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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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  • Re:Darkies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by KingAlanI ( 1270538 ) on Sunday September 25, 2011 @11:58PM (#37512014) Homepage Journal

    Yes, being hypersensitive about race to the point of not being able to have legitimate scientific discussions about things like this is a problem.
    Pissed-off people like this AC aren't helping the situation.

  • by FrootLoops ( 1817694 ) on Monday September 26, 2011 @12:12AM (#37512108)
    Things you're missing:
    1. No such tunnel exists.
    2. It would have to be hundreds of miles long, so tens of millions of Euros wouldn't make a dent in construction costs.
    3. Neutrinos interact weakly enough with matter that they can be beamed through solid rock without much trouble, so a tunnel is unnecessary (even undesirable).
    4. Faster than light neutrinos have not been "discovered" per se. The guys published their results in hopes that someone will find an error, or (mmmaaaybbbeee) in hopes that their results will be reproducible.
    5. Faster than light neutrinos would require huge revisions to modern physics. For instance, under special relativity a faster-than-light particle time travels and destroys causality.
    6. In light of (5), extreme caution should be taken in accepting and verifying these results. Congratulating scientists for their amazing discovery now is, to say the least, premature.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2011 @01:07AM (#37512324)

    That's not how government bidding works. All the other offers are in the 50 million Euro range, and since you don't have any experience in similar projects like our friends at established local corporations, your bid can obviously be eliminated as unrealistic. The project goes to the local corporation that delivered the previous tunnel -- unfortunately at twice the projected cost and with multi-year delays, but those were due to unforeseen circumstances, so now they clearly have the required experience to overcome the difficulties inherent in this kind of a tunnel project.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI