Skip to comments.Einstein Avenged: Neutrinos Bow to Light Speed Laws ("E=MC2, Dammit!")
Posted on 06/08/2012 8:33:17 PM PDT by presidio9
Eight months after the multinational Opera research team caused an uproar among physicists with its findings that some neutrinos appeared to travel faster than light, its findings have been officially refuted.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on Friday said that four experiments have found that neutrinos actually travel no faster than the speed of light.
Opera's original measurements can be attributed to a faulty element of its experiment's fiber optic timing system, CERN said.
The findings were announced at the 25th International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics in Kyoto, Japan, by CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci.
Life in the Fast Neutrino Lane
Opera's initial findings, announced in September, triggered skepticism among the scientific community because, if validated, they could have meant that Einstein's theory of special relativity was wrong. Special relativity will only hold true when space-time is flat, and if the theory is wrong, it could mean that the curvature of space is hidden somehow.
Another possibility suggested by faster-than-light neutrinos was that special relativity doesn't apply to neutrinos. That would have impacted quantum theory because it's based on the balance between quantum behavior and special relativity.
A neutrino is an electrically neutral elementary subatomic particle with a small mass that usually travels close to the speed of light.
The Opera Experiment
The Opera team shot a high-intensity, high-energy beam of muon neutrinos produced at the CERN SPS accelerator in Geneva at the LNGS underground laboratory at Gran Sasso in Italy, 730 km (454 miles) away and measured the speed at which the neutrinos emitted traveled.
Preparations for the experiment were apparently meticulous. The Opera team worked with experts in metrology, or the science of measurement, from CERN and other institutions to measure the distance between CERN SPS and LNGS with an uncertainty of 20 cm (7.9 inches) over 730 km. Advanced GPS systems, atomic clocks and other sophisticated instruments were used to ensure the scientists could measure the neutrinos' time of flight to within less than 10 nanoseconds of accuracy.
The neutrinos' velocity was determined using high-statistics data collated by the Opera neutrino detector at LNGS from 2009. This detector consists of two identical Super Modules, each being an instrumented target section with a mass of about 625 tons followed by a magnetic muon spectrometer.
It took the neutrinos about three milliseconds to travel the 730 km. This is a measure of the time distribution of protons each time the beam was fired, aggregated and normalized. It's not possible to precisely measure the time of flight of any single neutrino because any proton might produce the neutrino detected by the Opera detector.
Four teams conducted experiments at Gran Sasso in May to check Opera's findings. They are Opera, Borexino, Icarus, and LVD.
Borexino, Icarus, Japan's T2K experiment and the United States' Minos experiment were originally slated to conduct the cross-checks, and it's unclear why the lineup was changed.
"Each experiment necessarily has its own timing system to record the time of its events," Michael Witherell, vice chancellor for research at the University of California Santa Barbara's physics department, told TechNewsWorld.
Opera's discovery of problems with its timing system was announced on Feb. 23, Witherell said. "At that time, CERN said that Opera would have their first neutrino run with the repaired timing system in May. Apparently, all four experiments ran in that May run, and all say transit times were consistent with the speed of light."
Into the Sun
Nice try,, and i know we always get told evasions like that. But the standard constant, speed of light, is expressed as being in a vacuum.
Same thing as into nothingness, unless you also believe in dark matter.
Only if you're very careful to not get sun-burned. You have to sneak up on it, at night.
Not at all! Read the story found in the fifth chapter of Daniel, Old Testament. we just haven’t learned how to get back and forth from wherever that being stood when they reached into Belshazzar’s palace party central. And don’t forget that jesus left the burial wrappings and the stone tomb without unwrapping or rolling away the stone. He appear in a locked and shuttered room and vanished right before the eyes of two whom had walked with on the road, after he broke bread with them. Star jumping won’t be any big deal once God allows us to know how He did those things He wrote down for us in the Bible.
From one reference frame - yes.
From another reference frame - no.
Both are true at the same time, but not REALLY at the same time. It just looks that way to an observer in a third reference frame.
Real Reality 101
How can they see what is faster than light. That means a clock would hace to go backwards.
Now that’s a great line......
It’s not just a good idea.
It’s the law.
And it applies to all moving things inside the universe.
But it doesn’t apply to the rate of expansion of the universe itself.
I agree with Presidio9.
Only particles with NO MASS can be propelled to the speed of light, in 'light' of Einstein's Mathematical Expression.
The less mass a particle has, the closer to the speed of light it can get.
The only question I have, is there some massless particle (or a particle with a negative mass) that can travel faster than the speed of light?
Not with any kind of reaction engine anyway. What we have now propels the craft forward by expelling reaction mass backward (equal and opposite). To exceed the speed of light you would need to expel mass at greater than the speed of light. I'm no rocket scientist, but I don't see how we can do that.
Guess we'll have to cheat in some sci-fi fashion, like harnessing wormholes or folding space...
If you work out the math, matter past the edge of the 'known' universe (which must constantly be accelerating, in order for the expansion to remain constant) is already way past the speed of light. We may never ever be able to 'see' the entire Universe, for that very reason.
Now, if the Universe is 'infinite', then the speed of light is constant.
Mull that over a little.
Tachyons for your tea, sir?
Now I know why my monitor 'flickers' all the time.
Well... we can see photons, but then we aren't looking from 'their' point of view.
Has anyone held them up to a mirror? I know I can see myself from my point of view, if I do.
For all we know, ‘we’ (the particles that make up our mass) may be created/destroyed in an instant, over and over.
Or... the universe is infinite.
Can you prove it is not?
Use particles that have a negative mass.
Sorry, I use chocolate milk in my tea. I get it from the center of the Milk Way Galaxy.
Sorry, I use chocolate milk in my tea. I get it from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Which brings me to the question I’ve been itching to address: since speed is a function of distance and time, what if science discovers that Time is actually three variables, past —as in a linear function-, present -as in a planar function—, and future —as in a volumetric function? If we discover a way to create a temporal shift/disruption in the bond of ‘linear, planar, and volumetric time’ in front of a space craft (kind of on the order of a shock wave or cavitation for a submarine nose), would moving be still a function of distance and time spent covering that distance, or would distant points in space be in the present of the space craft and remain so while traversing the distance, like a photon does it?