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Livewire
September 23rd, 2011, 08:36 AM
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15017484

Nothing official yet, but this is startling:


Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away in Italy seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.
The results - which threaten to upend a century of physics - were put online (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897v1) for scrutiny by other scientists.
In the meantime, the group says it is being very cautious about its claims.
They will be discussing the result in detail in a conference at Cern on Friday afternoon, which can be viewed online (http://indico.cern.ch/conferenceDisplay.py?confId=155620).
"We tried to find all possible explanations for this," said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration (http://operaweb.lngs.infn.it/).
"We wanted to find a mistake - trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't," he told BBC News.
"When you don't find anything, then you say 'Well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'"


Evidently the neutrinos exceeded the speed of light.


The speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit, and much of modern physics - as laid out in part by Albert Einstein in his theory of special relativity - depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it.
Continue reading the main story (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15017484#story_continues_2) We want to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy”
Antonio Ereditato Opera collaboration

Light speed: Flying into fantasy (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15034414)


Thousands of experiments have been undertaken to measure it ever more precisely, and no result has ever spotted a particle breaking the limit.
But Dr Ereditato and his colleagues have been carrying out an experiment for the last three years that seems to suggest neutrinos have done just that.
Neutrinos come in a number of types, and have recently been seen to switch spontaneously from one type to another.
The team prepares a beam of just one type, muon neutrinos, sending them from Cern to an underground laboratory at Gran Sasso in Italy to see how many show up as a different type, tau neutrinos.
In the course of doing the experiments, the researchers noticed that the particles showed up 60 billionths of a second sooner than light would over the same distance.
This is a tiny fractional change, but one that occurs consistently.
The team measured the travel times of neutrino bunches some 15,000 times, and have reached a level of statistical significance that in scientific circles would count as a formal discovery.

But the group understands that what are known as "systematic errors" could easily make an erroneous result look like a breaking of the ultimate speed limit.
That has motivated them to publish their measurements.
"My dream would be that another, independent experiment finds the same thing - then I would be relieved," Dr Ereditato said.
But for now, he explained, "we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy".
"And of course the consequences can be very serious."



Any thoughts here? If this holds up, now what do we do?

Esper
September 23rd, 2011, 08:56 AM
Going faster than light would turn a lot of things on their heads, but in practical terms I don't have a clue what that would mean for us. Closer to real-time observations of deep space objects, maybe? Quicker communications?

I'm inclined to think it's just a "systematic error" as the article says because I'm just a skeptic at heart, but, hey, wouldn't it be fun if it were real?

Frozen Flames
September 23rd, 2011, 10:43 AM
OMG!!! My friend told me this and my mind was just pretty much blown away out of normal reality at the moment just thinking about all the causes that this affect could have. Like Scarf said means of communication could speed up in the future. I read a book called Ender's Game and this reminds me of the ansible that was mentioned in it. Well anyways I believe we are in need of a new theory about special relativity that will probably take a while before it's proved.

P.s. F*** you Einstein...just kidding.

Liam Crawford
September 23rd, 2011, 12:23 PM
Interesting.

This surely demands a serious rework in your standard and conventional equations such as E = m.c^2. The 60 nanosecond difference from light's fixed speed undermines, or maybe with further research even debunks, Einstein's special theory of relativity.

In theory, time travel cannot be ruled out -- any particle or phenomenon traveling at a speed faster than cosmic speed (light) limit will open the possibility of sending information to the past or just at a rapider pace. However, as the articles I read suggest, time-traveling a neutrino is different from time-traveling a human being.

Nonetheless, this is major.

Zet
September 23rd, 2011, 06:51 PM
Don't worry folks, scientists will just increase the speed of light. Problem solved.

Mr. X
September 23rd, 2011, 07:02 PM
Liam's comment reminds me about a book I read a couple of years back. Can't remember it, but it was a small book (<150 pages I think)

I think the name was Time Hackers but meh, not really sure about that.

bobandbill
September 23rd, 2011, 07:33 PM
Any thoughts here? If this holds up, now what do we do? Panic/make a time machine/rework physics again/have a rave party/etc? =p

I'll just first wait and see how further independent testing of this claim goes first before getting excited. After all it's not the first time people said 'this shows Einstein is wrong!'. Nothing's quite evident yet imo until the peer review determines more on this. Which is why they went public in the first place - to get more opinions/testing on it by other people in the field.

I guess... time will tell! Okay that was bad.

Frozen Flames
September 25th, 2011, 06:03 AM
Panic/make a time machine/rework physics again/have a rave party/etc? =p

I'll just first wait and see how further independent testing of this claim goes first before getting excited. After all it's not the first time people said 'this shows Einstein is wrong!'. Nothing's quite evident yet imo until the peer review determines more on this. Which is why they went public in the first place - to get more opinions/testing on it by other people in the field.

I guess... time will tell! Okay that was bad.

Wait if someone made a time machine in the future, then why haven't we seen one come from the future into our time? Does this mean that a time machine will never be invented?

countryemo
September 25th, 2011, 06:19 AM
Wait if someone made a time machine in the future, then why haven't we seen one come from the future into our time? Does this mean that a time machine will never be invented?

The worlds a big place, who knows. Its not like they yell out to the world "IM FROM THE FUTURE" crazy house for them..

This is pretty interesting, I wonder what will come of this.

parallelzero
September 25th, 2011, 06:36 AM
I don't think we need to worry until CERN steals a time machine from a bunch of Japanese teens and creates a dystopian future. Then again, that would have taken place in 2010 so maybe it doesn't happen in this world line.

El Psy Congroo.





Yeah, I went there. It's a little bit scary what those people can do, tbh. I honestly think there's places humanity shouldn't tread, and when it comes to that kind of science it's probably best we don't tamper.

Netto Azure
September 25th, 2011, 02:33 PM
I don't think we need to worry until CERN steals a time machine from a bunch of Japanese teens and creates a dystopian future. Then again, that would have taken place in 2010 so maybe it doesn't happen in this world line.

El Psy Congroo.

Yeah, I went there. It's a little bit scary what those people can do, tbh. I honestly think there's places humanity shouldn't tread, and when it comes to that kind of science it's probably best we don't tamper.

Oh gawd, just stop it Christina. xD

But yeah it's probably some system error or maybe the speed of light is faster than it was previously calculated, either way it will take some time to analyze the data.

Impo
September 25th, 2011, 02:47 PM
Oh, I love this concept, it's really quite astounding how we can correct the laws of physics now we have greater aids.

and if Sonic is the fastest creature on the planet going the speed of light, guess again xD

The 100 Mega Shock
September 25th, 2011, 03:35 PM
Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the analysis, the potentially great impact of the result motivates the continuation of our studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly. We deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results.

We have a peer review process for a reason. Try not to get excited until the process can be repeated, found to exhibit the same behaviour multiple times after ruling out errors and being able to explain why this proves us wrong in the first place.

Black Ice
September 27th, 2011, 08:15 PM
I just wonder how Einstein would react to this.

marz
September 28th, 2011, 09:26 AM
A group of scientists called CERN in Switzerland were working on a project they called OPERA, when they came across an entirely different discovery. They launched a Neutrino Beam towards a laboratory in Gran Sasso, Italy. This beam travelled faster than the speed of light and arrived in Gran Sasso a few billionth of a second earlier than Einstein's theory would have suggested.

Dan Brown explains this much better than I can, so I'll link you to his great sum up of this new discovery.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iklG4sjDj3E

As well as a couple articles about this discovery.
http://io9.com/5843112/faster-than-light-neutrinos-not-so-fast
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/sep/22/faster-than-light-particles-neutrinos

Many scientists are going over CERN's data to make sure all calculations and measurements are correct. If the speed of light's barrier has been broken, this could change our entire perspective on physics as we know it.

aruchan
September 28th, 2011, 10:16 PM
I am extremely skeptical of any claims of faster than light travel. The laws of physics are pretty resolute, and it would take a lot to change them.

Livewire
September 29th, 2011, 09:46 PM
I am extremely skeptical of any claims of faster than light travel. The laws of physics are pretty resolute, and it would take a lot to change them.

Thing is, this isn't the first claim or experiment that has produced speed of light breaking either. Fermilab in Chicago did the same thing a few years ago, in 2008, I believe.

Zet
September 29th, 2011, 10:03 PM
I am extremely skeptical of any claims of faster than light travel. The laws of physics are pretty resolute, and it would take a lot to change them.

It would take a lot to change everyone's mind, only the stupid would be left behind with that.

FTL(faster than light(lol mass effect reference)) will soon be a reality, we just need to start colonizing other planets.

Cassino
September 30th, 2011, 12:08 AM
Science isn't a rulebook to the universe, or at least it's not a complete one; it is the pursuit of knowledge, so seeing it overturn itself ought not to be surprising.

Patchisou Yutohru
October 1st, 2011, 08:24 AM
Science isn't a rulebook to the universe, or at least it's not a complete one; it is the pursuit of knowledge, so seeing it overturn itself ought not to be surprising.
I was sitting here trying to say the exact same thing, but couldn't form it into words.

assassinjay1229
October 2nd, 2011, 09:38 PM
Well my opinion on this if it's indeed 100% proven at some point in the future is, Science is always discovering new things and it is of no surprise to me that an old theory such as E = mc² can be disproven in this day and age of expanded scientific knowledge.

Livewire
October 5th, 2011, 09:53 PM
Science isn't a rulebook to the universe, or at least it's not a complete one; it is the pursuit of knowledge, so seeing it overturn itself ought not to be surprising.

Exactly. People used to think the world was flat - and any say otherwise, and you'd be considered crazy. Now look where we are.

Zet
October 5th, 2011, 10:01 PM
Exactly. People used to think the world was flat - and any say otherwise, and you'd be considered crazy. Now look where we are.
You mean it's not flat? D:

Though I do hope to see science related stuff getting an update to be somewhat more accurate than it is right now.