October 28, 2011
Scientists To Revisit Speed Of Light Neutrino Experiment
The scientists who reported about particles that moved faster than light said on Friday that they were going to revisit their experiment.
The scientists said that they began a new test earlier this week because critics of the experiment say the results were "a statistical quirk," according to the AFP news agency.
The team said on September 23 that they measured neutrinos that traveled about 3.75 miles per second faster than the velocity of light, breaking Einstein's claim of light being the highest speed possible.
Einstein said that nothing should be able to travel faster than light, and evidence that neutrinos were capable of doing so would have a fundamental impact on understanding the universe.
The neutrinos were measured at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN) along the 454-mile-long Large Hadron Collider.
The scientists went over the results of the Opera experiment for about six months before making the announcement.
They said they were bewildered by their findings and asked for other scientists to help explain what they discovered.
Some critics argue that the timing measurements may have been misread. Dr. Sergio Bertolucci, director of research at CERN, told BBC News that using shorter pulses could help solve this problem.
Professor Matt Strassler of Rutgers University, who identified possible flaws in the original experiment, said the new test would help clarify the data.
Strassler wrote on his blog: "It's like sending a series of loud and isolated clicks instead of a long blast on a horn; in the latter case you have to figure out exactly when the horn starts and stops, but in the former you just hear each click and then it's already over."
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