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A Small Glimmer of Hope For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos 183

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-put-much-money-on-it dept.
sciencehabit writes "The CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva has confirmed Wednesday's report that a loose fiber-optic cable may be behind measurements that seemed to show neutrinos outpacing the speed of light. But the lab also says another glitch could have caused the experiment to underestimate the particles' speed. The other effect concerns an oscillator that gives its readings time stamps synchronized to GPS signals. Researchers think correcting for an error in this device would actually increase the anomaly in neutrino velocity, making the particles even speedier than the earlier measurements seemed to show."
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A Small Glimmer of Hope For Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos

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  • by gweihir (88907) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @12:30AM (#39156273)

    The fault is not with CERN but the press coverage. The claims out of CERN was an effect they could not explain, and that was the literal truth. Now they are getting deeper into it and finding flaws, which is not a surprise when working this close to what is possible with current technology. Before they can reliably say either way, they will need to do a lot more experiments and have independent verification. The scientists never claimed otherwise. Who you should stop taking seriously is journalists writing nonsense about things they do not understand.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:07AM (#39156427)

    Thats exactly what they did.

    They released their results and said "we didn't quite yet figure out if there is a problem with our stuff, but here, maybe you guys can find something".

    They didn't come out day one and shouted "we have FTL nutrinos, fuck all you bitches in chemisty".

  • Only way to be sure (Score:2, Informative)

    by PatPending (953482) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:07AM (#39156431)

    Vasquez: [after barely surviving the humilation of a loose fiber-optic cable] Okay. We have several canisters of neutrinos. I say we go back in there and remeasure the whole fuckin' experiment.

    Hicks: It's worth the try, but we don't know if that's gonna affect anything.

    Hudson: Let's just bug out and call it even, Mat! What are we even talking about this for?

    Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    Hudson: Fuckin' A!

    Burke: Hold on a second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.

    Ripley: They can *bill* me.

    Burke: Okay, I know this is an emotional moment for all of us. I know that. But let's not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly an important experiment we're dealing with and I don't think that you or I, or *anybody*, has the right to arbitrarily kill it.

    Ripley: Wrong.

    Vasquez: Yeah, watch us.

    Hudson: Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!

  • by sg_oneill (159032) on Saturday February 25, 2012 @01:42AM (#39156557)

    Actually Cern did not claim it. It said that it had found some results that it could not account for yet. At no point did cern go "We have found FTL neutrinos".

  • It's not CERN (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @02:26AM (#39156667)

    The original article is way, way misleading. It makes it sound like the people in CERN are to blame. However, CERN is just the source of the neutrinos. The detectors in the other end is the Gran Sasso lab in Italy. The whole shebang is called the OPERA experiment.

    Now, the problem(s) were found in the Gran Sasso side. For a slightly more accurate reporting, see http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/02/24/finally-an-opera-plot-that-makes-some-sense/, especially the first comment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 25, 2012 @04:31AM (#39157105)

    0.001% of the speed of light is still very fast. 300000m/s give or take.

    Take out a couple of more zeroes. It's 3 km/s.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington

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