Particles That Travel Faster Than the Speed of Light?

September 23, 2011

Particles That Travel Faster Than the Speed of Light?

European Physicists claim to have detected neutrinos (small sub-atomic particles), travelling at faster than the speed of light.  Researchers on the OPERA, (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus), experiment blasted a beam producing billions upon billions of neutrinos from CERN, which straddles the French-Swiss border near Geneva, to the Gran Sasso Laboratory 450 miles away in Italy.  The particles appear to have been clocked at an astounding 186,415.086 miles per second.  A feat currently forbidden by Einstein’s theory of special relativity, a theory that is a foundation of physics.  The speed of light at 186,282 miles per second is considered the cosmic speed limit.
OPERA’s claim is being greeted with skepticism inside and outside the European lab.  “The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gillies, a spokesman for CERN.  Alvaro de Rujula, a theoretical physicist who works at CERN, called the claim “flabbergasting.”   “If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything,” he said, adding: “It looks too big to be true.  The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.”

Antonio Ereditato, the physicist who leads OPERA, made it clear that while the team had looked hard for any measurement errors or other mistakes that could explain it, and found none, the results still needed careful checking: “After many months of studies and cross checks we have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement.  While OPERA researchers will continue their studies, we are also looking forward to independent measurements to fully assess the nature of this observation.”

John Learned, a neutrino astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said that if the results of the OPERA researchers turned out to be true, it could be the first hint that neutrinos can take a shortcut through space, through extra dimensions.  Joe Lykken of Fermilab said, “Special relativity only holds in flat space, so if there is a warped fifth dimension, it is possible that on other slices of it, the speed of light is different.”

The results were announced at a special seminar at CERN today, which coincided with the publication of a research paper describing the experiments.  The Gran Sasso National Laboratory, the world’s largest underground particle physics Laboratory is located under a mountain in central Italy.  The CERN, (European Center for Nuclear Research), complex operates a network of six accelerators and a decelerator including the worlds largest particle accelerator the Large Hadron Collider or LHC.

Neutrinos are electrically neutral particles so small that only recently were they found to have mass.


Publisher: Salient News

2 comments on “Particles That Travel Faster Than the Speed of Light?”

Time travel finally a possibility? Not so fast… – Economic Times | Tucson AZ News and Weather

[…] Faster than the Speed of Light? Strange Particles May Travel Faster Than Light FoxNews;-Zee Newsall 1,733 news […]

mike strauss

Einstein played both sides of the game in his original papers he used constant light speed and variable light speed to derive a constant light speed in his equation set.

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