Is Relativity Correct? Faster-Than-Light Speed DetectedCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: September 23, 2011 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.