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  #1  
Old 09-24-2011, 12:18 AM
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Default Speed of Light challenged

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...7KM4CW20110922

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GENEVA, Sept 22 (Reuters) - An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles travelling faster than light -- a finding that could overturn one of Einstein's long-accepted fundamental laws of the universe.

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

"We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing," he said. "We now want colleagues to check them independently."

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a "cosmic constant" and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

That assertion, which has withstood over a century of testing, is one of the key elements of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works.

The totally unexpected finding emerged from research by a physicists working on an experiment dubbed OPERA run jointly by the CERN particle research centre near Geneva and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy.

A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos -- tiny particles that pervade the cosmos -- were fired over a period of 3 years from CERN towards Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.

Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds -- or 60 billionths of a second -- less than light beams would have taken.

"It is a tiny difference," said Ereditato, who also works at Berne University in Switzerland, "but conceptually it is incredibly important. The finding is so startling that, for the moment, everybody should be very prudent."
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2011, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

Personally, I'm pleased at the overturning of a long accepted theory. It means we still have more to discover about the way our universe works.

Of course, it will be inconvenient for physicists who have relied on this as the truth, and many other "truths" will undoubtedly be affected. But I like the fact that people still aren't able to explain everything that happens.
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Old 09-24-2011, 05:30 AM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Originally Posted by Exophi View Post
Personally, I'm pleased at the overturning of a long accepted theory. It means we still have more to discover about the way our universe works.

Of course, it will be inconvenient for physicists who have relied on this as the truth, and many other "truths" will undoubtedly be affected. But I like the fact that people still aren't able to explain everything that happens.
Oh trust me, speed of light or no speed of light, we aren't explaining everything for a long, long time.

Also, this doesn't overturn Relativity; far from it. It won't be until the results are replicated in labs across the world by independent scientists until we'll need a replacement for Relativity. This may end up being just a one-off anomaly due to some mistake or other.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

There is one thing that is faster than the speed of light. Darkness. While light is still traveling to a position, darkness is already there. xD
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:43 AM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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There is one thing that is faster than the speed of light. Darkness. While light is still traveling to a position, darkness is already there. xD
Darkness isn't a thing, it's a lack of a thing.
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Old 09-24-2011, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Darkness isn't a thing, it's a lack of a thing.
A joke? No? Okay, I will be boring and serious for now on.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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A joke? No? Okay, I will be boring and serious for now on.
Hilarious.
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Originally Posted by Gelatini Jejunator View Post
Hilarious.
You haven't seen Ask a Ninja, so it has no effect.
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

Wait, but what if lightbulbs worked differently. Like instead of shooting out light, they sucked up all of the darkness into them?

Wouldn't that ruin science too?
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Wait, but what if lightbulbs worked differently. Like instead of shooting out light, they sucked up all of the darkness into them?

Wouldn't that ruin science too?
You'd need to observe some kind of Darkness Particle being absorbed into the lightbulb, rather than photons shooting out of it. Also, we can measure the photons hitting an object. And it also wouldn't explain how lasers work or the electromagnetic spectrum.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
Halsman: "Don't forget that we are in America. We will be put in prison if we start exploding ducks."
Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."

Last edited by Lusankya; 09-24-2011 at 04:05 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2011, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

An accepted principle of physics being shown to have an exception, if not being wrong altogether?

... yeah, par for the course here, science.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

Interesting...


I know that black holes emit radiation when they form (not sure if they do it when they are completely formed and stable)...Sure, it could be that it's not strong enough to keep the radiation in at that moment as it's still a "baby", but if it is actually emitting radiation when it's an "adult"...

Well, wouldn't that be going faster than light then? It'd have to be in order to escape.



...I'm only reciting what I've read about and learned from Discovery Channel XD Stars fascinate me (but not as much as weather) XP So it's highly likely I'm wrong. If I recall right, it's a Gamma Ray Burst that the newly formed black hole shoots off ^^'
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Old 09-24-2011, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Originally Posted by Grassy_Aggron View Post
Interesting...


I know that black holes emit radiation when they form (not sure if they do it when they are completely formed and stable)...Sure, it could be that it's not strong enough to keep the radiation in at that moment as it's still a "baby", but if it is actually emitting radiation when it's an "adult"...

Well, wouldn't that be going faster than light then? It'd have to be in order to escape.



...I'm only reciting what I've read about and learned from Discovery Channel XD Stars fascinate me (but not as much as weather) XP So it's highly likely I'm wrong. If I recall right, it's a Gamma Ray Burst that the newly formed black hole shoots off ^^'
Not... quite. To explain Hawking radiation properly you'd have to learn about vacuum energy, imaginary particles, and negative matter. So it's probably best if I just tell you that the radiation is actually coming from the black hole. Suffice it to say that all of physics that we know of adheres to the speed of light.

Gamma ray bursts are the result of the death of the largest stars, yes, and those tend to make black holes.
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Dali: "I know what the picture should be ... We take a duck and put some dynamite in its derriere. When the duck explodes, I jump and you take the picture."
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Dali: "You're right. Let's take some cats and splash them with water."
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  #14  
Old 09-24-2011, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

Speaking of recent scientific discoveries, did anyone hear that the scientific community is beginning to look at the Multiverse Theory as a probability?
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Speed of Light challenged

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Originally Posted by Lusankya View Post
Not... quite. To explain Hawking radiation properly you'd have to learn about vacuum energy, imaginary particles, and negative matter. So it's probably best if I just tell you that the radiation is actually coming from the black hole. Suffice it to say that all of physics that we know of adheres to the speed of light.

Gamma ray bursts are the result of the death of the largest stars, yes, and those tend to make black holes.
So...Something IS capable of escaping a black hole? Ehehehe...(I should stick with meteorology, methinks).

Hey, at least I got something right XP Super Giants, amirite?
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