A pillar of physics - that nothing can go faster than the speed of light - appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein's theories.
Scientists at the world's largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than light. That's something that according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity - the famous E (equals) mc2 equation - just doesn't happen.
|CERN neutrinos travel faster than light|
The Chicago team had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but those came with a giant margin of error that undercut its scientific significance.
Other outside scientists expressed skepticism at CERN's(European Organization for Nuclear Research) claim that the neutrinos — one of the strangest well-known particles in physics — were observed smashing past the cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second).
CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) 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 were no flaws in the experiment.