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Speed Of Light Claimed To Be Broken!


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One for the geeks amongst us.


The science world was left in shock when workers at the world's largest physics lab announced they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light – a feat that Einstein said was impossible.



If the findings are proven to be accurate, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the way the universe and everything within it works.



Einstein's theory of special relativity, proposed in 1905, states that nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.



But researchers at the CERN lab near Geneva claim they have recorded neutrinos, a type of tiny particle, travelling faster than the barrier of 186,282 miles (299,792 kilometres) per second.



The results have so astounded researchers that American and Japanese scientists have been asked to verify the results before they are confirmed as a discovery.


Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, said: "We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing.


"We now want colleagues to check them independently."


A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos were fired over a period of 3 years from CERN towards Gran Sassoin Italy, 730km (500 miles) away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.


Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds – or 60 billionths of a second – less than light beams would have taken.


Scientists agree if the results are confirmed, that it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of physics.


John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research who was not involved in the experiment, said Einstein's theory underlies "pretty much everything in modern physics".


The theory, which helps explain everything from black holes to the Big Bang, "has worked perfectly up to now", he said.


According to the law that energy is equal to mass multiplied by the speed of light squared, or E=mc2, firing an object faster than light would require an infinite amount of energy.


Proof that something had travelled faster would pose major questions about our understanding of the laws of nature because, for example, something that travels faster than light would in theory arrive before it left.



Credit: Telegraph.co.uk


If this turns out to be right, all I can say is WOW! This will force a massive change in the way we assume our universe works.

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I meant big news as in it makes the headlines.


Head caved in? If you drank all your school milk up all throughout your childhood, your head can survive a 25 stone "Aluminium structure" hit, right?

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The irony of describing relativity as a theory "which helps explain everything from black holes to the Big Bang" is monumental, given those are two of the exact cases in which relativity becomes essentially useless.


It's an interesting discovery, it'll be interesting to see what bearing it has on quantum physics and string theory. Possibly a second time dimension to accompany the 11 spatial dimensions? Maybe a reworking of relativity itself?

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Science doesn't hate religion, scientists might, but science is the practice of making a hypothisis, working out your method, recording your results and making a conclusion.


Now I'm not sure if my teacher missed out the "shake fist at religion and lay on the hate" step, but I went to a good school, so I'm 90% certain that it wasn't in it.

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Guest Jamster26

Well, perhaps I was wrong to group everyone together. But from my experience, either on messageboards or real life conversations, I've always had a hard time dealing with Science people.


I didn't mean to generalise everyone, just from my own experiences.


Oh and I'd just like to add, the religion side is for from innocent in all this. We hardly set a good example on how to conduct ourselves. I've met some terrible christians at conventions and what not.


Just wanted to point that out.

Edited by Jamster26
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Are you talking about religion trying to use science to explain itself here?


If that's the case, scientists don't like creationists because the purpose of science is to serve mankind. Creationsists seem to regard science as some kind of dodge... or hustle. Their theories are the worst kind of popular tripe, their methods are sloppy, and their conclusions are highly questionable.


But then Creationists made a containment system and managed to make a living catching ghosts!


Oh, wait!

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Some of the most pre-eminent physicists working today are religious people. They just don't try to justify their personal beliefs with their professional work.


The idea amongst religious people that science is hostile to religion is, for the most part, a reflection of their own attitude towards science. Since, you know, science disproves the whole "the Bible is literally true" thing and demands that you base your findings on evidence as opposed to unquestioningly obeying authority.

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Guest John Hancock
All it shows is that science is willing to adapt and change to evidence and new discovers, and is constantly improving rather than, say, repeating itself for 2000 years, ignoring anything that disagrees and burning anyone who makes too much fuss at the stake.
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Anyway, if this theory proves to be correct. Does that mean that time travel could be possible?


The problem is that we can't really tell, since relativity makes no allowance for anything with any mass to travel at the speed of light, let alone faster than light. But then, if this is verified, it's just tipped relativity on its head, so time travel might be possible. Just only for the tinest of elementary particles.


Besides, if time travel to the past was possible in the future, where are all time travellers?

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Guest Anime Otaku
One theory to answer that is time travel needs a receiver to be made before anything can be sent. Personally I don't know anything about how it might work so I'm just copying what I've read elsewhere.
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