Speed-of-light experiments yield baffling result at LHC


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+Frank B.

Speed-of-light experiments yield baffling result at LHC

Puzzling results from Cern, home of the LHC, have confounded physicists - because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.

Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

The result - which threatens to upend a century of physics - will be put online for scrutiny by other scientists.

In the meantime, the group says it is being very cautious about its claims.

"We tried to find all possible explanations for this," said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration.

"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.'"

Caught speeding?

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 relativity - depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it.

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 a few billionths of a second sooner than light would over the same distance.

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, and 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."

Source: BBC News

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still1

Come on Einstein cant be wrong... have you ever tried to solve E=MC2?

Its complex and I have No idea how he was able do that without even being there on textbooks.

The error might be in different places like the distance between the source and destination 732km might be wrong.

superluminal was never proven to be in existence and this is definitely exciting for the scientist.

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HawkMan

Except more and more scientists now are staring to believe Einstein was wrong. His theory generally works, but the further down in scale you get it starts to crack and his theory no longer works, so they need a new improved theory.

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FMH

I had a theory that speed of light will be exceeded, because the Kinetic potential of a particle indirectly depends on the energy converted from the original source. Therefore speed of light can be exceeded.

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Astra.Xtreme

Come on Einstein cant be wrong... have you ever tried to solve E=MC2?

Its complex and I have No idea how he was able do that without even being there on textbooks.

The error might be in different places like the distance between the source and destination 732km might be wrong.

superluminal was never proven to be in existence and this is definitely exciting for the scientist.

Time slows down when you get nearer to the speed of light, so it would be really easy to make an error with all the considerations that have to be taken into account.

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still1

Except more and more scientists now are staring to believe Einstein was wrong. His theory generally works, but the further down in scale you get it starts to crack and his theory no longer works, so they need a new improved theory.

can you link proof that more and more scientist staring to believe Einstein was wrong? It cannot just come from your mind then its just your opinion....

I was just curious to know.

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neufuse

can you link proof that more and more scientist staring to believe Einstein was wrong? It cannot just come from your mind then its just your opinion....

I was just curious to know.

I remember a show on discovery channel talking about how einstein might of been off with the equation, cant for the life of me remember what it was called now.....

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Astra.Xtreme

can you link proof that more and more scientist staring to believe Einstein was wrong? It cannot just come from your mind then its just your opinion....

I was just curious to know.

He's referring to a completely different part of Einstein's theory/therories. There are tons and tons of books out there that try to explain why Einstein was wrong is certain areas.

Here's a book that my Quantum Physics professor wrote and he would ramble on and on about how Einstein wasn't right with some of his conclusions;

http://www.amazon.com/Was-Einstein-Right-Not-Quite/dp/1419616285

But in the end, Einstein's "nothing can travel faster than the speed of light" theory has never been touched. If this CERN observation is actually right, then it's the first time anybody has ever observed something faster than C.

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Jason S.

im no scientist :laugh: but is it possible that whatever system theyre using to measure the time just isnt that accurate? i mean, they are talking billionths of a second at this point. how accurate are their stop watches? :cool:

also, when they say they shot the neutrinos 732km, was that in a dead-straight line through the earth (flat) or did they take into account the curve of the earth?

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still1

Time slows down when you get nearer to the speed of light, so it would be really easy to make an error with all the considerations that have to be taken into account.

Could be but would be interesting if they prove it right.... we will have to learn physics all over again.

I remember a show on discovery channel talking about how einstein might of been off with the equation, cant for the life of me remember what it was called now.....

will try to search netflix...

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Buttus

plus, who's to say that the earth doesn't shift in size by a trillionth of an inch, earthquakes somewhere, whatever... if it made the distance shorter, it would seem faster

unless they have that factored in?

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Jason S.

plus, who's to say that the earth doesn't shift in size by a trillionth of an inch, earthquakes somewhere, whatever... if it made the distance shorter, it would seem faster

unless they have that factored in?

you, sir, have your thinking cap on :yes:

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still1

plus, who's to say that the earth doesn't shift in size by a trillionth of an inch, earthquakes somewhere, whatever... if it made the distance shorter, it would seem faster

unless they have that factored in?

interesting.....

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DClark

Aw man, in ten years our computers will contain LHC technology that will read and write data at neutrino speed.

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zeta_immersion

I look forward to this ...

imagine 20 years ago, B/W TVs, square cars and no net

now, we have touch screen phones and chip implants, hell stem cell research not to mention a breakthrough quantum computing

now, 40 -50 years from now, when I will be somewhat senile and skizo, faster than light theories and maybe small applications some moon.mars station ... insane

bottom line, love to hate humanity and its stupid struggles but man science is so cool

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Xerax
"And of course the consequences can be very serious.

I think you mean:

consequences-will-never-be-the-same.jpg

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DClark

plus, who's to say that the earth doesn't shift in size by a trillionth of an inch, earthquakes somewhere, whatever... if it made the distance shorter, it would seem faster

unless they have that factored in?

But since they did the test a gazillion times, would not continental drift or other shifting anomalies change the results over time?

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+KibosJ

But since they did the test a gazillion times, would not continental drift or other shifting anomalies change the results over time?

Was just thinking that.... a few times maybe, but they did the the tests a lot of time :p

Still very interesting to find out what's happening :D

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CentralDogma

can you link proof that more and more scientist staring to believe Einstein was wrong? It cannot just come from your mind then its just your opinion....

I was just curious to know.

This series goes into detail over it.

Basically, Einstein?s theories work well for large things, sub atomic particles behave differently.

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Zain Adeel

actually things get very crazy at subatomic levels.

And Einstein never believed they can be like that.

But i suppose they are.

Now we are starting to see how it is.

But i have many doubts about this perticular experiment.

Ever read about those experiments where information is transfered faster than light?

I mean the particles dont actually travel in that. They appear at the destination.

What if these particles travelling actually disappeared and reappered a few nanonanonano meters ahead and actually skipped distance like this?

Would these detectors ever find this out? That a particle shifted space? Or it duplicated where the previous just died and the clone reappeared to be a little ahead in space carrying on with the same speed?

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mudslag

Now create a time traveling email system so I can send myself the lotto numbers for next week. :rofl:

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cybertimber2008

Time slows down when you get nearer to the speed of light, so it would be really easy to make an error with all the considerations that have to be taken into account.

That's the theory anyway. As you approach C (the speed of light), the only thing that can change is Time.

plus, who's to say that the earth doesn't shift in size by a trillionth of an inch, earthquakes somewhere, whatever... if it made the distance shorter, it would seem faster

unless they have that factored in?

It's traveling through a metal tube and being carried on a beam... Earth shifting and earthquakes, that isn't going to change the length of the circular beam, which is known to many many decimal places in length due to it's very fine magneticly controlled path.

And to the question about stopwatches, insanely accurate. You really have to understand how large some of the monitoring devices are (LHC, etc) to really understand just how they capture things like time and position of particles. The thing generates terabytes to petabytes of data per second, and theres millions of collisions per second.

Edit: The point about testing multiple times and these events (earthquake, shifts) couldn't possibly occur every time is a great rebuttle.

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Brandon H

Now create a time traveling email system so I can send myself the lotto numbers for next week. :rofl:

http://www.gogoanime.com/category/steins-gate

it's kinda scary how much this article reminds me of this series

and CERN is actually the main enemy in the series

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Fred Derf

The article I read suggested that FermiLab was going to attempt to replicate CERN's experiment. They've done similar work before but the margin or error from that (FermiLab's) experiment was large enough to make the results seem like an error.

This whole thing was described as the scientific equivalent to the theoretical invention of a flying carpet. If it can be confirmed then it goes against everything that we thought we knew about physics.

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Astral

imagine 20 years ago, B/W TVs, square cars and no net

20 years hey? Try going back just a LITTLE farther than that for BW TV's. :blink: And the 'net' was around, it just wasn't what your current day net looked or acted like.

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