Tuesday, March 20, 2012
You had to know last year when European scientists claimed that they had found particles that could travel faster than the speed of light to be suspicious. After all claims of blowing fundamental scientific principles out of the water appear far more often than things that really upend what is considered scientific "law."
Now the Euro (French and Italian) eggheads are backing off their experimental results and admitting that they could have been caused by a loose cable. There is still hope for you time travelers, recall Einstein's theory of special relativity augurs that going faster than the speed of light would be equivalent to going backward in time.
French and Italian scientists confessed on a website run by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, that the result might be due to a loose fibre optic cable linking a Global Positioning System satellite receiver to a computer or perhaps a malfunctioning clock, neutrinos were beamed and timed from the CERN facility in Geneva to a lab near Rome.
Either way, as Edward Blucher, chairman of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago, told Reuters, "I don't think I met anyone who said I bet it's going to be true. I think the people on the experiment worked as carefully as they could and I think they ran out of ideas of what could be wrong and they decided to present. Maybe they should have waited a few more months."
Read more here and here.