November 25, 2011
New Analysis Deals Critical Blow to Faster-than-Light Results
Natalie Wolchover in Live Science:
Those famous neutrinos that appeared to travel faster than light in a recent experiment probably did not, a group of scientists say, because they failed to emit a telltale type of radiation.
According to one physicist in the group, "it's hard to argue against" this latest objection to the controversial faster-than-light result produced by other scientists in the same Italian laboratory.
In a paper posted to the physics pre-print site arXiv.org, the group, which runs the ICARUS (Imaging Cosmic and Rare Underground Signals) experiment based at Gran Sasso Laboratory (LNGS) outside Rome, argues that any faster-than-light particles would be expected to emit a particular type of radiation as they traveled. Because they didn't detect any of this coming from the neutrinos — and because the particles didn't seem to be shedding energy in the form of undetected radiation — they must have been traveling at or below the speed of light.
Ultimately, the ICARUS group is arguing that the OPERA group, which ran the experiment that measured neutrinos making a trip from CERN Laboratory in Switzerland to LNGS in Italy 60 nanoseconds faster than light would have done, must have made some mistake in its timekeeping.
Posted by Robin Varghese at 11:55 PM | Permalink