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Author Topic: Could neutrinos travel faster than light?  (Read 3183 times)

Offline thedoc

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« on: 27/09/2011 15:31:09 »
A roundup of the week's science news including neutrinos moving faster than light, anti-virals from sharks, limitless Hydrogen supplies and the benefits of female promiscuity...
Read a transcript of the interview by clicking here

or  
« Last Edit: 27/09/2011 15:31:09 by _system »


 

Offline Dr.Abdullah

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #1 on: 07/10/2011 02:28:07 »
A neutrino could not exceed or reach the speed of light, given that it has mass (2.2 ev). Unless of course relativity was altered in some fundamental way (or discarded).
« Last Edit: 07/10/2011 02:30:25 by Dr.Abdullah »
 

Offline imatfaal

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #2 on: 07/10/2011 09:37:06 »
Hello and welcome  Abdullah - the Doc was probably referring to the latest results from CERN/OPERA Gran Sasso. 

The scientists at Gran Sasso have, after extensive research and double checking, published their results which seem to suggest that the neutrinos they tracked made the journey from CERN in Switzerland to Gran Sasso in Italy faster than light!  There is a huge amount of checking and recalculating going on, and the general feeling (even from OPERA) is that there is a mistake; but no one has been able to find a systematic or measuring error so far.

Here is the preprint http://static.arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897.pdf

And here is the link to our meanderings on the subject http://static.arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897.pdf
 

Offline Dr.Abdullah

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #3 on: 07/10/2011 14:04:28 »
Interesting, seems to me two possibilities arise

1. data mishandling/human error of some sort.
2. the value of C is actually approximate, and therefore under certain conditions faster than light travel is possible.
 

Offline MikeS

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #4 on: 07/10/2011 14:42:55 »
A neutrino could not exceed or reach the speed of light, given that it has mass (2.2 ev). Unless of course relativity was altered in some fundamental way (or discarded).

If for example the faster than light neutrinos were anti-neutrinos and were going backwards in time they would appear to be travelling faster than light.  Would this violate relativity?  I know nothing is supposed to travel faster than light but relativity does allow for the possibility of antimatter time reversal. Time reversal may look the same as going faster than the speed of light but the speed of light is still a cosmic speed limit for matter in a matter universe.
 

Offline Dr.Abdullah

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #5 on: 07/10/2011 14:52:56 »

If for example the faster than light neutrinos were anti-neutrinos and were going backwards in time they would appear to be travelling faster than light.  Would this violate relativity?  I know nothing is supposed to travel faster than light but relativity does allow for the possibility of antimatter time reversal. Time reversal may look the same as going faster than the speed of light but the speed of light is still a cosmic speed limit for matter in a matter universe.

An anti-particle should still travel at the same velocity, but from point B to A rather than A to B. Correct me if im wrong
 

Offline damocles

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
« Reply #6 on: 07/10/2011 20:59:45 »

An anti-particle should still travel at the same velocity, but from point B to A rather than A to B. Correct me if im wrong

Umm... Happy to do so. If an anti-particle is generated at point A and detected at point B, it has, in fact travelled from point A to point B. There is a fundamental symmetry that makes this equivalent to a particle travelling from point B to point A, but that does not mean that the anti-particle defies the simple meaning of words.

I was reminded of a time when a colleague. in a rush and heading in the opposite direction. asked me to "turn around and walk backwards" because there was something he wanted to discuss with me. He was very surprised when I did exactly as he asked.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2011 21:01:25 by damocles »
 

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Could neutrinos travel faster than light?
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