Slower Than Light

Last year, a group of scientists said they’d measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.  This caused a huge uproar.  If true, it would contradict Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.   All of modern physics would be in doubt.  Everything we thought we knew about gravity, black holes, and nuclear power would be called into question.  Pigs would start flying, dogs would stop chasing cats, and the world as we know it would come to an end!

A neutrino outruns a photon.

But now everyone can calm down.  Researchers found a problem with the original experiment.  There was a faulty cable somewhere which may have created an inaccurate measurement.  Also, the experiment has been repeated, and the new test results show neutrinos travel at the speed of light, not faster than light.  The Theory of Relativity is saved!

Personally, I never believed the original experiment would hold up.  Relativity works too well and explains too many weird things in the universe.  It’s hard to imagine it being so fundamentally flawed.  But I wanted to believe, because the discovery of a faster-than-light particle would begin an exciting new era in science, one that might even allow faster-than-light travel.

For more on the second neutrino experiment, click here.

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