Neutrinos and faulty wiring

It may have been down to a faulty connection. Something so simple…

“According to sources familiar with the experiment, the 60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos’ flight and an electronic card in a computer,” Cartlidge reported

Of course, more data will be needed to check this, that’s how science works. But if this holds, then special relativity will be confirmed yet again. So far, this has been only the second experiment I know of that has even hinted there might be something wrong with it – the first was in Fermilab in Chicago back in the 80s, but there results weren’t statistically significant enough to draw a proper conclusion – but I still call it highly likely that it was an experimental error along these lines.

A personal anecdote: yesterday, I had the Problem Solving exam, and one of the questions was to write a 2-3 page essay on one of any topics. One of them was “If neutrinos can travel faster than light, what are the implications for physics”. How ironic!

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About Philip

I'm a physics graduate, sci-fi writer, budding game designer, and amateur human.

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