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Is Relativity Correct? Faster-Than-Light Speed Detected

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 08:45AM

The CERN facility in Switzerland houses the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world, which was built specifically to find the Higgs boson. Though the discovery, or lack thereof, of the Higgs boson would be a monumental discovery for physics, there has been a discovery, very recently, possibly more influential than finding the God particle. According to Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, real information cannot travel faster than the speed of light, but an experiment has measured neutrinos, a high energy subatomic particle, traveling faster than the speed of light. There has not been enough time since the announcement for firm explanations of this apparent violation of, supposed, natural law to be made, but CERN invites others to recheck their calculations and perform the experiment at other accelerators.

The neutrinos were released by smashing protons into a barrier at CERN and were then picked up at the OPERA detector in Italy, some 730 Km away. Neutrinos very rarely interact with matter, and are fully capable of flying through the Earth for that entire distance. The experiment started three years ago, and is ongoing even now, with the superluminal result being an average of the data collected already. Specifically the speed was recorded as being 1.0000248 c, which resulted in the neutrinos arriving 60 ns ahead of when a photon, at the speed of light, would have arrived. The significance calculated by CERN is 6 σ, meaning this result is very unlikely to have been caused by the errors CERN has considered, though other sources of error may exist.

Forum thread for discussion: Is Relativity Correct? Faster Than Light Speed Detected: Discussion.

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Guest comment
kayode odeleye on September 23, 2011 02:45PM
i hope this result is wrong for i cannot imagine the theory of relativity being wrong now. it would be catastrophic. it had better be a joke
mikedosul on September 23, 2011 02:56PM
The problem with relativity is that it doesn't work on the small, sub-atomic level. Einstein knew this and is why the search for the unified theory of everything continues, key word being unified.
Guest comment
drew on September 24, 2011 05:22PM
Technology has advanced beyond rapid over the past 100 years, even since electricity was invented. This may sound extravagant but in my opinion we humans may accidentally invent such technology that exceeds relativity. Unified or not, Einstein could not calculate or even predict what human technology can achieve in 100, 200, or 300 years time.
Guest comment
noreneherman on September 26, 2011 03:22AM
Physical theories are mere approximations of reality. http://bit.ly/qsvnNe

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