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Idle Science

The Mythical Tunnel Between CERN and Central Italy 303

fph il quozientatore writes "Mariastella Gelmini, the Italian minister of Public Education and Scientific Research, complimented the researchers for the recent (supposed) discovery of faster-than-light neutrinos. Her press release mentions that Italy funded the construction of a 'tunnel between the CERN [in Geneva] and Gran Sasso [the labs in Central Italy].' Google maps reports the distance between the two labs as over 900km — but of course once the tunnel is open to traffic the trip will be much faster."
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The Mythical Tunnel Between CERN and Central Italy

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  • by Thruen ( 753567 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:45PM (#37511612)
    I thought they just sent it through the same tubes the internet uses? Aren't neutrinos almost as small as golf balls? They'd fit easy.
  • No, it was not... (Score:5, Informative)

    by feranick ( 858651 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @10:54PM (#37511652)
    As an Italian speaker I can confirm that there is no mistranslation. She really said a tunnel was in place and Italy contributed the money to build it....
  • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kagura ( 843695 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:52PM (#37511988)
    The common rule of thumb for neutrinos is that it take a sheet of lead one light-year thick in order to stop 50% of the neutrinos directed at it. Wow!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2011 @01:52AM (#37512526)

    Gran Sasso is a mountain in eastern Italy. About 25 years ago, a tunnel (of the traffic kind) was made underneath the mountain. Physicists saw this as a great opportunity to build a particle physics lab, using the mountain as shielding from cosmic radiation. Usually such experiments (such as dark matter detectors) are placed deep underground in hard-to-get-to mines, but this lab is great since you can literally drive up to it. The lab is comprised of three (very) large sections that are right off of the main road.

    Italy paid for this tunnel and the carving out of the lab space. Maybe she was confused or maybe the translation was poor, but Italy did indeed fund the construction of the tunnel underneath Gran Sasso as well as the laboratories underneath the mountain. So give them credit there.

  • Re:Future tunnel (Score:1, Informative)

    by Kavafy ( 1322911 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @10:54AM (#37515636)
    *Double whoosh*

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!