By Mark Halper
Posting in Energy
This just in tomorrow: CERN sends neutrinos to Italy faster than the speed of light.
The boffins at CERN in Switzerland were simply trying to beam neutrinos on a 455-mile under-mountain journey to Italy, to see how many of them would reverse their state.
Well wouldn’t you know it, those pesky neutrinos arrived ahead of time. But this was no ordinary case of early. They got there faster than the speed of light.
As the BBC notes, the result “threatens to upend a century of physics.” The article points out, “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.”
The CERN physicists were testing to see how many muon neutrinos would flip and arrive as tau neutrinos at Italy’s Gran Sasso laboratory.
During the 3-year experiment, the neutrinos pulled into Gran Sasso “a few billionths of a second” ahead of what the laws of physics should permit, the article states.
Antonio Ereditato, author of a report on the findings, said the CERN team is refraining from officially claiming the neutrinos traveled faster than light until other scientists can corroborate the results.
"We are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result - because it is crazy,” he told the BBC. "And of course the consequences can be very serious.”
Or fun even. Get ready to book your tickets back to the past. Presumably the Dr. Who Express will be carbon free.
Photo: Willie Williams/Wikimedia Commons
Another subatomic ditty:
Sep 22, 2011
I guess you will have to turn into a neutrino first before you can time travel http://cheapbizclass.com/site/destinations/
Remember that one time when we found out that light was the faster than whatever was the fastest at that time? I guess that could happen again. Laws of physics were made by us and even we have said we're still learning and know very little about everything.... so, we just learned something. Something is faster than light.
I was very happy to see this back up my hypothesis. http://jet??srock.word??press.com/??category/p??hysics/ Check out the dates
However those perceptions/observations may still be closer to the reality than any scientific official truths. http://bit.ly/qsvnNe
The only thing they found is that light-speed is not the fastest speed. We can go beyond that now. Let's say we can travel at that speed than we will simply be able to travel faster than the light around us. It is not time traveling. Also, the difference between what we thought was possible and what we found now is very small, it might just be a miscalculation.
I agree with the reader who questions the "Get ready for time travel" hook. Even if this 80 nano-second anomaly is confirmed, we are very far from "using" this fact for our own purposes. I also like Luck2BHere's reminder that as a species we tend to major in arrogance when it comes to what we think we know and can do. The first thing I would like confirmed is the actual distance between the emitter and detector. This surely affects the time-of-travel which this is all about. 80 billionths of a second - how "far" is that at light speed? Doubtless all this has been well thought out before the experiment began (but see Luck2BHere's caution!) What is the margin of error in the measurement over 455 miles? How does that error compare to say, the size of the detector, or the positions of the detecting instrumentation within the detector?
Saw a quote today about this from a scientist that said something like if this is true, then we don't know anything about anything. Of course we don't! We are so far from fundamentally understanding things, it's silly. How much further along are we, really, from how we humans viewed the cosmos when we ascribed the movement of stars and even the reasons for weather to anthropomorphic entities, than we are now? We can see more, we can better explain what we see - but only within our own perceptual restrictions, which are pretty darned significant. Every machine we build, every new formula we devise comes from *us* and *our* needs and perceptions. Thinking we know, even ever, what makes all of this tick is simply arrogant. We are an infinitesimally small part of this machine and clearly inconsequential. That is not to say it is not in us and beneficial as a species to us to discover. It's clearly a part of our need to survive. But, there are things beneath and inside of everything that we can perceive that are most likely unreachable. Why would this grand system give life forms, such as we are, the ultimate ability to fully understand - and then possibly control - our surroundings and ultimate destiny. We are not smart enough, and that would not be a good system design. So far, it seems it's going to outlast us, no? That said, the pure joy of finding things like this is truly exciting. It's all we got!
I almost did not read this article. The "hook" of "time travel" is a turn-off for me. If you are not smart enough to find a better hook than such contradictory ideas, I don't consider what you say to be very important. I wish our schools did a better job of teaching about the basics of physics. Then no one would be tempted to read this article, and you might have to find a better hook. The report that (neutrinos or anything) may have exceeded the speed of light, if true would/should be significant enough to attract readers. It is a sorry time, that "time travel" still wins over reported events.
The initial conditions of the singularity that spawned our universe set the arrow of time always into the future. Going back in our time line would mean reversing Entropy and finding and using all th energy necessary to reconstruct everything that had been, before Entropy had changed it.
Do you need a detector the size of the ones at CERN to detect them? Maybe the neutrinos distorted space time?
Presumably, they took the earth's rotation into account. Then again, "top scientists" failed to convert metric to English and lost a satellite.
If my calculations are right, at 186282.4 miles per second light travels 0.9835711 feet in a second. So rounding that off to 1 foot per billionth of a second you get 80 feet (24.384 meters) in 80 billionths of a second.
It just means traveling billions of light years in hundreds of millions of years, to see what happened at the start of time itself.
Some neutrino detectors are mentioned in the Wiki entry on neutrinos http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino#Neutrino_detection They're not small. If these results are verified, not planning on visiting Alpha Centauri or checking up on Lee H Oswald back in '63, but, still, wow. Rather, WOW!!
Thanks for the math! It's in the ball park of what I expected. The margin of error for measuring over 455 miles through rock, and allowing for a difference in level from the emitter to detector - could that be more than the 0.00333% that 80 feet is of the 2,402,400 feet in 455 miles? I'm thinking "yes it is."