High confidence in faster than light?

Posted: September 22, 2011 by tchannon in Astrophysics, Solar physics

News is emerging from CERN / Grand Sasso of the results from a three year experiment where neutronos are sent from CERN to Grand Sasso, Italy, 730 km southeast. They think the neutrinos arrive 60ns too early.

Reuters article

Opera experiment page at Gran Sasso (in English, follow current and Opera)

EDIT: news item from Gran Sasso Â


Located east of Rome in an Appenine mountain.

Faster than light seems to come into the same category as news about creating a quieter vacuum by avoiding anti-matter intruding, a matter of phase.

Think I’ll go back to tending the roses.

[UPDATE 7th Oct 2011]

Letter at Arxiv.org, PDF available here

Preamble writes…

“The OPERA neutrino velocity result and the synchronisation of clocks
Carlo R. Contaldi
Theoretical Physics, Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, SW7 2BZ, London, United Kingdom
(Dated: September 30, 2011)
The CERN-OPERA experiment [1] claims to have measured a one-way speed of neutrinos that is apparently faster than the speed of light c. One-way speed measurements such as these inevitably require a convention for the synchronisation of clocks in non-inertial frames since the Earth is rotating. We argue that the effect of the synchronisation convention is not properly taken into account in the analysis of [1] and may well invalidate their interpretation of superluminal neutrino velocity.”
h/t to The Register


  1. Tenuc says:

    Should this be confirmed by other scientists doing further experiments, it will be interesting to see how current mainstream physics finds a solution which explains the effect, but keeps Einstein’s theories in tact!

  2. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Of course neutrinos travel slightly faster then photons. “C”, is the theoretical speed of light through a totally empty vacuum. EMF, photons, electrons, neutrinos, all travel at some reduced speed depending on the material density that they are traveling thru. Neutrinos have the weakest EMF signature and the least interaction with things they are traveling thru and the least slowing.

    Bottom line “C” is the escape velocity of energy from an atom. When we detect these bundles of energy we call them “particals” and give them names that depend on their EMF signature. pg

  3. Orson Olson says:

    Replication is all! The likelihood of uncovering some sort of measurement error is high. From other fields, we all know how significant ‘group think’ can be in causing otherwise sensible people to miss something obvious, or simply fail to account for it.

  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    Who cares?. Einsteins squares the velocity of light. E=MC2, and that´s more than a little faster than light. My hunch is reality is simpler.

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Perhaps, those guys are spending too fast too much money and needed some propaganda…Perhaps the Greece economy issue is affecting them too. :-)

  6. tchannon says:

    I’m inclined to agree this might need a wider context Adolfo, either way are times of a Chinese curse.

  7. Tenuc says:

    adolfogiurfa says:
    September 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    Perhaps, those guys are spending too fast too much money and needed some propaganda…

    You could well be right, Adolfo! As the ‘god’ particle seems to have failed to show up, perhaps they need a PR smokescreen to divert attention and pave the way for another $$$ project. You can’t blame the scientists for grabbing as much taxpayers money as possible, but you can blame the system that links reward to politically correctness.

  8. Brian H says:

    Are “particals” some kinda confused particles? WUWT?

  9. Tenuc says:

    Adolfo, I remember this ion propulsion system from an article in Popular Mechanics about a Russian who was working on a ‘magic carpet’ flying device (back in the early 60′s, I think). Thanks for taking me back to a time when everything seemed possible and the only limit to progress was our imagination!

  10. Tenuc says:

    Back on topic…

    Miles Mathis has produced a short paper which explains that a miscalculation of the margin of error is likely to be behind the current furore on faster than light neutrinos.


    It’s usually the simplest things which catch us out.

  11. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Tenuc: Thanks for taking me back to a time when everything seemed possible and the only limit to progress was our imagination! ….until politicians and their acolytes said the contrary.
    “E pur si muove” : http://es.scribd.com/doc/46280111/Unified-Field-Explained-9

  12. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @adolfogiurfa says:
    September 26, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Thank you. pg

  13. Bart Leplae says:

    60 nanoseconds over 730 km: equals to 7.4 km/s faster than c.

    This happens to be very close to the average deviation from c as measured by Dayton Miller back in 1925: The original publication: “Significance of the Ether-Drift Experiments of 1925 at Mount Wilson” is available through: http://www.gsjournal.net/Science-Journals/Essays/View/3418

  14. Tallbloke, I was reading about faster-than-light material quite a while back, and IIRC it was related to Tesla-type material. I think personally that there is interesting and important stuff here – but only in context, eg when it arises out of exploring Tesla because his work is significant for the future production of energy. We need to do research in a balanced way, paying as much exact attention to inner evidence (our souls, that is – cultivating integrity, and listening to our intuition) as to outer evidence. Humankind has a huge threshold to cross – exactly as Einstein said, “Science without Religion Is Lame, Religion without Science Is Blind”. And btw, I have my doubts about Einstein, there are serious challenges to his work from the quantum physics zpf direction IIRC. But his wisdom here is impeccable.

    So yes, attend to your roses, but pay attention to the straws in the wind.

  15. Brian H says:

    It seems that the neutrino and light wave fronts from the 1987 supernova traversed the 168.000 ly from the Magellanics in the same time. Which pretty much means the Earthside measurement is in error.

  16. tchannon says:

    Alas no. All we can tell from that is that optically seeing and something like neutrinos or a kind of neutrino came together.

    The snag is that we were totally unaware an event was going to happen, say 10 years before the event appeared optically so we weren’t looking.

    I expect there is a difference in speed because this is limiting speed of “light” in a total nothingness whereas neutrinos are highly penetrating and likely to be slowed less by what they are travelling through. Space is not empty.

  17. Short bloke. says:

    C^2 is an indication of energy density and does not imply velocity.

  18. Brian H says:

    the intensity of the waves faded in synch. Pretty hard to rationalize that.

  19. tchannon says:

    Not particularly. :-)
    Exactly what is being detected tends to guesswork, assumptions.

    Consider: multiple path lengths happen with data, good example is sound in the core of the earth.

    I know I am being awkward, is deliberate.

  20. Bart Leplae says:

    Trying to understand the reasoning used in the article:
    The timing was performed in both CERN and Grand Sasso using local Cs clocks.
    The GPS satellite signal was used to keep the Cs clocks in both locations in synch.
    Other tests were performed with a portable Cs clock (independent from GPS) to check the synchronization.

    So how do we need to read the conclusion:
    a. The Cs clock in Grand Sasso is systematically running 60 ns ahaid of the Cs clock in CERN
    b. The Cs clock in Grand Sasso has a different frequency

    If the latter would be true, the Cs clocks would show a difference of 0.24sec after 1 day.
    So it looks like a. would be the right answer.