Einstein wrong again! New experiment confirms doubts
over his speed of light theory
By Tamara Cohen
When a team of physicists announced that they had proved Einstein wrong, even they weren’t convinced.
So they ran the test again – and broke the speed of light for a second time.
Scientists from Cern, the Swiss home of the Large Hadron Collider, sent another beam of subatomic particles over 450 miles to a laboratory in Gran Sasso in the Italian Alps.
Breaking the speed of light... again: Scientists from Cern, the Swiss home of the Large Hadron Collider (above), sent another beam of subatomic particles over 450 miles to a laboratory in Gran Sasso in the Italian Alps - with amazing results
And after running the modified follow-up test 20 times, they recorded exactly the same results as before.
According to Albert Einstein’s 106-year-old theory of special relativity, nothing can travel faster than light in a vacuum because its particles have no mass.
By contrast, neutrinos – said to be ‘ghostly’ because they can travel through anything – have a very small mass.
Their apparently record-breaking speed raises a host of possibilities straight out of science fiction stories.
Seeing the light: The Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Racking Apparatus detector (OPERA) at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, which received the nippy neutrinos
Defying physics: The neutrinos arrived at the detector in Italy 60 nanoseconds earlier than light particles
One explanation for the results could be the existence of other dimensions that provided the neutrinos with a shortcut – a scenario that would leave Einstein’s theory intact.
Tested and re-tested for six months before it was announced, the initial finding shocked the science world in September.
It was greeted with scepticism as experts raised questions about every aspect of the physicists’ equipment and methodology.
Light fantastic: Scientists at Cern say that the neutrinos really did break the cosmic speed limit. This picture shows members of the OPERA team studying the results of the incredible experiment
Critics of the first test said that running all 15,000 neutrinos at once meant there could be errors in the measurement that said they had beaten the speed of light by 60 nanoseconds (or billionths of a second).
The researchers claim to have used a more accurate method for the second trial, by sending shorter bunches of the tiny neutrinos with larger gaps in between.
Nuclear Physics at Gran Sasso, said the scientists were now ‘more confident’ about the result, but urged other laboratories to join his in repeating the test.
Was Albert Einstein wrong? Cern physicists are certainly doing their best to prove he was
‘A measurement so delicate and carrying a profound implication on physics requires an extraordinary level of scrutiny,’ he stressed yesterday.
Many experts remain unconvinced.
Jim Al-Khalili, of the University of Surrey’s physics department, who has offered to eat his boxer shorts on live television if neutrinos really can travel faster than light, said: ‘I am not yet ready to get out my knife and fork.
‘The results have only dealt with some possible errors.
'There are still a number of other possible errors and uncertainties that they are working on ruling out.
'Ideally, the experiment would have to be done somewhere else entirely to try to verify the controversial result that these tiny particles really are going faster than light, in case there is still a systemic problem with this particular experiment at Cern.’
Only two other labs in the world have the equipment to take up Professor Al-Khalili’s suggestion.
Scientists working on the Minos experiment in the U.S. and Japan’s T2K study will both try the same test and reveal their results next year.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2063163/Einstein-speed-light-2nd-set-scientists-particles-CAN-travel-faster-light.html#ixzz1eOj4ys2y