Ye canna change the laws o’ physics

Maybe not but if this is proven, it looks like we don’t actually know those laws as well as we thought yet.

The team which found that neutrinos may travel faster than light has carried out an improved version of their experiment – and confirmed the result. BBC news

Personally, I’m optimistic that it could mean that FTL travel could actually be a step closer, now that it isn’t quite so impossible.

13 comments for “Ye canna change the laws o’ physics

  1. November 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    It might be possible, it’s certainly more of a possibility than it was a year ago. But, in order to gain propulsion you need something against which neutrons can push, that’s still a long way off as it appears the little buggers go through most material without even realising it’s there.

  2. Chuckles
    November 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    if it was possible, surely we’d have found out yesterday?

    • November 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Strictly speaking we did – they’re not doing the experiment ’til Monday. :mrgreen:

      • Chuckles
        November 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

        Ah, the old future-perfect tense. I see…

  3. November 20, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    “an improved version of their experiment”

    The question will be whether this counts as a different experiment. Still some way to go I’d say, but interesting.

    • Lord T
      November 20, 2011 at 6:18 pm

      It is the same experiment just changing some variables to ensure validation so i would guess it is going to be accepted.

  4. Chuckles
    November 20, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    It’s an interesting subject Lord T because precision measurement is extraordinarily difficult. Not helped in this case by the fact that the source and target of the neutrinos are 732km apart, and underground.
    But the distance between them had to be calculated to an accuracy of 20cm.(Confirming these calculations is left as an exercise for the student.)
    And they’re not helped by the fact that the current official definition of the metre is the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792.458 of a second…

  5. Lord T
    November 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    I would imagine that the kind of times they are looking at could be explained by that 20 cm and variations by expansion and contraction by the varying temperatures across that distance.

    What difference does the official definition make, that sounds like it is still valid?

    I’m awaiting the results with interest.

  6. Chuckles
    November 20, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    The definition is problematic because of circularity. Attempting to measure the speed of light over a known distance is problematic when the distance unit is defined in terms of how far light travels in a known time…

    As far as the error distance, I seem to remember that the a light-nanosecond is about .33m, but I’m open to correction. My concern has always related to the time sync between the two ands, and how that is achieved/checked.
    But it would still be nice if it’s true….

  7. Voice of Reason
    November 21, 2011 at 1:02 am

    One problem is that the results contradict known observations of neutrino flux from SNG 1986A (if I remember the name correctly).

  8. ivan
    November 21, 2011 at 1:14 am

    I have always said that Einstein was only as right as Newton – i.e. ‘near enough to work’. The fact that Einstein made up his mind that the speed of light was a constant when he was 18 and then spent the rest of his life trying to prove it and never could doesn’t help with his theory either.

    Way back in the dim and distant past – late 50s – there was a very good discussion carried out in the letters and comments pages of Wireless World, where one young scientist – can’t remember his subject now – argued that Einstein could have been wrong, the ‘Keepers of the Faith’ were down on him like a ton of bricks but he managed to keep his end going without too many problems. Those supporting Einstein’s theory never could explain the results of the Mickelson -Morley experiment.

    Maybe if the ‘Keepers of the Faith’ hadn’t been so insistent we might have an FTL drive now – the fact we haven’t is mainly down to ‘establishment’ thinking, as is using fireworks to get into orbit round this planet.

  9. November 21, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Don’t get your hopes up. Faster than light travel causes cancer.

  10. Lord T
    November 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Only if you are smoking, drinking or eating salty or fatty foods. 🙄

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