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← BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results

BREAKING NEWS: Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results - Comments

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Comment 1 by Sjoerd Westenborg

Shame, I liked the idea of neutrinos cutting corners through other dimensions.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:07:08 UTC | #920833

Alex_Redsky's Avatar Comment 2 by Alex_Redsky

That is good, I didn't like that anomalous result at all. Good ol' special relativity still rules. Yay !

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:29:01 UTC | #920837

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 3 by strangebrew

'So after that particular grand tour of bizarro world'...and we are right back with you in the room!

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:30:14 UTC | #920838

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 4 by Zeuglodon

Looks like I win my bet. Yeehaw!

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:34:36 UTC | #920839

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 5 by Neodarwinian

" It appears " and " may be to blame "

I will await this confirmation just as I awaited the faster than light confirmation. Still aw shuckings!

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:40:24 UTC | #920842

wdbailey's Avatar Comment 6 by wdbailey

Maybe it'll shut up some of the faithheads who immediately broke into chants of "Einstein was wrong"

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:43:08 UTC | #920844

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 7 by susanlatimer

Comment 6 by wdbailey

Maybe it'll shut up some of the faithheads who immediately broke into chants of "Einstein was wrong"

No. They'll just go back to chants of "Science is always changing its mind."

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:08:21 UTC | #920853

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 8 by Tyler Durden

It appears that the faster-than-light neutrino results, announced last September by the OPERA collaboration in Italy, was due to a mistake after all. A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame.

I can just see the headline for this article in tomorrow's Daily Mail:

Scientists make elementary mistake. Richard Dawkins unavailable for comment.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:11:46 UTC | #920854

RichardofYork's Avatar Comment 9 by RichardofYork

Ner Ner Ner Nerr Nerr told you so

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:15:44 UTC | #920855

JackR's Avatar Comment 10 by JackR

Well, there's a shocker.

This was obviously an experimental error from day one. Anyone with a decent understanding of relativity knew that - even the scientists who performed the experiment. Unfortunately, and is so often the case, the people who didn't know very much about physics made the most excitably uninformed racket about it.

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:20:48 UTC | #920856

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 11 by Alan4discussion

And the wider public banter from air-head media, will be making claims based on what the media said the results were, not what the scientists said were POSSIBLE RESULTS which were thrown open for wider re-checking to look for possible errors!

Wed, 22 Feb 2012 23:28:23 UTC | #920860

Sharpur's Avatar Comment 12 by Sharpur

Comment 8 by Tyler Durden :

It appears that the faster-than-light neutrino results, announced last September by the OPERA collaboration in Italy, was due to a mistake after all. A bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame.

I can just see the headline for this article in tomorrow's Daily Mail:

Scientists make elementary mistake. Richard Dawkins unavailable for comment.

No Tyler, it'll be:

Scientists make elementary mistake. Richard Dawkins obviously to blame.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:01:24 UTC | #920869

78rpm's Avatar Comment 13 by 78rpm

Does anyone know exactly how things like this get into "the media" in the first place? The laboratory that found this apparent discrepancy in the laws of physics is at a high level of pure science. The initial data from this laboratory seem to me to be of interest only to serious scientists, something to report in serious scientific journals in order to engender further serious investigation. Did somebody from the laboratory call a reporter immediately to tell about it? And if so, why the hell?

The same with these "BABY BORN WITH ITS NOSE WHERE ITS NAVEL SHOULD BE!" types of stories (assuming they are even true). Does somebody from the hospital call the newspaper? Just wondering.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:09:00 UTC | #920870

AsylumWarden's Avatar Comment 14 by AsylumWarden

I have to echo the negative sentiments. They won't see it as a good thing that science was willing to take on board the possibility that it was wrong, even though it turned out not to be so. Faith-heads will just see it further signs that the scientific method is somehow at fault.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:11:41 UTC | #920871

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 15 by Tyler Durden


"I told you so." - Albert Einstein

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:13:41 UTC | #920872

djs56's Avatar Comment 16 by djs56

Comment 13 by 78rpm

Does anyone know exactly how things like this get into "the media" in the first place?

CERN effectively called a press conference... See, for example, this article referring to how the Head of Comms planned the press release

http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/cms/?pid=1000905

The initial data from this laboratory seem to me to be of interest only to serious scientists, something to report in serious scientific journals in order to engender further serious investigation.

I disagree, why shouldn't they inform us, it's our money they are spending so we should have access and be told what's happening. Quicker than journals can print if relevant. (Plus not everyone has subscriptions to science journals why should they suffer?)

In fact these organisations release press releases (sorry couldn't put it any other way) all the time, most often the more mainstream media ignores them.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:22:29 UTC | #920874

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 17 by rjohn19

Well, count me among the disappointed. If light speed can't be broken, we are pretty much cosmically isolated.

It's kind of like having a maximum walking stamina of one mile, losing your driver's license and all the interesting gin joints are five miles away.

To paraphrase Bruno Mars, "Today, I'm not going anywhere."

Drat.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:24:37 UTC | #920875

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 18 by drumdaddy

Peer review strikes again!

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:28:04 UTC | #920877

AtheistButt's Avatar Comment 19 by AtheistButt

Dawkins refuses to accept blame. Claims ancestors never went to Switzerland.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:32:46 UTC | #920878

potteryshard's Avatar Comment 20 by potteryshard

Darn. And here I was saving for my ticket to Rigel IV.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 00:40:13 UTC | #920881

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 21 by Schrodinger's Cat

Hmm.

Neutrino experiment........£50 million

YTS trainee tightening the GPS cable screw........£6.37

Hundreds of papers on faster than light neutrinos.....priceless.

For everything else there's Mastercard.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 01:09:01 UTC | #920884

Mike Kemp's Avatar Comment 22 by Mike Kemp

I would say the explanation is slightly less believable than the original observation.

Loose connection fixed by tightening it up a bit? That coincidentally also sums up my knowledge of car maintenance.

I am happy to believe that somewhere behind these bizarre headlines someone is doing the science. I shall look forward to reading about it in due course...

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:08:09 UTC | #920954

rtfa's Avatar Comment 23 by rtfa

damn and blast.. that means God didn't do it........... :)

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 08:12:40 UTC | #920956

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 24 by Vorlund

They have found in dreary places what Einstein knew in his armchair.

This is good though rather predictable news it puts time travel back on the shelf so that fuckwitiots cannot claim Satan travelled back in time to plant fossils to deceive everybody.

It is possible though that we will hear claims of science being wrong about the cosmos again.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 09:51:16 UTC | #920984

peter mayhew's Avatar Comment 25 by peter mayhew

A great day: the scientific method is a triumph of self-correction. Unlike......? I do feel sorry for the person in charge of the GPS unit though.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:20:32 UTC | #921003

mmurray's Avatar Comment 26 by mmurray

According to the BBC they have found two possible problems that will act in different directions:

The two problems the team has identified would have opposing effects on the apparent speed.

On the one hand, the team said there is a problem in the "oscillator" that provides a ticking clock to the experiment in the intervals between the synchronisations of GPS equipment.

This is used to provide start and stop times for the measurement as well as precise distance information.

That problem would increase the measured time of the neutrinos' flight, in turn reducing the surprising faster-than-light effect.

But the team also said they found a problem in the optical fibre connection between the GPS signal and the experiment's main clock.

In contrast, the team said that effect would increase the neutrinos' apparent speed.

Only repeats of the experiments by Opera and other teams will come up with a final consensus on the matter, and finally put it to rest.

In a statement, the Opera collaboration said: "While continuing our investigations, in order to unambiguously quantify the effect on the observed result, the collaboration is looking forward to performing a new measurement of the neutrino velocity as soon as a new bunched beam will be available in 2012."

Meanwhile, the Borexino and Icarus experiments, also at Gran Sasso, the Minos experiment based at the US Fermilab, and the T2K facility in Japan are all working on their own neutrino speed measurements, with results expected in the next few months.

Michael

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:28:47 UTC | #921005

bubbub's Avatar Comment 27 by bubbub

I ought to be neutral, but it did seem like an ugly result given the elegance of relativity. We'll have to wait a few months for new runs to confirm.

It was also seriously annoying when my Muslim brother brought this neutrino thing up last year with the subtext that it's 1-0 to religion, science will soon enough discover that whatever-crazy-nonsense he believes should be taken seriously.

I often encounter people with various new age or religious beliefs trying to undermine trust in science for the same reason, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it is the strength of science that we try to find flaws in established theories.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:29:15 UTC | #921006

mmurray's Avatar Comment 28 by mmurray

Comment 27 by bubbub :

I ought to be neutral, but it did seem like an ugly result given the elegance of relativity. We'll have to wait a few months for new runs to confirm.

If it meant that the neutrino was occasionally tunnelling out of space-time through another dimension that would have been elegant.

Michael

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:31:03 UTC | #921008

Marten van Dijk's Avatar Comment 29 by Marten van Dijk

Read "The neutrinos-faster-than-lght delusion".

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 13:33:41 UTC | #921038

Steven Mading's Avatar Comment 30 by Steven Mading

Comment 14 by AsylumWarden :

I have to echo the negative sentiments. They won't see it as a good thing that science was willing to take on board the possibility that it was wrong, even though it turned out not to be so. Faith-heads will just see it further signs that the scientific method is somehow at fault.

The worst part is that science wasn't even wrong in the first place in this story. The actual scientists never said they proved the neutrinos were faster than light. They just said that "might" be the case based on findings but that if that was true it was so strange that they had to look at it closer before making such a sweeping momentous claim. So they did, and found this error in the equipment.

But the media picked up the story and edited out all the "maybes" and "mights" from the scientists actual statements.

The scientists didn't have to backpedal on this because they never made the claims the media lied and said they made.

It's just like when you keep getting articles about science "flip flopping" on what causes cancer and what fights cancer, when what's actually happening is that the media keep lying about how certain the scientists were every time the scientists publish findings.

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:53:20 UTC | #921162