CERN speed-of-light breakthrough the result of a glitch?

CERN speed-of-light breakthrough the result of a glitch?

Summary: Scientists at CERN shocked the science world when they announced neutrinos traveling at the speed of light. But the testing equipment may have been faulty.

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TOPICS: Security
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The surprising discovery of neutrinos traveling faster than light, which would challenge some of our core assumptions of physics, may have been the result of errors in the equipment used in the experiment.

Scientists at CERN shocked the physics establishment last September, when they said tests in the enormous Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Racking Apparatus (OPERA) experiment appeared to have shown the subatomic particles traveling slightly faster than the speed of light. According to Einstein's Theory, nothing can move faster than light.

A further test in November seemingly backed up the finding, but on Thursday CERN said it had "identified two possible effects that could have an influence on its neutrino timing measurement". More tests need to be carried out before CERN can be sure what — if anything — has gone wrong, though.

The two potential defects in the equipment would actually have the opposite effects. If the first was affecting the neutrino speed measurements, then neutrinos would in reality have been traveling even faster than claimed. Conversely, the second flaw's impact would mean they were traveling slower than thought.


The giant OPERA experiment found neutrinos traveling faster than light, but flawed kit may be to blame (Credit: CERN)

For more of this story, read CERN neutrino shock may be down to faulty connector on ZDNet UK.

Topic: Security

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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9 comments
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  • next glitch: global warming

    very soon the global warming theory will be disproved as flawed as it was peddled by incompetent tree hugging liberals.
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: CERN speed-of-light breakthrough the result of a glitch?

      @The Linux Geek
      But the global warming theory is flawed. Global warming is more likely to be the result of natural factors, especially the sun, rather than human activity.
      timiteh
      • RE: CERN speed-of-light breakthrough the result of a glitch?

        @timiteh
        No, Global Warming is real, it's the causes you mention that are in debate.
        PhillyIT
    • I guess being a linux dweeb you are an expert in meteorology

      @The Linux Geek... and have evidence to prove to the contrary. Oh that's right, you're a linux dweeb with no real expertise in anything other than occupying your grandmothers basement.
      Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • Einstein will be proven correct

      and global warming is a fact. Since George Washington crossed the frozen Potomac, it has only frozen once early in the 19th century. So the earth has been warming since the 18th century.

      On the other hand, when Greenland was discovered a little over a thousand years ago, they sent farmers there because it was quite warm enough. Since then we had a cooling spell and now a warming spell.

      While man made CO2 may seem a convenient thing to blame, these warming and cooling cycles can be shown to have occurred as far back as we can trace climatic cycles. They certainly had them over the three thousand years of recorded Egyptian history.
      jorjitop
  • RE: CERN speed-of-light breakthrough the result of a glitch?

    Erm, what rock have you been living under? They disproved this experiment like a week after it was first reported.
    Aerowind
  • Gran Neutrino

    I don't care how fast they were going, I want them off my lawn!
    Robert Hahn
  • Honestly...

    I don't understand anything. What I do know is that there is a glitch. :)
    VhinzSanchez
  • Speed of light

    When the CERN Project broke the Speed of light, and pretty much defied Einsteins Theory of relativity the dinosaurs come up and say it was a Glitch? http://www.americanlivewire.com/the-c-e-r-n-project-has-found-a-way-to-travel-faster-than-the-speed-of-light/
    jeffjcrooks