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Faster than a .....

March 19, 2012

Torah Kachur

The OPERA experiment was astounding - neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.  This announcement through into doubt the groundbreaking work of Einstein and his postulated standard model (and E=mc²).  In November 2011, the physics community, and wannabe smarty-pants, started thinking that maybe our understanding of matter is completely wrong.

 

A repetition of the OPERA experiment in February 2011 yielded the same astonishing results....until they figured out it was a stupid loose cable between a GPS receiver and an electronic card skewed their results.

 

 

Now the ICARUS detector has repeated the same experiment and found out that the OPERA detector's loose cable that pushed physicists to think they didn't actually know everything, has showed that they actually do.  Results from the Large Hadron Collider at CERN has shown that there is no difference between the speed of light and that of a neutrino.

 

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that are chargeless and massless, at least according to the Standard Model of how we interpret and visualize the particles in an atom.  There are three types of neutrinos postulated - the muon, electron and tau neutrinos and possibly a fourth class called the fermions.  The predicted massless nature of neutrinos will allow atomic physicists to use neutrinos to probe matter that denser and electrically charged particles could not penetrate.  So, the idea of being massless is kinda important.

 

ICARUS has shown that Einstein was right.  Which I suppose isn't a big surprise being that he was one of the most brilliant minds of the last millenium.  The new results are being overshadowed by the stupid loose cable shenanigans because the new results confirm a part of the Standard Model where neutrinos don't have mass.  The only way to show that they do not have mass, is to show that they can travel at the speed of light.  So when everyone is talking about how erred results were disproven, the idea of showing that neutrinos are massless has been lost in the speed of light.

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