September 23rd, 2011


About the FTL neutrinos

It's a peculiar result, but I doubt it's going to stick.

The neutrinos arrived 60 ns sooner than the speed of light allows, over a course about 2.4 ms long. The margin of error is 10 ns, but this is still measuring really fast things over comparatively short distances. A much better bound on the difference in speeds of neutrinos and light comes from Supernova 1987A. It's a little freaky, but neutrinos from the supernova were detected 3 hours before the light, but this is due to the fact that the neutrinos zip out of the core, while the light has to kinda force its way out. But even if they were simultaneous and the neutrinos really are faster, the difference there is 3 hours on a 168,000 year journey.

The CERN neutrinos are (?) about about a thousandth of a percent faster than light. At that same rate, we should have seen the neutrinos from SN 1987A a year before the light.

I have no idea what went wrong, but from the safety of my comfy theoretical armchair, I can pronounce that those lab jockeys mucked something up somewhere. Either that or it's Nobel time. But I wouldn't be buying any tickets to Oslo.