Monday, October 17, 2011

Faster than light?

Dear readers

A delightful spring day in Adelaide. Down to 8 degrees C overnight, and a lovely forecast maximum of 23 degrees today, with blue skies and fluffy cumulus clouds.

Today's post is about the possibility that we have discovered something which travels faster than light (click here for information on the speed of light.)

With UFO skeptics pointing out that it is impossible for a physical object to travel faster than the speed of light, the latest science news about possible faster than light neutrinos is intriguing.

"On 23 September, physicists with the OPERA (click here) experiment in Italy said they had caught neutrinos arriving from the CERN (click here) particle physics lab in Switzerland 60 nanoseconds sooner than light. That seemed to violate Einstein's theory of special relativity." (New Scientists no 2833 8 Oct 2011 p.10.)

The article continues by noting that numerous papers have been submitted "...suggesting numerous ways to account for the extraordinary claim...As well as several proposing short cuts through extra dimensions, explanations include neutrinos that move faster through the earth than through space, the notion that neutrinos might slice through dark matter while photons of light are slowed by the interaction, and the idea that a neutrino's speed depends on its direction and the time of day.

All in all, a fascinating possibility, which time will elaborate upon.

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