The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after all

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ramon
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The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after all

Post by ramon »

This article buggers up Einstein's Theory of Relativity...and makes my Physics lessons in school (back in the day) a complete waste of time! - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15017484

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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by greenseng »

There were scientists years ago that secretly whispered to each other, that neutrinos were one of the particles that could "tunnel" through space-time.

Yes, I know - I'm a dreamer, always been a dreamer and will always be a dreamer.
But, I don't think you wasted your lectures in school. :)

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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Gimi »

ramon wrote:This article buggers up Einstein's Theory of Relativity...and makes my Physics lessons in school (back in the day) a complete waste of time! - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15017484
If you didn't attend those lectures you wouldn't understand the consequence of those observations. Learning is never a waste of time. (Provided that you actually understand what you are being tough.)
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by DaddyHoggy »

I'm not too worried - several experiments when I was coming to the end of my Physics degree in 1994/95 showed that sub-atomic particles when introduced to quantum wells would often cross between wells in a time that suggested the effect was happening at a speed that exceeded that of light. So this "worry" has been around for a while.

Neutrinos are tricky little buggers at the best of times - I worked on the German KARMA experiment at RAL in 1992/93 which was looking for non-stellar neutrinos and it was... frustrating... to say the least. (Signal to Noise Ratio of about 1:10,000,000)

I'll be interested in what the final result is.
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Gimi »

DaddyHoggy wrote:(Signal to Noise Ratio of about 1:10,000,000)
If you don't mind, I ll quote this to some of the techies at work and ask them to stop complaining.
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Cmdr. Maegil »

The speed of light is relative to the medium, and when a particle goes beyond it, it causes the emission of Cherenkov radiation, which can be (very) grossly compared to a sonic boom.

As far as I'm concerned, they're only still to energise a particle enough for it to go beyond c; and even if they do that, its practical applications (for the general public, at least) will probably be beyond my life expectancy.
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Gimi wrote:
DaddyHoggy wrote:(Signal to Noise Ratio of about 1:10,000,000)
If you don't mind, I ll quote this to some of the techies at work and ask them to stop complaining.
:)

I worked with a German Scientist named Bernt, he came into the pub one night (where I also worked for pocket money) and looked very happy - "We've got one, we think. One real [from ISIS], four million false positives [from space]) - I'm pretty sure they only got two Neutrinos generated from the neutron pulses of ISIS (50 pulses per second, ave. 4 hrs a day, 3 days a week, ave. 40 weeks a year) in the year I was there...
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Thargoid »

It's because neutrinos travel at the speed of dark. No matter how fast light goes, darkness always gets there first... ;)

(with a due nod of paraphrase to the man in the hat).

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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Thargoid wrote:It's because neutrinos travel at the speed of dark. No matter how fast light goes, darkness always gets there first... ;)

(with a due nod of paraphrase to the man in the hat).
A perfect quote for this particular story!
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by ClymAngus »

Still I like the way they've done it (announcing I mean) none of this Showbiz; WE found a particle FASTER THAN LIGHT!!!

A nice quiet "look, we think we've done something wrong, but we can't find what exactly we've done wrong. Anyone else want to help us work out WTF is going on here?" Technically, if it turns out to be earth shattering they still did the experiment that discovered it. There is still room for fame for the person who works out why.

If it turns out to be an error, a career is still salvageable. All bases covered; hazah! For the successful marrying of science and politics. :D

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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by PhantorGorth »

Hate to put a dampener on this but all that has happened is there are some measurements that indicate that neutrinos can move faster than light and the scientists who made these measurements want other scientists to go over their methodologies and figures to see if they have missed something or what they have measured is a candidate for a real phenomena. Even if their methodologies and figures are correct there would need to be other experiments done by another group or groups (preferably using a different or variant method) that can confirm the effect and then at a very high level of statistical confidence before it gets to the point of being considered a real bit of physics and not some statistical flux or experimental error. It is likely that this effect will turn out to be a false alarm.

Anyway it is already known and confirmed that some physical phenomenas travel faster than light. There is the experiment where two quantumly entangled photons are separated by a large distance (something like 20 kilometers) but remain entangled. And then when one photon is forced to collapse state, by being measured, this causes the other photon to collapse state (actually in the opposite state) at exactly the same time. (Well less time than time would light (in a vacuum) would take to travel the distance they are a part.) So the information about the collapse must be traveling faster than light. Unfortunately as we can not control how the photon collapses state means there is no way to use the effect to do faster than light communication.

ClymAngus is right in this announcement is a way to publicise something that may be news worthy but in a way to protect their reputations if it turns out to be nothing.
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Commander Trigg »

The trouble with this is that the speed of light is so incredibly fast and the distance the beam is being sent is relatively short, so the time difference is so small as to be easy to write off.

Perhaps if there was some way to measure the speed of these particles against normal light over stellar distances the timing difference would be more pronoiunced and therefore easier to prove or disprove.

I can't help wondering if this result will have some impact on the search for the elusive higgs though.
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by Mauiby de Fug »

My housemates and I were sitting about laughing listening to the news reporting on this, when all the scientists seem to have done is said "Er, we may or may not have screwed something wrong here, can someone check this?" and the news teams are hyping it all up in an hilarious fashion. The poor scientist they were interviewing was doing her best to explain that this won't actually change our lives as we know them overnight...

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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Mauiby de Fug wrote:My housemates and I were sitting about laughing listening to the news reporting on this, when all the scientists seem to have done is said "Er, we may or may not have screwed something wrong here, can someone check this?" and the news teams are hyping it all up in an hilarious fashion. The poor scientist they were interviewing was doing her best to explain that this won't actually change our lives as we know them overnight...
It got lots of air-time on tonight's Newsnight - one Physicist said if this turns out to be true, you provide the ketchup and I'll eat my [boxer] shorts live on TV...
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Re: The Speed Of Light isn't the universal speed limit after

Post by PhantorGorth »

It got lots of air-time on tonight's Newsnight - one Physicist said if this turns out to be true, you provide the ketchup and I'll eat my [boxer] shorts live on TV...
That's Jim Al-khalili for you. :lol:
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