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The Speed of Light

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  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    Scientists at the CERN installation near Italy have conducted experiments that appear to show incredulous results in particles travelling faster than the speed of light.

    Obviously, this would mean every physics lesson you attended was a waste of time, and that current students would be left with a 2 - 5 year vacuum, until we actually have something worthwhile to teach, but these are the results of their experiments.

    A Professor from Surrey has already gone on live TV saying he would "eat his shorts" in front of a live audience were this proved correct, I want it to be true, even though I am overflowing with cynicism.

    Is this wishful thinking?

  • User profile image
    cbae

    I don't think this will have any effect on Newtonian physics. I would still like to see somebody try to eat his shorts on live TV though. I hope he brings the Ex-Lax.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    This is OBVIOUSLY a misdirection by the Higgs boson

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Interesting. I'll have to read that but couldn't it be a relativity trick, in that it looks like it's travelling faster than light to us, but really isn't?

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    magicalclick

    Science is all about improvement and think outside of the box. If this is indeed true, it is an improvement and that's great.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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    figuerres

    ,vesuvius wrote

    Scientists at the CERN installation near Italy have conducted experiments that appear to show incredulous results in particles travelling faster than the speed of light.

    Obviously, this would mean every physics lesson you attended was a waste of time, and that current students would be left with a 2 - 5 year vacuum, until we actually have something worthwhile to teach, but these are theresults of their experiments.

    A Professor from Surrey has already gone on live TV saying he would "eat his shorts" in front of a live audience were this proved correct, I want it to be true, even though I am overflowing with cynicism.

    Is this wishful thinking?

    Hmmm  ....  if TRUE  then perhaps we will get warp drive some day ??

    To Boldly go where no one has gone before ...

     

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    ,cbae wrote

    I don't think this will have any effect on Newtonian physics. I would still like to see somebody try to eat his shorts on live TV though. I hope he brings the Ex-Lax.

    Of course it has no effect on Newtonian physics - Newtonian physics doesn't make any claim about the speed of light being constant or the fastest it's possible to be.

    If confirmed (and let's be clear here that the results aren't proof, they're just early data with large error margins), this would have a massive effect on Special Relativity (which makes big claims about the speed of light), and would probably be the biggest single result in physics since at Einstein's General Relativity theory (i.e. it would beat the pants off the e=mc^2 equation).

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    evildictait​or

    ,spivonious wrote

    Interesting. I'll have to read that but couldn't it be a relativity trick, in that it looks like it's travelling faster than light to us, but really isn't?

    Yep. It's possible that the particle appears to go faster than light, but is in fact taking "shortcuts" through additional undetectable dimentions, even if it is going slower than the speed of light in a straight line through those dimentions.

    If confirmed, this would be a very strong indication that either:

    a) Einstein was wrong about special/general relativity, which would mean the maths behind everything from Nuclear power to atomic clocks would need to be checked to see if there are any interesting side-effects of this new knowledge

    b) Hard proof that there are additional dimentions in the universe that are otherwise undetectable

    c) Proof that the neutrino is a special particle which may be able to go backwards in time, which would be a contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics (which is unlikely).

    d) CERN screwed up, and there's some systematic error somewhere in their experiment, and actually the neutrino went at or less than the speed of light, and they just measured it wrong.

  • User profile image
    Proton2

    The physicist Dr. Motl has some ideas of where they could have made some mistakes.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/italian-out-of-tune-superluminal.html

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    My money is on Einstein

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @evildictaitor:

    One possibility is there is a emptier vacuum than the one we currently know. Thus, there is even less resistance to allow even faster travel. Imagine the vaccum we know is in water, moving out of water will make us travel faster. We probably accidentally created a better vaccum space.

     

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    cbae

    Maybe the distance from point A to B used in the calculation was the surface distance which incorrectly included the curvature of the Earth. Wink

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    Dr Herbie

    Obligatory XKCD comic:

    Generic Forum Image 

    So either it's a mistake and there's nothing different, or it's a major breakthrough and we'll finally all get jetpacks.

    I'm hoping for jetpacks.

    Herbie

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    Richard.Hein

    I am excited at the possibilities.  However, even if the results are duplicated, it doesn't say relativity is wrong.  It could be for other unknown physical reasons, and that's just as interesting.  Like it travels through another dimension, and takes a shortcut.  We'll see!  Very interesting results, obviously, as the whole world is excited about it.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    @Richard.Hein:

    Relativity doesn't work in quantum level, maybe that's why.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Harlequin

    ,evildictait​or wrote

    *snip*

    Yep. It's possible that the particle appears to go faster than light, but is in fact taking "shortcuts" through additional undetectable dimentions, even if it is going slower than the speed of light in a straight line through those dimentions.

    If confirmed, this would be a very strong indication that either:

    a) Einstein was wrong about special/general relativity, which would mean the maths behind everything from Nuclear power to atomic clocks would need to be checked to see if there are any interesting side-effects of this new knowledge

    b) Hard proof that there are additional dimentions in the universe that are otherwise undetectable

    c) Proof that the neutrino is a special particle which may be able to go backwards in time, which would be a contradiction with the second law of thermodynamics (which is unlikely).

    d) CERN screwed up, and there's some systematic error somewhere in their experiment, and actually the neutrino went at or less than the speed of light, and they just measured it wrong.

    Don't forget:

    e) Someone from the year 2754 sent a neutrino back in time just to be silly. Then went back to watching How I met Your Mother, Season 25, where Ted still hasn't met the kids mother.

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    @Harlequin:

    Also don't forget:

    f) The Neutrinos are actually incredibly slow and are in fact leftovers from the previous experiment that happen to arrive at the wrong moment.

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    qrazydutch

    @vesuvius:eh, might consider the elevation difference which make clocks run slower and faster when doing these measurements. ...now faster then thought would impress me. Well back to 2910

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