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Critics take aim at fast neutrinos

Lack of energy trail suggests finding was miscalculated

By
4:18pm, October 18, 2011

A new study puts the brakes on faster-than-light neutrinos.

In September, a group at Italy’s OPERA experiment reportedly clocked neutrinos traveling the 730 kilometers from CERN in Switzerland to Italy’s underground Gran Sasso National Laboratory about 60 nanoseconds faster than light would have covered that distance in a vacuum (SN: 10/22/11, p. 18). But if this were true, most of the neutrinos would have shed energy en route, a new analysis by Boston University physicists suggests.

OPERA should have detected this radiation, say the physicists, if its claims are to be believed. It didn’t.

“I would be ecstatic to see some kind of new physics coming from this experiment,” says Andrew Cohen, a theoretical physicist who, with Nobel Prize–winner Sheldon Glashow, reports the new finding in an upcoming Physical Review Letters. “It’s just hard to a

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