30 October 2011

Speed of Light Theory To Be Challenged Again

18 March 2012
CERN UPDATE: ICARUS Experiment Indicate Neutrino Speed Consistent With Speed Of Light

After announcing that they have observed particles travelling faster than the speed of light, Physicists at CERN ( European Organization for Nuclear Research) will be conducting the experiment again but in another way. They will address issues that may others have brought up that may have given the first experiment false readings. They want to make sure that their readings are accurate.

In the experiment, particles called neutrinos are sent through the Earth's crust from CERN in Geneva towards Italy at the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away. The experiment is named OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus).

Last September, scientists announced that they have observed that the particles were travelling faster than the speed of light. Scientists consistently noticed that the neutrinos traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Current theories on physics state that this is impossible.

Last month, Ronald van Elburg of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found an explanation that explained the error in reading the faster than light in neutrino speed. According to van Elburg, it has to do with using gps satellites that OPERA used in measuring the neutrino speed.

Video: OPERA experiment

In the re-calibrated experiment, instead of using firing the protons in a long pulse of 10 microseconds, they will be sent in a series of short bursts of just one or two nanoseconds with a gap of 500 nanoseconds between each burst. They will also be switching from accelerating protons to accelerating lead ions. Hopefully, they will settle the issue once and for all.

According to Albert Einstein's theory of special relativity, nothing can travel faster than light. Most of modern physics is based on this theory. If this is proved wrong and faster than light speed is possible, physicists the world over would have to rethink and redo everything that they know about physics.

Other physics lab are conducting their own experiments as well as collaborating on this one.Teams working on other Gran Sasso experiments will begin independent cross-check analysiss of Opera's results. The US Minos experiment and Japan's T2K experiment will also test the observations.


OPERA website
CERN UPDATE: ICARUS Experiment Indicate Neutrino Speed Consistent With Speed Of Light
CERN Update: Faster Than Speed of Light May Be Due To Hardware Fault
Follow Up Report on OPERA Faster Than Light Particles
Speed of Light Theory To Be Challenged Again
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