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Zero Star Member
Zero Star Member
“A pillar of physics — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein’s theories. Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos travelling faster than light. That’s something that according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity — the famous E (equals) mc2 equation — just doesn’t happen.”

If it’s true, it will mark the biggest discovery in physics in the past half-century: Elusive, nearly mass less subatomic particles called neutrinos appear to travel just faster than light, a team of physicists in Europe reports. If so, the observation would wreck Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which demands that nothing can travel faster than light.

European Physicists claim to have detected neutrinos (small sub-atomic particles), travelling at faster than the speed of light. Researchers on the OPERA, (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus), experiment blasted a beam producing billions upon billions of neutrinos from CERN, which straddles the French-Swiss border near Geneva, to the Gran Sasso Laboratory 450 miles away in Italy. The particles appear to have been clocked at an astounding 186,415.086 miles per second. A feat currently forbidden by Einstein’s theory of special relativity, a theory that is a foundation of physics. The speed of light at 186,282 miles per second is considered the cosmic speed limit.

OPERA’s claim is being greeted with skepticism inside and outside the European lab. ”The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gillies, a spokesman for CERN. Alvaro de Rujula, a theoretical physicist who works at CERN, called the claim “flabbergasting.” “If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything,” he said, adding: “It looks too big to be true. The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.”

Antonio Ereditato, the physicist who leads OPERA, made it clear that while the team had looked hard for any measurement errors or other mistakes that could explain it, and found none, the results still needed careful checking: “After many months of studies and cross checks we have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement. While OPERA researchers will continue their studies, we are also looking forward to independent measurements to fully assess the nature of this observation.”

John Learned, a neutrino astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said that if the results of the OPERA researchers turned out to be true, it could be the first hint that neutrinos can take a shortcut through space, through extra dimensions. Joe Lykken of Fermilab said, “Special relativity only holds in flat space, so if there is a warped fifth dimension, it is possible that on other slices of it, the speed of light is different.”

The results were announced at a special seminar at CERN today, which coincided with the publication of a research paper describing the experiments. The Gran Sasso National Laboratory, the world’s largest underground particle physics Laboratory is located under a mountain in central Italy. The CERN, (European Center for Nuclear Research), complex operates a network of six accelerators and a decelerator including the worlds largest particle accelerator the Large Hadron Collider or LHC.

What is neutrino?

A neutrino is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with a small but non-zero mass. Being electrically neutral, it is able to pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected, "like a bullet passing through a bank of fog". The neutrino (meaning "small neutral one") is denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu).

Neutrinos are similar to the more familiar electron, with one crucial difference: neutrinos do not carry electric charge, which means that they are not affected by the electromagnetic forces that act on electrons. Neutrinos are affected only by the weak sub-atomic force, of much shorter range than electromagnetism, and are therefore able to travel great distances through matter without being affected by it. Neutrinos also interact gravitationally with other particles.

Neutrinos are created as a result of certain types of radioactive decay, or nuclear reactions such as those that take place in the Sun, in nuclear reactors, or when cosmic rays hit atoms. There are three types, or "flavours", of neutrinos: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos. Each type also has a corresponding antiparticle, called an antineutrino. Electron neutrinos (or antineutrinos) result when protons decay, through beta decay, to neutrons, or vice versa. Interactions involving neutrinos are mediated by the weak interaction.

Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun. About 65 billion (6.5×1010) solar neutrinos per second pass through every square centimeter perpendicular to the direction of the Sun in the region of the Earth.


Zero Star Member
Zero Star Member
Light is the most fastest thing in the world.

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