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Neutrinos - Faster Than Light?

Neutrinos or Light?

  • Neutrinos are faster

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Light is still faster, Einstein is correct

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Undecided

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters

Majora's Cat

How about that
Sep 3, 2010
The scientific community has stumbled upon a surprising and a possible game-changing discovery. A recently published TIME article revealed that there may be something out there that moves faster than the speed of light. These would be neutrinos, which are basic particles that do not have an electrical charge. They travel faster (or at the same speed) as light, and pass through ordinary matter with virtually no interaction. The neutrino was proved to be quicker than the speed of light, as proved by an experimented conducted by a team of European scientists. They clocked a group of neutrinos moving at a shade more rapidly than the speed of light.

Now this was previously not to be possible, since light (at a speed of about 186,000 miles per second) was regarded to be the fastest thing in the universe. Physicists have always had an expression for whenever an unbelievable discovery about the universe has been made: “important, if true”. But as history has proven to us time and time again, not all major findings such as the neutrino breakthrough are true. In fact, scientists’ first thoughts would have to be that the results do not prove that neutrinos are faster than (the almighty) light, and that the experiment conducted by the European scientists was only a fluke and could not be duplicated.

However, the experiment yielded results which ultimately suggest that light has been bested by a lesser-known particle. TIME magazine provided an image that colorfully illustrates the speed of neutrinos compared to the speed of light. The picture looked something like this and contained the text below:

TIME magazine said:
“The moon is 239,000 miles (385,000 km) away from Earth. Here’s how fast (or slowly) the distance can be covered.”

1.2829 seconds (Neutrino) // 1.2830 seconds (Light) // 73 hours (Apollo 11) // 8 days (Boeing 747) // 356 days (Usain Bolt)

Now of course the Usain Bolt bit was thrown in to make readers chuckle a little, but the rest of the information is vital. It really shines some light on how fast light and neutrinos really move in comparison to human-made speed demons (including Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt). All joking aside, weighing the speed of the neutrino and light against the Boeing 747 aircraft and Apollo 11 seem somewhat unfair, but it really helps put into perspective how quickly light is able to travel through space.

Albert Einstein said that light is the only thing that can move so rapidly, but he might be wrong. And if Albert Einstein is wrong about the speed of light being the fastest thing in the universe, but the scientific community would crumble as well as a bit of our respect for Einstein’s powerful brain. The discovery has so much influence that it could make the last century of confidently grounded physics obsolete. Physics textbooks would need to be rewritten if the discovery is determined to be true by another string of experiments and tests. Now CERN (European Center for Particle Physics) near Geneva had also conducted a similar trial with a particle accelerator that created a swarm of neutrinos. These neutrinos were then fired through the Alps (they moved right through them like ghosts, since they are intangible and also move through solid objects) and into particle detectors 450 miles away in the Gran Sasso Observatory. The combination of the test done by CERN and the test done by the first group of scientists concluded that neutrinos move 0.0025% faster than light.

At this point in time, Einstein’s set of laws still remains intact and believed. Since there has not been an overwhelming amount of evidence to suggest that neutrinos are faster than light. This could be changed soon enough. The Fermilab accelerator complex in Illinois is preparing for a series of studies to either confirm or deny the results. Fermilab had actually claimed that neutrinos were faster than light back in 2007, but was eventually disregarded after scrutinizing the results meticulously.

The fate of the physics world may rest in the hands of a few scientists around the world. So do you believe that the speed of neutrinos surpass the speed of light? Or is there not enough evidence to prove that this is true?
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Mad haters lmao
May 26, 2010
Hylian Champion
Further testing needs to be done to draw any conclusion. Perhaps the interaction between neutrinos and light, and other experiments need to be conducted. For the moment, I'll hold the ground that Einstein is correct though I've no knowledge about physics at all (still just a sophomore). I don't expect that light is the fastest thing in the universe as there are many things we have next to no concrete knowledge about (dark matter being one of them).
Nov 11, 2011
I think science has to go one and I believe neutrinos are faster than the speed of light. Maybe we'll discover something even faster than Neutrinos someday.


Not all those who wander are lost...
Oct 8, 2011
40 lights off the Galactic Rim
As an astrophysicist, I'm well aware of the implications if a faster-than-light particle is ever discovered. It would certainly be a groundbreaking discovery and the catalyst for a new understanding of physics. The experiment at CERN is thought to have been affected by multiple issues. Firstly, it's believed that the GPS systems used in the experiment were not calibrated correctly or was not properly taken into account. That could definitely throw the ‘distance-speed’ aspect of the experiment off. However, the slim chance that the neutrino can travel faster than the speed of light is a real concern for those in the physics community. Further tests are needed to confirm or discredit anything, but if it turns out that the neutrino can indeed travel at a higher velocity than the photon (light), then physics and cosmology as we know it is out the window. Einstein would be wrong, meaning that his theories of special and general relativity (the backbone of modern physics) are also wrong. It would completely shatter modern physics. However, the scientific community has been aware of the existence of neutrinos for a quite some time and multiple experiments have been conducted with them. There has never been any reason to believe that they travel faster than light. When certain cosmic events occur in the universe, and the light from those events reach the earth, we have always observed that the photons reach us slightly faster than the neutrinos; and that's always been the case. So, the CERN experiment was probably flawed in some unknown way. But, the results were definitely shocking and further tests need to be conducted to know for sure.
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