Neutrino parents call into question faster-than-light results | Science News

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Neutrino parents call into question faster-than-light results

Particles’ precursor doesn’t have enough energy to produce such speeds

4:40pm, December 30, 2011

Physicists have found yet another reason to doubt recent reports of neutrinos traveling faster than light. The existence of such speedy particles would screw up not only Einstein’s theory of special relativity, but also the laws of conservation of energy and momentum. 

In September, the OPERA experiment reported clocking neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light, arriving 60 nanoseconds early on their 730-kilometer journey between the European laboratory CERN, near Geneva, and the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy. To try to explain the result, two new studies examined the particles that give birth to neutrinos. Both found that these particles, called pions, could not possibly have had enough energy to give rise to the faster-than-light, or superluminal, speeds indicated by OPERA. 

“We give a clear constraint on the superluminality of neutrinos,” says Xiaojun Bi, a particle astrophysicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences&rsquo

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