# Particles measured faster than the speed of light

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• 23rd September 2011, 07:30 PM
Santabomb
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzz
It's impossible to travel faster than speed of light.

Not exactly. There are portions of the universe expanding at a rate faster than the speed of light. Since the expansion of the universe is accelerating, super-light-speed expansion is becoming more common.
• 23rd September 2011, 07:57 PM
Oswin
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Einstien was wrong?

My life has been a lie.
• 23rd September 2011, 11:31 PM
Master Mew
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
What's it matter? Motion is all relative anyway. :-p
• 24th September 2011, 06:02 AM
Dark Chocolate
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Well, the news say that it could be some fail in the lab. Or fail in calculations, so we don't know if it's true exactly.

But if it is true, then time travel is possible, and I would gladly be the first one to travel back in time and get rid of all those people who made school-work a nightmare.

Issac Newton, you're the number one target.
• 24th September 2011, 12:08 PM
TheMissingno.
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Quote:

Originally Posted by Master Mew
What's it matter? Motion is all relative anyway. :-p

Yes, but most of modern physics relies on the idea that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference. In other words, if you're running at 0.9 the speed of light to the front of a train that's moving 0.9 the speed of light, you still won't be moving faster than the speed of light to an outside observer. That's why it matters, because the neutrinos were measured at moving faster than the speed of light by an outside observer. It matters a lot, actually.

Unless you were joking, in which case, yeah, what's it matter? XD

Quote:

Originally Posted by darkqueen
Well, the news say that it could be some fail in the lab. Or fail in calculations, so we don't know if it's true exactly.

But if it is true, then time travel is possible, and I would gladly be the first one to travel back in time and get rid of all those people who made school-work a nightmare.

Issac Newton, you're the number one target.

How did you make that connection?

Anyway, this is an amazing result, and one that I hope is confirmed further. Luckily we won't be completely starting from square one, because physicists have already been looking into this as a possibility. Either way, I'm sure special relativity will still be useful for close approximations, much as Newtonian mechanics are still useful when you're not approaching the speed of light.
• 24th September 2011, 01:17 PM
Composer
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Sadly,if it really is true and not a measurement flaw,we still won't be able to use it for traveling back in time.
• 24th September 2011, 08:28 PM
--root--
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Quote:

Originally Posted by darkqueen
But if it is true, then time travel is possible, and I would gladly be the first one to travel back in time and get rid of all those people who made school-work a nightmare.

Well, actually, time travel has been outlawed for quite some time now because of the chance of paradoxes. It's also against the law (of physics).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Igzz
But those neutrinos DID appear before the photons simply because single particles sometimes can disappear and return before they went missing. So what I believe is that they 'took a shortcut' by traveling back in time.

Dude, I think you just broke my brain.
• 25th September 2011, 05:20 AM
Jean Meslier
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Quote:

Originally Posted by SmearglePaints
It is gibberish. Do YOU understand it? Is there any logical way for effect to happen outside of effect, other than time travel? No. It's gibberish.

Of course it's about time travel. As was written in the article that I've posted:

Scientists at the Gran Sasso facility will unveil evidence on Friday that raises the troubling possibility of a way to send information back in time, blurring the line between past and present and wreaking havoc with the fundamental principle of cause and effect.
Quote:

Originally Posted by SmearglePaints
That says nothing about the plagiarism. Just because Einstein had a different interpretation of a work conceived by SOMEONE ELSE doesn't negate the fact that he plagiarized it.

Yes it does. When already known formulations/theories/tools are used to derive new equations then that derivation is a unique entity, if not then Newton, Oppenheimer and so forth would be major plagiarizers along with a heap of others. Here are some key differences between Einstein’s and Poincaré’s presentation of special relativity:

*Einstein completely discarded the ether, as he predicted and theorized that the expressions of the laws of physics should be the same or similar for any inertial frame. Also; as mentioned before, his meaning of "new kinematics" meant that time and space measured (in differing inertial systems) were on the exact footing.

*Poincaré didn't exclude the ether, as he viewed it as the privileged reference-frame wherein "true" space and time were defined.

*Einstein viewed the radiation paradoxes of Poincaré to be only solved by assuming the inertia of energy.

*Poincaré didn't bring up this paradox problem again.

*Einstein brought forth the operational meaning of time dilation.

*Poincaré didn't elaborate or consider the aspect above.

Using the same line of accusation of "plagiarism" that you are throwing here around, one could be equally justified in saying that Newton plagiarized Huygens law of momentum-conservation and renamed it Newton's Third Law. That Newton stole Kepler's Third Law and rewrote it as two Newton's laws; Newton's law of gravity and Newton's second law; or that he stole Horrock’s lunar-theory in the aftermath of discovering that his own "occult hallucinations" of force and mass failed to explain the motions of the moon. Thus took Horrock’s model based on trigonometric series expansions and renamed it Newton's lunar theory.

Some people say Newton discovered the concept of gravity. Does it make Newton a plagiarist; because he wasn't the first to assert that gravity might obey an inverse square law, and that his could account for the planets moving in ellipses for example?

Poincaré, his work on special relativity tried to reconcile two incompatible ideas, which were the existence of a preferred inertial frame and the relativity principle. Einstein discarded the idea of this given and privileged reference frame, which was the correct and revealing move to do at the time of these predictions.

It's ridiculous to believe than anything could have been plagiarized from Henrí Poincaré. In 1905 Poincare was already one of the world’s most famous scientists and mathematicians. The researcher and faculty reviewers in the scientific establishment in Europe jumped over anything published by Poincaré. Henrí wasn’t able to formulate a proper theory of relativity. Einstein succeeded where Poincaré failed.

Ask yourself: How on earth Einstein managed to get published; in the most read, investigated and respected scientific journals, approved by Planck (peer-review editor), when it should have been apparent to the editors that Albert Einstein was merely repeating the most important work of the most important scientists?

Or wasn’t it so because his work was actually different from theirs?
• 25th September 2011, 05:26 PM
SmearglePaints
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Look: if you don't cite your sources it's called plagiarism. Einstein didn't cite Poincaré as a reference in his book.
• 25th September 2011, 05:38 PM
Netto Azure
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
I don't think we need to worry until CERN steals a time machine from a bunch of Japanese teens and creates a dystopian future. Then again, that would have taken place in 2010 so maybe it doesn't happen in this world line.

"El Psy Congroo"

• 27th September 2011, 01:10 AM
Zekurom
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Just thought I'd pop in and say this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SmearglePaints
Look: if you don't cite your sources it's called plagiarism. Einstein didn't cite Poincaré as a reference in his book.

There is a difference between that sort of legalistic "plagiarism" and blatant copying. You make it seem like because Einstein "didn't cite his sources", he is a complete, unashamed ripoff and should not be accredited for his own insights in the field.
• 29th September 2011, 04:52 PM
Mijzelffan
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
I am completely clueless on this subject so someone fill me in, if this whole ordeal would be confirmed; particles faster than light, would that render a lot of Physics research papers/ books / etc. unusable / incorrect?
• 29th September 2011, 05:36 PM
TheMissingno.
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mijzelffan
I am completely clueless on this subject so someone fill me in, if this whole ordeal would be confirmed; particles faster than light, would that render a lot of Physics research papers/ books / etc. unusable / incorrect?

Maybe, maybe not. Technically they would be incorrect, just like technically Newton's laws are incorrect, but they'd still be useful. There are also other options, such as the idea that the speed of light is variable, which would allow current equations in special relativity to still hold. Either way, they'll always be a good approximation.
• 15th October 2011, 02:18 PM
Jean Meslier
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Speedy neutrino mystery likely solved, relativity safe after all | DVICE
Quote:

Those weird faster-than-light neutrinos that CERN thought they saw last month may have just gotten slowed down to a speed that'll keep them from completely destroying physics as we know it. In an ironic twist, the very theory that these neutrinos would have disproved may explain exactly what happened.

Back in September, physicists ran an experiment where they sent bunches of neutrinos from Switzerland to Italy and measured how long the particles took to make the trip. Over 15,000 experiments, the neutrinos consistently arrived about 60 nanoseconds early, which means 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Einstein's special theory of relativity says this should be impossible: nothing can travel faster than light.

The fact that the experiment gave the same result so many times suggested that one of two things was true: either the neutrinos really were speeding past light itself and heralding a new era of physics, or there was some fundamental flaw with the experiment, which was much more likely. It's now looking as though the faster-than-light result was a fundamental flaw, and appropriately enough, it's a flaw that actually helps to reinforce relativity rather than question it.

The Experiment

Here's the deal: neutrinos move very very fast (at or close to light speed, at least), and the distance that they traveled in this experiment was (to a neutrino) not that far, only 450 miles. This means that in order to figure out exactly how long it takes a given neutrino to make the trip, you need to know two things very, very precisely: the distance between the two points, and the time the neutrino leaves the first point (the source) and arrives at the second point (the detector).

In the original experiment, the CERN researchers used GPS to make both the distance measurement and the time measurement. They figured out the distance down to about 20 centimeters, which is certainly possible with GPS, and since GPS satellites all broadcast an extremely accurate time signal by radio, they were also used as a way to sync the clocks that measured the neutrino's travel time. The CERN team had to account for a lot of different variables to do this, like the time that it takes for the clock signal to make it from the satellite in orbit to the ground, but they may have forgotten one critical thing: relativity.

It's All Relative

Relativity is really, really weird. It says that things like distance and time can change depending on how you look at them, especially if you're moving very fast relative to something else. In the case of the neutrino experiment, we've got two things to think about: the detectors on the ground that measure where and when the neutrinos depart and arrive, and the GPS satellites up in space that we're using as a basis for these measurements. Since the satellites are orbiting the Earth and moving way faster than the detectors, we say that they're in a different "reference frame," which just means that the motion of the satellites is significantly different than the motion of the Earth.

Part of the deal with relativity is that neither of these reference frames are the "correct" one. From our perspective here on Earth, the satellites are whizzing around in orbit at about 9,000 miles per hour. But the perspective of the satellites, the Earth is whizzing around just as fast, and the difference in velocities between these two reference frames is large enough that some strange things start to happen.

A Satellite's Perspective

To understand how relativity altered the neutrino experiment, it helps to pretend that we're hanging out on one of those GPS satellites, watching the Earth go by underneath you. Remember, from the reference frame of someone on the satellite, we're not moving, but the Earth is. As the neutrino experiment goes by, we start timing one of the neutrinos as it exits the source in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the detector in Italy is moving just as fast as the rest of the Earth, and from our perspective it's moving towards the source. This means that the neutrino will have a slightly shorter distance to travel than it would if the experiment were stationary. We stop timing the neutrino when it arrives in Italy, and calculate that it moves at a speed that's comfortably below the speed of light.

"That makes sense," we say, and send the start time and the stop time down to our colleagues on Earth, who take one look at our numbers and freak out. "That doesn't make sense," they say. "There's no way that a neutrino could have covered the distance we're measuring down here in the time you measured up there without going faster than light!"

And they're totally, 100% correct, because the distance that the neutrinos had to travel in their reference frame is longer than the distance that the neutrinos had to travel in our reference frame, because in our reference frame, the detector was moving towards the source. In other words, the GPS clock is bang on the nose, but since the clock is in a different reference frame, you have to compensate for relativity if you're going to use it to make highly accurate measurements.

Not So Fast

Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands went and crunched the numbers on how much relativity should have effected the experiment, and found that the correct compensation should be about 32 additional nanoseconds on each end, which neatly takes care of the 60 nanosecond speed boost that the neutrinos originally seemed to have. This all has to be peer-reviewed and confirmed, of course, but at least for now, it seems like the theory of relativity is not only safe, but confirmed once again.
Einstein wins again.
• 15th October 2011, 03:51 PM
Continent Turtle
Re: Particles measured faster than the speed of light
Poep! Now I still gotta go to physics! We made a deal with our physics teacher that if the particles moved faster than light, we didn't have to go to class for a month. Damn relativity!
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