Saturday, September 24, 2011

Physicist dismisses 'discovery' of particles that can travel faster than the speed of light - 24th Sept 2011

Scientists spoke of their disbelief yesterday over claims that particles have apparently been recorded travelling faster than the speed of light.

If the calculations are correct, the findings by physicists at the CERN research centre they have disproved Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity – the cornerstone of physics.

Subatomic particles called neutrinos were beamed from the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland to a laboratory in Italy 454 miles away, and beat the speed of light by 60 nanoseconds.

But other scientists have dismissed the claims, with one saying he 'would eat his shorts' if they are proved right.

Celebrity scientist Brain Cox was not so dismissive, saying that if the results are confirmed it would be 'one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time'.

Others were more cynical. Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, said: ‘Let me put my money where my mouth is: if the CERN experiment proves to be correct and neutrinos have broken the speed of light, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV.’

The apparent fidnings raises science fiction scenarios such as sending information back in time and blurring the line between past and present.

As experts across the world expressed their shock – and cynicism – the physicists at CERN insisted they had tested and re-tested the findings for six months and could not find anything to alter the result.

If they are right the neutrinos made the journey in 0.0024 seconds, travelling at 299,798,454 metres per second. Read More