A more fine-tuned approach to the faster-than-light neutrino observations from CERN has given strength to the original claim. that subatomic particles can move faster than the speed of light.
Previously, OPERA scientists had clocked neutrinos arriving at a distant detector before the light pulse that accompanied them. This implied that they traveled faster than the speed of light, running contrary to Einstein’s theory of the max speed limit for the universe.
One source of error for that observation was the long pulse time of the neutrino/light source. Essentially, picture a train leaving a station, but I only tell you that it left between 9 and 10 AM. If it arrives at your station at 4 PM, you don’t know if it took 6 hours or 7 hours to get to you, because you don’t have an accurate “time zero”.
By only opening the neutrino/light window for three nanoseconds, the scientists were more sure that the speed they were measuring was accurate. By more accurately knowing when the neutrinos and light left the station, they know more accurately when they arrived.
So far, based on OPERA’s new results, the result holds up (statistically … remember this is all statistics).
Fermilab in Illinois is currently upgrading some equipment in order to try and match this result, which will be the true test of how true it might be. Stay tuned in the coming months.
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