Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit

DENNIS OVERBYE, New York Times, September 22, 2011

The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit — the speed of light — that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.

“The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.” -Alvaro de Rujula, theorist at CERN

John Learned, a neutrino astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said that if the results of the Opera researchers turned out to be true, it could be the first hint that neutrinos can take a shortcut through space, through extra dimensions.

The Opera results will generate a rush of experiments aimed at confirming or repudiating it, according to Dr. Learned. “This is revolutionary and will require convincing replication,” he said.

The replications of this experiment alone, convincing or not, will create a disturbance in the world of science that will be severe and unpredictable.

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