Author Topic: Puzzling Cern,it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light.  (Read 18048 times)

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Offline ErikTheNorwegian

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« Last Edit: April 10, 2016, 12:28:47 pm by ErikTheNorwegian »
 

Alex

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I would not be able to sleep at night until I figured out what happened.

 

Offline Time

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Italians like their cars, women, and neutrinos fast.
-Time
 

Offline CodeDog

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

not quite true

I think they meant to say speed of light IN A VACUUM

in other media, it is well known that particles can under certain conditions travel
faster than light in that medium - producing an effect called Cerenkov radiation

hopefully they did their tests in a vacuum!!
 

Offline ejeffrey

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When physicists say 'the speed of light' we always mean the physical constant c, the speed of light in vacuum.  Any reference to the speed of light in a specific medium is always explicitly called out, or simply written in terms of c and the index of refraction.  Even in optics when doing refraction, diffraction, and interference calculations, the equations are always written in terms of the vacuum wavelength with explicit dependence on n.

Anyway, I am certainly looking forward to coffee time tomorrow :)  This result is almost certainly wrong, but it is still quite exciting.
 

Offline Time

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

not quite true

I think they meant to say speed of light IN A VACUUM

in other media, it is well known that particles can under certain conditions travel
faster than light in that medium - producing an effect called Cerenkov radiation

hopefully they did their tests in a vacuum!!

You mean phase velocity.  Different from propagation or transmission velocity, which the article is clearly referring to.  Cherenkov radiation is something that will only occur with larger CHARGED particles exceeding the phase velocity in a given material.  A neutrino has no charge.
-Time
 

Online Mechatrommer

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The speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit
eye sight can move alot faster than that. and what is it that is called vacuum? once people believed outer space is empty, but later found out to be not true. perfect vacuum is purely theoritical, just like a perfect straight line. it doesnt exist in real life. yes mr erodito (eisntein Jr.), go figure it out.
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline amspire

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The speed of light is the fastest anything can go relative to the reference of space, but space itself can expand way faster then the speed of light.

So it is possible for two objects that are relatively stationary to be 1000 light years apart today, and 2000 light years apart tomorrow if space decides to speed up its expansion a bit. The objects themselves haven't moved. There is just now more space between them.

This is exactly what happened at the big bang, and it explains why we can still receive microwave radiation from the big bang today. Radio waves that started out towards us from maybe 10 meters away are only just reaching us now because of the degree to which space expanded between us and the microwaves signals in transit.

Richard
 

Offline SgtRock

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Dear Erik:

--Your link has gone dead. See below for link to a similar article (23SEP11 Link now working):

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/neutrinos-faster-than-light/

--It is fitting that the neutrino, Italian for "little neutral one", so named by Enrico Fermi in 1934, should be found breaking the C limit in Italy. Hopefully these results will be confirmed by Fermi Lab in Batavia Illinois, just east of Chicago, where Fermi constructed the first nuclear reactor.

--This is the second earth shaking discovery this month by the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in the Italian Apennine Mountains. Earlier this month they reported detections of WIMPS "Weakly Interacting Massive Particles" one of the proposed solutions to the Universe's "Missing Matter" problem.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=shedding-light-on-the-mystery

--Now both of these experiments still need confirmation, so no point in getting to excited yet. But if neutrinos can go FTL, maybe we can also. I will be ready to board the Enterprise and boldly go. Bring on those hot green space women.

"Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused. But on a higher level." Enrico Fermi

Best Regards
Clear Ether
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 03:36:04 pm by SgtRock »
 

Offline ciccio

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The reason is simple: neutrinos were coming from Switzerland, and they knew that NO foreigner pays a speed ticket (actually they do not pay any ticket) here in Italy. This is an example (you can translate it with Google):
http://www.lanazione.it/firenze/cronaca/2011/09/08/577054-multe_vergogna.shtml
So I believe that they were respecting Einstein's laws from Geneva to the Italian border,  but after they felt free..... ;)
Actually I'm shocked: I know personally some of the scientists that work at the Gran Sasso labs, and they too are shocked.

Regards

EDIT: thanks to the Forum for promoting me to he Full Member status
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 05:40:54 am by ciccio »
Ciccio

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Offline Bored@Work

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If I get my math right, depending if them mean an American "billion" or a civilized billion, and how few is "few" they are short of something like 0.5 m or 0.5 mm over the 732 km distance. I hope they had a talk with their surveyor first, to exclude the glaring obvious error source.

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Offline IanB

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I'm not an EE--what am I doing here?
 

Offline firewalker

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Maybe speed of light value was wrong.

Alexander.
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline ejeffrey

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If I get my math right, depending if them mean an American "billion" or a civilized billion, and how few is "few" they are short of something like 0.5 m or 0.5 mm over the 732 km distance. I hope they had a talk with their surveyor first, to exclude the glaring obvious error source.

The discrepancy was 60 ns or 20 meters out of 732 km.
 

Offline nzo

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This is from memory: Prof Michio Kaku related during one of his lectures that Einstein did not find that one cannot travel faster than the speed of light, just that one cannot travel AT the speed of light.

I like this:



(diagram thanks to Make Magazine)
Frogman: half man, half frog, but which half?
 

Offline ejeffrey

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This is from memory: Prof Michio Kaku related during one of his lectures that Einstein did not find that one cannot travel faster than the speed of light, just that one cannot travel AT the speed of light.

It is a bit more subtle than that.  The kinetic energy of a massive particle diverges (becomes infinite) at exactly v=c.  For v>c you are simply left with imaginary quantities :)

However, if you allow v>c lots of other things break.  Any propogation speed greater than 'c' will always be going backwards in time in some reference frames.  This means that if the principle of relativity is correct -- that is, the laws of physics are the same in all reference frames, superluminal travel can always be used for time travel and violate causality.

That isn't to say there couldn't be new physics hiding there, but saying "relativity allows v > c, just not v=c" is a bit misleading.
 

Offline nzo

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The other thing that occurs to me is if fractals are consistent at all scales, perhaps there are barriers (such as the sound barrier) one would have to traverse (or to get to a) faster-than-light universe.
Frogman: half man, half frog, but which half?
 

Offline Panacea

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I also think Einstein was just partially right, same as Newton with his law of universal gravitation. Yet he could never explain why numbers dind't fit with mercury, or why the moon really is arround the earth.

Things like this will continue to happen mostly because physics, while mostly right to the known extent, is made upon castle sands.

Which is normal in the other hand, it even discards ancient knowledge such that scientists can sleep at night seing their world fit (the kybalion already said every single thing resonates at a certain frequency, yet the "strings" theory has only been "accepted" lately).
 

Offline ejeffrey

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Offline firewalker

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I Believe the correct is "Nothing can't travel faster than light, but something can move from point A to point B faster than light would".

Alexander.

This is from memory: Prof Michio Kaku related during one of his lectures that Einstein did not find that one cannot travel faster than the speed of light, just that one cannot travel AT the speed of light.

I like this:



(diagram thanks to Make Magazine)
Become a realist, stay a dreamer.

 

Offline AntiProtonBoy

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I'm putting my money on instrumentation error, or some other unforeseen flaw that skewed the measurements. Like with most things in science, we must be patient and wait for these claims to pass peer review. Deep down I hope the measurements are correct, as this could be quite revolutionary in the field of physics; especially because Neutrinos do have a mass, and anything with a mass could never reach the speed of light.

That said, the Neutrino is a bastard of a particle to detect, let alone to measure. The facilities used to detect single photon events (caused by Neutrino interaction) is massive (here is another one in Japan). The signal to noise ratio would be pretty poor, so the amount of rubbish one needs to filter through in the data is not a walk in the park.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 10:59:19 am by AntiProtonBoy »
 

Offline Kozmyk

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It's amusing to see people so attached to the idea that C should be an absolute constant.
It was only a theory in the first place.
Stubborn attachment to old theories inhibits progress.

It may well be that the results are wrong, this time; it may not.
That C is Max is not proven as such, it has only NOT shown to be otherwise by experimentation, Up Till Now.

Without minds open to new possibilities there is no advancement.


Take the ideas of this gentleman whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago.
http://globalsentience.com/ashtyn-smith
You could be forgiven for thinking that this guy was just another kook until you learn that his track record includes working on the NASA Moon landings and British rocket program.

His hypothesis is just one of the different ways of looking at the nature of physics, or is that the physics of nature? ;)


 

Offline FreeThinker

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All this physics talk is way above my head but as I understood it Einstein only said a particle cannot be accelerated faster than light not that a particle cannot travel faster than light. The difference being that if a particle has always being faster than light then it is accepted but the light barrier remains true. I seem to remember (vaguely) something called a tachyon which travels faster than light (always) but never below light speed.
Ok so could it not be possible that the Neutrinos 'hitch a ride' on a Tachyon? Just a thought :).
And didn't they have Tachyon drives on Star trek? must be true!
Machines were mice and Men were lions once upon a time, but now that it's the opposite it's twice upon a time.
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Offline ejeffrey

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I'm putting my money on instrumentation error, or some other unforeseen flaw that skewed the measurements.

Almost certainly.

Quote
That said, the Neutrino is a bastard of a particle to detect, let alone to measure. The facilities used to detect single photon events (caused by Neutrino interaction) is massive (here is another one in Japan). The signal to noise ratio would be pretty poor, so the amount of rubbish one needs to filter through in the data is not a walk in the park.

While they use photon counting detectors, neutrino detection is not a single photon event, and the SNR is actually quite high.  Almost all of the neutrinos pass through the detector completely unnoticed.  However, when one hits an atomic nucleus, it generates a high energy muon.  The muon is traveling very close to c and makes a whole bunch of Cherenkov radiation.  This creates a line source of photons which are detected by photomultipliers.  For a single neutron, many photons are detected, so the the dark counts of the PMTs are negligibile.  By mapping the track back to its origin you can compute the point of impact and energy with high accuracy.  The sources of noise are basically neutrinos from other sources and nuclear decay from unstable isotopes.  If the source is not far enough underground, cosmic rays are another source of noise.  Generally these event have different energy than the neutrinos you are looking for, so they can be excluded easily.

Quote
It's amusing to see people so attached to the idea that C should be an absolute constant.
It was only a theory in the first place.

"It is only a theory" is a total bullshit statement that has no meaning except to make the person saying it feel smarter. The significance of c is backed up by decades of experimental evidence.  Throwing that out at the first reported observation would be foolishness of the highest order.  This is definitely interesting work, and these guys are not just cranks like you sometimes see -- they are legitimate scientists who have data they can't explain.  That doesn't mean nobody can explain it, or that there is no explanation.

For a counterpoint, consider this.  According to these measurements, the neutrinos in question travel at 1.000025 c.  If that were true in general, the neutrinos from a distant supernova would arrive much earlier than the light --  on the order of 4 years earlier for supernova 1987a. In reality, the neutrinos arrive a few hours early.  This is explainable by the fact that the neutrinos travel from the core of the supernova almost unhindered, while the shockwave takes some time to reach the surface and create the visible response.  For more distant supernovas, the time lag would be even greater, but this is not observed.  This is fairly strong evidence that neutrinos do not travel measureably faster than c.  For both of these measurements to be correct, either there is some unexplained dependence on the neutrino energy, neutrinos travel faster through rocks than vacuum, or there is some unknown compensating effect that slows supernova neutrinos down.
 

Offline Kozmyk

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"It is only a theory" is a total bullshit statement that has no meaning except to make the person saying it feel smarter.
This vehemence is indicative of the reaction I first mentioned. LOL
Just WHO is attempting to appear clever in this matter?  ::)

Nowhere in my comment did I suggest that any ideas be "thrown out", you are getting ahead of yourself I fear.
That they may need to be reconsidered is only logical, anything else is deliberate ignorance.

It does not matter how many decades of experimental evidence there are if new evidence forces a re-evaluation.

Whether this new discovery turns out to be a valid breakthrough or not it remains interesting to see how people react to the mere possibility that any of their cherished notions may need to be altered.
I remain amused. thank you.  ;D
 


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