Skip to comments.Loose cable blamed for speedy neutrinos
Posted on 03/06/2012 1:16:25 AM PST by U-238
Faulty wiring has been proposed as the glitch that caused a European physics experiment to clock particles flying faster than light.
Scientists at Italys OPERA experiment reported in September that nearly weightless particles called neutrinos were apparently traveling from the CERN laboratory on the Swiss-French border to an underground detector in Italy, 730 kilometers away, faster than the speed of light. The apparent violation of Einsteins theory of special relativity immediately produced a chorus of theorists offering reasons why neutrinos simply could not be going that fast (SN: 11/5/11, p. 10).
It was always clear to me that the results could not have been true, says Nobel Prize-winner Sheldon Glashow, a physicist at Boston University and an early critic of the finding.
Yet during a second run of the experiment in November, neutrinos again appeared to arrive in Italy 60 nanoseconds earlier than light covering the same distance in a vacuum would have (SN: 10/22/11, p. 18).
On February 23 the OPERA team announced what might be causing the surprising observations: A bad connection with a cable that relays satellite GPS signals to keep the experiments clocks in sync could have made each particles trip seem to take less time than it actually did.
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The finer point is that a photon is a fundamental quantum particle....it has no mass at rest. The radiometer works because the vanes you mentioned are both dark and light ( usually black and white) and the heating of them is differential which causes the spinning.
Photons have been observed to behave as both particles and waves which is why the duality of light is such a difficult concept to teach to beginning physics students. Theoretical constructs can be useful but this was derived by scientific testing