Baffling CERN Results Show Neutrinos Moving Faster Than the Speed of Light

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Vyom, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    Don’t go throwing out your physics texts just yet, but there’s some strange and unprecedented news brewing at CERN today that could potentially undo large parts of the Standard Model, and it has nothing to do with particle collisions at the LHC or elusive god particles. Physicists running routine neutrino experiments between CERN’s Geneva HQ and the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy 455 miles away have found that their neutrinos seem to be traveling faster than the speed of light. That’s right: faster than the fastest known speed in the universe.
    Just a refresher--not that you need it--but nothing travels faster than the speed of light. In physics-as-we-understand-them, it is the absolute and ultimate speed limit in our universe. We’ve tested and retested the speed of light, measured it in as many ways as we can think of, and much of modern physics is built upon the idea that nothing can exceed it.

    So naturally this result is potentially huge. But, as noted above, it’s not yet time to tear down the whole of modern physics and start all over. Here’s what’s going on: CERN physicists are firing neutrinos--which don’t interact with normal matter and thus can pass straight through the earth--to a detector in Italy. The aim here was to test the frequency of oscillations (that’s when one flavor of neutrino spontaneously shifts to another flavor), so the Geneva team was sending a beam of muon neutrinos toward Gran Sasso, and the Gran Sasso team was recording how many ended up there as tau neutrinos.

    But in doing so, they started to notice something odd. The neutrinos from CERN were showing up at Gran Sasso a few billionths of a second early--in other words, they appeared to be getting from Switzerland to Italy faster than light would travel the same distance.


    This isn’t an isolated anomaly, but has been going on for years. The team has now measured some 15,000 batches of neutrinos coming across that distance, and they say they’ve reached a point where the statistical significance is such that, were they trying to prove anything else, it would count as as formal scientific discovery. But try as they might, they can’t explain what’s happening.


    Nobody, least of all the researchers involved, is ready to call the Standard Model’s upper speed limit busted just yet. But they also can’t explain what’s happening, which is why they are opening up their data to scrutiny from the wider scientific community. So now we’ll have to wait and see if others in the physics world can replicate their results or come up with some kind of explanation as to why the neutrinos appear to be breaching a fundamental physical law.


    http://www.popsci.com/science/artic...ults-show-neutrinos-moving-faster-speed-light
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I read this article yesterday; and if it proven to be true it will mean many laws of physics may have to be rewritten.
     
  4. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Any way, laws of physics are always rewritten every couple of hundred years.
     
  5. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  6. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    Light looses momentum in all mediums including vacuum, whereas neutrinos do not interact with the medium it passes through, and since it does not it carry information and neither has any affect on the mass-energy equation. That is why this article doubts whether laws will have to be re-defined.
     
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  7. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Actually the fundamental concept is that nothing travels faster than the speed of light in absolute vaccum. I am not sure how exactly these new observations override that fact. Plus aren't Chrenkov radations known to travel faster than light under certain circumstances?

    Vyom about your point on light losing momentum in vaccum, if there's no resistance of any sort then there should be no external force being applied on a light particle (quanta) in vaccum and thus as per Newton's second law there should be no change in momentum.
     
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  8. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    Well first of outer space is not exactly vacuum, and by vacuum I meant the outer space. Secondly, light loses momentum in space because of various radiation interference and also to immense gravity wear and tear by massive objects. The bending of light, as you might be knowing, is how scientists came to prove the space-time causation of gravity.

    There are numerous other forces in play in space, including that of dark matter and dark energy. Hence electro-magnetic radiation wades over extremely long distance, which also helps us ascertain the distance of the source of light in space.
     
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  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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  10. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Eisenstein was bit of a fraud, he was a very good mathematician who solved great equations but to take his imagination as reality will not be the wise thing to do. As far as i know, we dont even know what gravity is.
     
  11. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    I did not mean outer space. I agree that there are quite a few factors that will intefere in the outerspace rendering it far short of absolute vaccum. The theory is that nothing travels faster than the speed of light in absolute vaccum i.e. 300,000 km/s. Light itself travels at lesser speeds in other media- liquid and gaseous. So given that CERN experiments were performed in a medium that was not absolute vaccum it is entirely possible that neutrinos were observed to travel faster than light in that medium.

    However, the key qestion is whether those neutrinos were observed to travel at speeds greater than 300,000 km/s in the CERN experiment. If yes, the definitely this study counteracts one of the dogmas of classical physics, if not then the dogma stands.
     
  12. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    Einstein a fraud? Do you know how extensively his theories have been tested? Do you even realize the intricacies of these issues? They have not proven E=MC2 false, that is not possible, because that concerns electromagnetic radiation whereas neutrino's rush is called a flux.

    You need to understand that there is nothing like absolute vacuum. If you pull out air from a container, it does not becomes absolute vacuum. The speed of light in theory and in experiments have been found to be the same, so the comparison remains valid. Add to that the fact that neutrino does not interacts with the medium it passes through as electromagnetic radiation does, because it is only affected by the weak nuclear force in an atom. Neutrinos are not affected by either gravity or the medium they pass through.
     
  13. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    I understand that absolute vaccum is impossible to create just as absolute zero (-273K) is impossible to attain. They are theoretical concepts. What those concepts hypothesise is that under conditions approaching absolute vaccum, light should travel at speeds approaching 300,000 km/s. Similarly, under temperatures approaching absolute zero, entropy of a system must approach zero. However, in real life, entropy of a system can never be zero since absolute zero can never be attained. That does not negate the concept of absolute zero in the first place

    What I wish to know is if the CERN scientists actually measured neutrinos in their experiment travelling faster than 300,000 km/s or not. If yes, then neutrinos do travel faster than the maximum possible speed of light.
     
  14. Vyom

    Vyom Seeker Elite Member

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    Let us focus on this. They claim they have found neutrino travelling at more than the speed of light and that could only mean that they have actually registered speeds at more 300,000 km/s (as a naive example, if you compare the faster of two cars the only logical means is to compare their top speeds).

    But this cannot render E=MC2 as false, because as I mentioned above neutrino is not an electromagnetic radiation and has no affect on the energy mass equation because it is electrically neutral and does not interact with matter, except under some circumstances. And neither can neutrino carry information, which is all the basis of this news being so much relished.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2011
  15. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Thanks a bunch for explaining that Vyom.
     
  16. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    Earlier belief was that nothing travels faster than light, now if the neutrinos did break light speed then it would mean that, there could be several other elements out there that could travel at FTL speed.
     
  17. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    I highly doubt others in this thread would fully understand the meaning of your post.
     
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  18. niharjhatn

    niharjhatn Regular Member

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    I do not know what it is either. When my physics teacher told me that even I attract those around me, I thought it was because they liked me. :shocked:
     
  19. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Not so fast: Loose wire led to stunning, faster-than-light particle finding | Fox News
     
  20. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    Wasn't Eisenstein a character in Die Fledermaus?
     

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