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More Science :: News :: September 22, 2011 :: :: Email :: Print Neutrino results challenge a cornerstone of Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, which itself forms the foundation of modern physics By Geoff Brumfiel and Nature magazine
Read more: " Neutrinos: Complete guide to the ghostly particle " Representatives from the OPERA collaboration spoke in a seminar at CERN today, supporting their astonishing claim that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light . The result is conceptually simple: neutrinos travelling from a particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland arrived 60 nanoseconds too early at a detector in the Gran Sasso cavern in Italy. And it relies on three conceptually simple measurements, explained Dario Autiero of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Lyon: the distance between the labs, the time the neutrinos left Switzerland, and the time they arrived in Italy. But actually measuring those times and distances to the accuracy needed to detect differences of billionths of a second (1 nanosecond = 1 billionth of a second) is no easy task.
More Science :: News :: September 26, 2011 :: :: Email :: Print We asked a number of physicists for their reaction to the announcement of neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit By John Matson FULL HOUSE: Dario Autiero of the OPERA collaboration announced his team's surprising finding on the speed of neutrinos to a packed auditorium at CERN on September 23. Image: © CERN
More Science :: News :: October 13, 2011 :: :: Email :: Print Most physicists are betting against the idea that neutrinos can pierce the cosmic speed limit, but that has not stopped some researchers from exploring the implications By Charles Q.
You wait decades for discoveries that could revolutionise physics, then three come along at once "THE universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose," as geneticist J. B.
Lack of energy trail suggests finding was miscalculated By Devin Powell Web edition: October 18, 2011 Print edition: November 5, 2011; Vol.180 #10 (p. 10)
Lisa Grossman, reporter Read more: " Neutrinos: Complete guide to the ghostly particle " Maybe it was unbelievable for a reason. The signs that neutrinos may travel faster than light , contradicting the well-tested rules of Einstein's special theory of relativity, look like they may have been due to a bad GPS connection. The speedsters took 2.4 milliseconds to fly from a particle accelerator at CERN near Geneva in Switzerland to an underground detector at Gran Sasso, Italy, a distance of 730 kilometres.
Read more: " Neutrinos: Complete guide to the ghostly particle " Faster-than-light neutrinos can't catch a break. If they exist they would not only flout special relativity but also the fundamental tenet that energy is conserved in the universe. This suggests that either the speedy neutrino claim is wrong or that new physics is needed to account for it.
Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter Inside the LHC's underground tunnel.
Astrophile is our weekly column on curious cosmic objects, from the solar system to the far reaches of the multiverse Object type: Exploding star Location: 160,000 light years from Earth, in the Large Magellanic Cloud "Once in a lifetime" barely begins to describe it – astronomers had literally been waiting centuries for such a spectacle. The supernova that blazed forth on 23 February 1987 was the brightest since the one Johannes Kepler spotted in 1604 .
Read more: " Neutrinos: Complete guide to the ghostly particle " "…We don't allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here," says the barman. A neutrino walks into a bar…" As reports spread of subatomic particles moving faster than light and potentially travelling through time, such gags were born. But apparently super-hasty motion is not the only strange thing about neutrinos. What exactly are they? With a neutral charge and nearly zero mass, neutrinos are the shadiest of particles, rarely interacting with ordinary matter and slipping through our bodies, buildings and the Earth at a rate of trillions per second.
The Big Bang model of cosmology rests on two key ideas that date back to the early 20th century: General Relativity and the Cosmological Principle. By assuming that the matter in the universe is distributed uniformly on the largest scales, one can use General Relativity to compute the corresponding gravitational effects of that matter. Since gravity is a property of space-time in General Relativity, this is equivalent to computing the dynamics of space-time itself. The story unfolds as follows: Given the assumption that the matter in the universe is homogeneous and isotropic (The Cosmological Principle) it can be shown that the corresponding distortion of space-time (due to the gravitational effects of this matter) can only have one of three forms, as shown schematically in the picture at left.
It is amazing how, no matter what people’s background, the quest to discover the basic laws of nature that underlie the very fabric of the universe has the capacity to engage the imagination. And what could be more abstract and esoteric than the search for the Higgs boson? The boson is a particle predicted by Peter Higgs in 1964 in an attempt to explain the inability of the standard model of particle physics to explain a fundamental concept: mass.
By Geoff Brumfiel of Nature magazine Bill Murray is a man with secrets. Along with a handful of other scientists based at CERN, Europe's particle-physics facility near Geneva, Switzerland, Murray is one of the few researchers with access to the latest data on the Higgs boson -- the most sought-after particle in physics. Looking at his laptop, he traces a thin black line that wiggles across a shaded area at the centre of a graph. This is the fruit of his summer's labours.
On December 13, CERN will release the results of a new data analysis in the search for the Higgs boson. at the LHC. As I was reporting my article, which appeared today , on December 7 I spoke on the phone with Joe Lykken, a Fermilab staff theoretical physicist. Lykken is a member of the CMS collaboration, one of the two largest experiments at the LHC (the other one being ATLAS). The following is a lightly edited, partial transcript of that conversation. Do you have high expectations for next week?