CERN claims to have broken the speed of light

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers at CERN said measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done. “We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing. We now want colleagues to check them independently.”

“The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. “They are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they’ve done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements,” he said Thursday.

Scientists at the competing Fermilab in Chicago have promised to start such work immediately. “It’s a shock,” said Fermilab head theoretician Stephen Parke, who was not part of the research in Geneva. “It’s going to cause us problems, no doubt about that — if it’s true.” The Chicago team had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but those came with a giant margin of error that undercut its scientific significance.

There have been other claims in the past such as as claim in 2000 by scientists from the NEC Research Institute in Princeton, N.J.In that experiment they manipulated a vapour of laser-irradiated atoms that boost the speed of light waves causing a pulse that shoots through the vapour about 300 times faster than it would take the pulse to go the same distance in a vacuum. To date none have been proven or duplicated.

In this claim CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant.

Don’t get to excited, it looks promising, we will see if it can be duplicated. Once that happens … get excited.

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