There’s a video clip in the article wherein Professor Antonio Ereditato explains that they sent neutrinos from CERN to Gran Sasso, Italy - a distance of about 730 Km - and recorded a faster-than-light travel time. They did spend some time ruling out instrument error and other potential sources of error, and “after many months” finally decided that they were obligated to release the findings to the general community so that we could all scratch our heads.
Are there any significant implications if this turns out to be true? I mean aside from the creationists and climate change deniers shouting “Scientists wrong AGAIN! How can they be trusted on anything?”
This is a year old, and I think they did find some kind of instrumentation problem that was the actual cause.
That said, I think it would have been less a big deal than people wanted to make of it. We know that matter slows down light, and that very little slows down neutrinos. Neutrinos could have proven a better measure of the true value of C as a universal constant than photons.
As it stands, though, I think it was just a technical glitch.
It also serves as a counter-example to many conspiracy theories: pretty much everyone I know WANTED it to be real. There is absolutely no fame, renown, or profit in one more verification of Special Relativity – but someone who broke SR could be on the short list for a Nobel Prize. So, no, a great new revolutionary discovery was not shot down and hidden away by the science establishment; rather, an error was made, and publicly acknowledged.
The multiverse bifurcated last year into two versions: a version in which scientists knew about the faster-than-light travel and a version where they didn’t. In the former universe an over-zealous plumber in the year 2043 goes back and kills Hitler, with disastrous results.
However this very thread by Patty will prompt the grandson of one of our own SDMB Dopers to go back in time and loosen that cable to confuse the CERN scientists and make the knowledge of supraluminal travel disappear in all universes. Well done!
I mean aside from the creationists and climate change deniers shouting “Scientists wrong AGAIN! How can they be trusted on anything?”
Patty, does this mean you believe that Carbophobia and Deophobia are in some way related? I think I may have invented those two words, but I used a scientific ending, for your benefit. I hope my question is not too vague.