Second experiment shows neutrinos travel faster than speed of light, challenging Einstein’s theory of relativity Neutrinos blasted to lab 450 miles away arrived sooner than light beam - again!
A second experiment clocking the speed of subatomic particles called neutrinos confirms previous reports that the elusive particles can travel faster than the speed of light.
Both experiments involved shooting a beam of neutrinos produced at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, France, to a veritable landing pad 450 miles away at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. In the first experiment, the neutrinos arrived about 58 billionths of a second sooner than a light beam, the researchers concluded.
The discovery from Opera, the group of scientists performing the research, was met with disbelief from the world’s physicists. It also challenges Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity asserting that matter cannot travel through space faster than light.
But the enigmatic neutrinos, which have been observed to penetrate lead walls like light through a window, where not yet discovered when Einstein published his theory of special relativity in 1905.
When Opera first presented their spectacular findings at CERN in September, skeptical scientists pointed to a potential issue in how the experiment was carried out, claiming the length of time it took to beam the neutrinos was longer than the reported arrival time, CNN reported.
Opera repeated the experiment so that the neutrinos could be beamed out in shorter bursts, purportedly eliminating the potential error CERN scientists cited.
The neutrinos still arrived early, about 62 billionths of a second earlier than the light beam, supporting Opera’s original results and negating the possibility that the duration of the neutrino pulse had anything to do with the results.
Despite the success of the second experiment, many scientists remain unsatisfied and unconvinced, namely questioning how the clocks were synchronized between Geneva and Gran Sasso, and how the distance between the cities was measured.
Alvaro de Rujula, a CERN theorist, said there were two interpretations of the experiment. “One is that they have stumbled upon a revolutionary discovery; the other, on which I would place my bet, is that they are still making and not finding the very same error.”