Possible Mistakes Found in Faster Than Light Neutrino Measurement

faster-than-light-neutrinos

Back in September, the revolutionary claim that the OPERA collaboration had measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed has light is now in doubt, as two possible sources of error have been found. The reason why this was revolutionary is because if it proved true, it would have violated Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

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OPERA had initially collected data that neutrinos generated at CERN traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than a light beam. Many physicists remained skeptical of this result, but now according to a statement from OPERA, it seems that one of the problems in this measurement was the use of GPS signals to synchronize atomic clocks at each end of the neutrino beam. The passage of time between the clock also had to be interpolated and now OPERA says that it might not have been done correctly. The second problem was possibly a faulty connection between the GPS signal and the OPERA master clock

OPERA will once again measure the speed of a bunched neutrino beam in 2012. At the Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, members of the MINOS collaboration are continuing their own measurement of the speed of neutrinos, whose results are expected later this year as well.

[via Nature]

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