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Loose cable blamed for speedy neutrinos

Faster-than-light flight saga ends predictably

By
6:45pm, February 23, 2012

Faulty wiring has been proposed as the glitch that caused a European physics experiment to clock particles flying faster than light.

Scientists at Italy’s OPERA experiment reported in September that nearly weightless particles called neutrinos were apparently traveling from the CERN laboratory on the Swiss-French border to an underground detector in Italy, 730 kilometers away, faster than the speed of light. The apparent violation of Einstein’s theory of special relativity immediately produced a chorus of theorists offering reasons why neutrinos simply could not be going that fast (SN: 11/5/11, p. 10).  

“It was always clear to me that the results could not have been true,” says Nobel Prize-winner Sheldon Glashow, a physicist at Boston University and an early critic of the finding.

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