and why can't other neutrino detectors be used? IIRC, there are at least a couple of other neutrino detectors.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.
This could be really tough.
I’ve always thought it weird that there was a speed limit in the universe. Without that hindrance, all kinds of things formerly thought impossible, like time travel, may just be viable.
But hey! We’re talking about Einstein; he has as much cachet now as Newton did during the 19th century. It is hard to take on giant intellects.
We dont allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here, says the bartender. A neutrino walks into a bar.
"In a way, this experiment has been done," according to Marc Sher, a particle physicist with William & Mary College. We can look to the neutrinos detected from Supernova 1987A, which arrived roughly three hours before the light from the exploding star reached the detectors. But that's not because neutrinos traveled faster than light. Rather, they were able to pass right through all the material forming an envelope around the dying star, whereas photons would have to work their way through.
Physicists did the calculations and expected a three-hour delay, and that's exactly what they observed with the neutrinos from SN1987A. However, as Sher (and many others) have pointed out, if the OPERA result is real, those neutrinos should have traveled much faster, so much so that they would have arrived even sooner -- say, in 1984. I think physicists probably would have noticed.
"Supernova neutrinos are known, experimentally, to travel at the same speed as light to better than a part in a trillion," Sher emphasized. "The OPERA claim is that they are traveling faster than light by a part in 30,000." And, well, that's problematic.
Meanwhile, within OPERA, "People are exhausted," says the source. "Everyone should be convinced that the result is real, and they are not."Awwwww. Someone call a Whambulance for these poor babies. Everyone isn't convinced.
Maybe boneheads its because 'Al' (I call him Al, we're old buds) hasn't been proved wrong in any of his theories (now Laws) for about 100 years now, dipwads.
'C' = 186,282 mps.
It's not just an idea.
It's the Law.
Plus, maybe your neutrinos are tainted and aren't all the same 'flavor'. (makes a diff I hear)
The shop steward says he doesn’t care who those neutrinos are, if they’re going faster than light they should get time and a half pay and what local are they with?
And travel pay too if they go out of town.
Another example of the fallibility of man’s faith in science...the assumption that we KNOW things through physical evidence has been shown time and again to be flawed.
The only truth is found in God and his creation...science is a valid pursuit of man’s attempt to define God’s creation but because man is flawed oftentimes our conclusions and presumptions are flawed.
Has anyone considered that maybe photons haven’t really been pushing themselves to the limit? And why should they? Do you always run around at top speed? Especially if everyone’s slapping you on the back, saying you’re the champion of the Universe without ever having to break a sweat. So maybe they got a little cocky, a little complacent.
But once word gets around that neutrinos have bested them....
(Honesty compels me to admit that i’m not really a scientific expert despite the impression i may have given. Nor am i quite sure that photons have the subatomic equivalent of backs to slap or egos to bruise, but then again neither do i recall Einstein saying anything to the contrary).
It is only right and fitting that as science and humanity can see more, measure more they open new vistas of argument and thought.
I think that one example of something that propogates faster than light is already out in the open, but never discussed and that is the speed of gravity.
Several physicists over the years have put forth their work and calculations on the actual “speed of gravity” where the results are fairly significant. One calculate the speed of gravity as (light speed) C times 10 raised to the 20 power!
A speed that is almost unimaginably fast.
Here is a link to one fairly straight forward and clearly laid out post on it, and there are others:
That wouldn't be fully independent research.
Why can't another team of physicists use the CERN particle collider, and why can't other neutrino detectors be used? IIRC, there are at least a couple of other neutrino detectors