posted on November 25, 2011 |
Last Thursday, it was reported that an experiment showing a particle traveling faster than the speed of light had been successfully repeated. The testing was carried out by an international alliance of 160 physicists, known as OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion Tracking Apparatus) at the particle accelerator operated by CERN (European Council for Nuclear Research) along the French-Swiss border.
The neutrino particles were found to arrive at their destination 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected.
While the second trial has confirmed the results from the first, validation by a second, independent testing group will be necessary before the findings are universally accepted. This will be welcomed by a large group of skeptical physicists who feel that there were errors in the original testing. They believe that the neutrinos were contained in bunches too wide to be measured accurately.
However, even after tightening the packets of particles, removing some uncertainty in the measurements, the neutrinos were still found to fly faster than 186,282 miles per second, the speed of light.
This turns the world of Einsteinian physics upside down, as the theory of relativity is based on light having the ultimate speed. However, no new laws will be written until after additional tests by a separate scientific body.