Friday, September 23, 2011

Brian Cox on Cern's Baffling Light-Speed Find


BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results
by Edwin Cartlidge
22 February 2012

It appears that the faster-than-light neutrino results, announced last September by the OPERA collaboration in Italy, was due to a mistake after all. A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame.

Physicists had detected neutrinos travelling from the CERN laboratory in Geneva to the Gran Sasso laboratory near L'Aquila that appeared to make the trip in about 60 nanoseconds less than light speed. Many other physicists suspected that the result was due to some kind of error, given that it seems at odds with Einstein's special theory of relativity, which says nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. That theory has been vindicated by many experiments over the decades.

According to sources familiar with the experiment, the 60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos' flight and an electronic card in a computer. After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed. Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos. New data, however, will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Brian Cox on Cern's Baffling Light-Speed Find

Puzzling results from Cern, home of the Large Hadron Collider, have confounded physicists - because it seems subatomic particles have beaten the speed of light.

Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km (454 miles) away in Italy seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

Physicist Brian Cox talks to Shaun Keaveny on BBC 6 Music about this baffling find - he says that if it is right, it could require a complete rewriting of our understanding of the laws of the Universe. listen and more


Anonymous said...

der Mensch hei├čt Mensch
interessant - Danke

Anonymous said...

Himself said...

Thanks for that. Although no particle physicist, it was always on the cards that it was going to be some kind of error.

When you are working in nano seconds, one billionth of a second, then there has to be room for error.

A billionth of a second! it's beyond comprehension to us mere mortals and laymen.

I shall update the post.

Anonymous said...

a bit beyond my comprehension, perhaps interesting for you M