Experiment hints at possible violation of Einstein’s speed limit
An experiment that creates particles called neutrinos has called into question Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Even though few believe that these results will ultimately hold up, their implications have stirred up quite a fuss.
After painstakingly checking and rechecking their data, physicists working on Italy’s OPERA experiment say they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. According their calculations, there’s only a one in a billion chance that what they’re seeing is a statistical fluke.
But that doesn’t make it real.
The official announcement of the result, on September 23 at the European physics laboratory CERN near Geneva, was met with cheering — but also with a barrage of questions from those scrutinizing the experiment for unknown sources of error that may be misleading the physicists.
“This will be a tremendous revolutionary finding if it is true,” sa