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  1. #1
    Hugs4ISU
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    Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    Particle might have traveled faster than speed of light €“ USATODAY.com

    I have a surface understanding of general/special relativity and quantum mechanics (I've read books about the theories, minus the complex math). Here it is in a nutshell: the speed of light is thought to be an absolute barrier, because with E=mc^2, the speed of light ("c" in the equation) is basically embedded into the structure of the universe. It is as if the whole universe was engineered to make the speed of light absolutely impossible to cross.

    So, I would take something like this with a handful of salt, except that this is CERN, and not some small lab looking to make a name for itself with unconfirmed observations.

    CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. But given the enormous implications of the find, they still spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there was no flaws in the experiment.
    "We have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement," said Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who was involved in the experiment known as OPERA.
    So, if this is true, it would throw out everything we thought we knew about cosmological physics.



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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    I call shenanigans.


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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    1st conference realignment, now THIS!?!



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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light


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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    Not a physicist, but a physics enthusiast... although that sounds a little odd. Anyways, don't get too excited...yet. It hasn't been proven true quite yet. The SE (significant error) still put it in the range where it could have been sub light speed. We already have theoretical particles that travel faster than light (tachyons). And as far as the implications of this, they're still kind of unknown. It wouldn't necessarily throw out everything we already know, but it would open up a new level of information to be discovered.

    Saying that, it's still really exciting.

    Also, theoretically time travel and traveling at a "warp speed" would be possible. Which makes me pretty freaking happy.



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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    This is what I love about science. Scientists make a claim that, if true, would undermine almost the entirety of physics as we know it. Other scientists, rather than shaking their fists at the sky, say let's wait to see the arguments. In the interim they do treat it with heavy skepticism, but they don't dismiss the claim out of hand simply because it would unravel everything they thought they knew about the universe. If everyone thought like scientists we'd be better off.



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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    Quote Originally Posted by cy1010 View Post
    This is what I love about science. Scientists make a claim that, if true, would undermine almost the entirety of physics as we know it. Other scientists, rather than shaking their fists at the sky, say let's wait to see the arguments. In the interim they do treat it with heavy skepticism, but they don't dismiss the claim out of hand simply because it would unravel everything they thought they knew about the universe. If everyone thought like scientists we'd be better off.
    If only. I wish critical thought, rationality, and reasoning was something held highly in our society... but sadly, that's not the case.



  8. #8
    Hugs4ISU
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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    Quote Originally Posted by kas4cy View Post
    We already have theoretical particles that travel faster than light (tachyons).
    BTW, notice my wording, I said "cross" rather than "exceed". I know about tachyons, but they don't cross the speed of light, either. (They are "born that way", faster than light, to quote a pop performer) These neutrinos are not tachyons, because they don't travel backward in time, as tachyons do.



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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    Take the red pill already.


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    Re: Any physics majors here? Scientists find particle faster than light

    In 1985 was proposed by Chodos et al. that neutrinos can have a tachyonic nature.[7][8] Today, the possibility of having standard particles moving at superluminal speeds is a natural consequence of unconventional dispersion relations that appear in the Standard-Model Extension,[9][10][11] a realistic description of the possible violation of Lorentz invariance in field theory. In this framework, neutrinos experience Lorentz-violating oscillations and can travel faster than light at high energies.
    Tachyon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Thought this was interesting, maybe something along the lines there neutrino usage.


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