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Old 09-22-2011, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Neutrinos clocked moving at faster-than-light speed

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GENEVA — A pillar of physics — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein's theories.

Scientists at the world's largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than light. That's something that according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity — the famous E (equals) mc2 equation — just doesn't happen.

"The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real," said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The organization, known as CERN, hosted part of the experiment, which is unrelated to the massive $10 billion Large Hadron Collider also located at the site.

Gillies told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery.

"They are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they've done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements," he said Thursday.

Scientists at the competing Fermilab in Chicago have promised to start such work immediately.

"It's a shock," said Fermilab head theoretician Stephen Parke, who was not part of the research in Geneva. "It's going to cause us problems, no doubt about that — if it's true."

The Chicago team had similar faster-than-light results in 2007, but those came with a giant margin of error that undercut its scientific significance.

Other outside scientists expressed skepticism at CERN's claim that the neutrinos — one of the strangest well-known particles in physics — were observed smashing past the cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second).

University of Maryland physics department Chairman Drew Baden called it "a flying carpet," something that was too fantastic to be believable.

CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. But given the enormous implications of the find, they still spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there were no flaws in the experiment.

"We have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement," said Antonio Ereditato, a physicist at the University of Bern, Switzerland, who was involved in the experiment known as OPERA.

The researchers are now looking to the United States and Japan to confirm the results.

A similar neutrino experiment at Fermilab near Chicago would be capable of running the tests, said Stavros Katsanevas, the deputy director of France's National Institute for Nuclear and Particle Physics Research. The institute collaborated with Italy's Gran Sasso National Laboratory for the experiment at CERN.

Katsanevas said help could also come from the T2K experiment in Japan, though that is currently on hold after the country's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Scientists agree if the results are confirmed, that it would force a fundamental rethink of the laws of nature.

Einstein's special relativity theory that says energy equals mass times the speed of light squared underlies "pretty much everything in modern physics," said John Ellis, a theoretical physicist at CERN who was not involved in the experiment. "It has worked perfectly up until now."

He cautioned that the neutrino researchers would have to explain why similar results weren't detected before.

"This would be such a sensational discovery if it were true that one has to treat it extremely carefully," said Ellis.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44629271...1#.TnvEb9ScXk8

I LOVE huge, new discoveries such as this.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Me too, but to me it makes sense to try and replicate this phenomenon over a larger distance than 454 miles. But if this proves to be accurate then it could open up a whole new world of science. Hell, we'll have to re-write everything we currently think we know about physics!
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess we'll know more about that in 5-10 years. There have been quite some announcements which couldn't be confirmed. But if it's true, it will give science quite some thrill
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Once again, something completely fundamental to our understanding of the universe gets smashed to bits by new discoveries. Knowing full well this kind of thing will happen time and time again, I really dont see how anybody can believe anything about anything. At least, not with any degree of certainty. We really don't know feck all about the reality of the universe and its structure. We are but a tiny blip taking tiny measurements and doing tiny experiments that are all relative to us... and using the results to claim universal discovery. Personally, I find science ridiculously full of lulz. We havent even figured out our own planet and we think we can crack the mechanics that drive the universe.

Good luck science boffs. You're gonna need it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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New discoveries and new information is how we learn.

Science is the way we find out the best possible, actual, real answers to questions. Science will forever and always find new discoveries and new theories and new this and new that. That's how we progress, that's how we learn, it's how we understand what is happening and going on.

Scientists are extremely excited about this, it's an amazing discovery if it's fully confirmed. The more we know, the faster/better we can figure out the answers, and science has figured out A LOT of answers, and will continue to do so as it discovers more and more.
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by M.C View Post
New discoveries and new information is how we learn.

Science is the way we find out the best possible, actual, real answers to questions. Science will forever and always find new discoveries and new theories and new this and new that. That's how we progress, that's how we learn, it's how we understand what is happening and going on.

Scientists are extremely excited about this, it's an amazing discovery if it's fully confirmed. The more we know, the faster/better we can figure out the answers, and science has figured out A LOT of answers, and will continue to do so as it discovers more and more.
And yet, we seem to be going backwards as far as human health and preservation of our planet are concerned. All I see is one step forward and two steps back. I know I sound like a moany old cynic, but these "discoveries" don't mean squat to me. No different to "discovering" nuclear power and then having no clue at all what to do with the by-products of that discovery. How can any of this be considered "advancment"? We jump to hasty conclusions every time we make any kind of breakthrough... only for horrible side effects to be revealed in no time. Side effects which confuse us further as we didn't fully understand what we we're f*cking with in the first place. Meanwhile, mental illness, cancer, environmental and social issues etc continue to plague us more and more with each year. Very REAL things that actually kill us.

I'm sorry. But discoveries like this only fill me with dread.

Like I said, moany old cynic!
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There are large groups of scientists dedicated to cancer, mental illness, environmental and social issues, etc. They aren't being ignored, it just so happens, these things are not easily fixable.

We have scientists that study the universe, scientists that study life, scientists that study disease/illness, scientists that study social behavior, on and on and on. We have large branches because there's a lot to learn and a lot of answers we wish to learn and figure out.

Science is the process of figuring out what is real and accurate. Because we are just apes on a little blue rock, we're going in blind with our hands tied behind our back when trying to discover such things as in this topic. That means that some theories are going to fail, it means others are going to succeed, it means we have a lot of trail and error. That doesn't mean, however, that we aren't advancing, because we are.

Take a look at our world 1000 years ago, and take a look at the world now. We went from knowing nearly nothing, to knowing an amazing amount of things. We have such technology and scientific advancement, that if we were to go into the past 3,000 years with all we know/have from science, they would probably bow down and worship us as God's or some type of creature that merely looks human.

If you're saying that science is being misused and should be focused less on stupid things and more on cancer and such things, then I agree. I agree that we study ridiculously stupid things quite often. We are studying right now why pigs smell so bad. Yes, why pigs smell so bad, you read that correctly. We're spending money and resources on this, it's retarded.

That doesn't mean that a lot of the studies aren't important and very useful/interesting, however.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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It's interesting... I'll give you that. But productive? I'm not so sure.

1000 years ago we understood a lot about the earth, animals and plants that grow on it. Knowledge that's been lost and replaced with mass production. In Britan, we burned all of this knowledge years ago and burned anybody who followed it on the stake calling them witches and devil worshippers.

Because modern science and in particular pharmaceutical companies are only interested in patents and money making, not advancement of the human race. At the end of the day, you cant patent herbs... but you can patent synthetic compounds. If somebody discovered a group of herbs that cured cancer, do yo think they would make that information public? Feck no. They would bury it and ruin the people who discovered it. The only science that gets advanced is patentable science. I dont consider this progress.

So, in closing, I really don't believe we are actually more advanced then we were 1000 years ago. I know that might sound preposterous to you, but its honestly how I feel.

Now, you can all proceed to laugh at me. I can take it.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I read it the other day but it looks like there's a systematical error in the whole thing so nothing to get excited about.

If it turns out to be true though we might start into a new age of physics. The scientist in me wants it to be true but the fact that they might have to build and even more expensive supercollider to find out makes me think that money might be better used for pharmaceutical and medical science. We're talking billions of dollars here.

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Old 09-23-2011, 08:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
Once again, something completely fundamental to our understanding of the universe gets smashed to bits by new discoveries. Knowing full well this kind of thing will happen time and time again, I really dont see how anybody can believe anything about anything. At least, not with any degree of certainty. We really don't know feck all about the reality of the universe and its structure. We are but a tiny blip taking tiny measurements and doing tiny experiments that are all relative to us... and using the results to claim universal discovery. Personally, I find science ridiculously full of lulz. We havent even figured out our own planet and we think we can crack the mechanics that drive the universe.

Good luck science boffs. You're gonna need it.
Come on, we had that already Science doesn't "believe". The principle of science is that scientists see a phenomenon and try to explain it. So based on the knowledge that worked good so far for other phenomenons they come up with a hypothesis/theory. And then comes the fun part: they're working on to disprove their own theory. Science is a fundamental different approach to understanding the universe than believing.

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Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
And yet, we seem to be going backwards as far as human health and preservation of our planet are concerned. All I see is one step forward and two steps back. I know I sound like a moany old cynic, but these "discoveries" don't mean squat to me.
Well average life expectancy a thousand years ago was something like 35 years, so you would already be a fringe candidate to say "good bye", today, thanks to science, you still have an average of over 40 years before you in which you can enjoy, thanks to science, a few more nice chats about MMA and my rants about your rants about science in the Internet.

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Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
No different to "discovering" nuclear power and then having no clue at all what to do with the by-products of that discovery. How can any of this be considered "advancment"? We jump to hasty conclusions every time we make any kind of breakthrough... only for horrible side effects to be revealed in no time. Side effects which confuse us further as we didn't fully understand what we we're f*cking with in the first place.
But that's not "science" that's "human behaviour" which are two different things

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Meanwhile, mental illness, cancer, environmental and social issues etc continue to plague us more and more with each year. Very REAL things that actually kill us.
Science is working on these fields a lot. But it's up to the people in the respective powers (which are not the scientists) to actually use the knowledge.

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Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
I'm sorry. But discoveries like this only fill me with dread.

Like I said, moany old cynic!
We have soft toilet paper thanks to science, that shouldn't fill you with too much dread grumpy old man

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
It's interesting... I'll give you that. But productive? I'm not so sure.

1000 years ago we understood a lot about the earth, animals and plants that grow on it. Knowledge that's been lost and replaced with mass production. In Britan, we burned all of this knowledge years ago and burned anybody who followed it on the stake calling them witches and devil worshippers.

Because modern science and in particular pharmaceutical companies are only interested in patents and money making, not advancement of the human race. At the end of the day, you cant patent herbs... but you can patent synthetic compounds. If somebody discovered a group of herbs that cured cancer, do yo think they would make that information public? Feck no. They would bury it and ruin the people who discovered it. The only science that gets advanced is patentable science. I dont consider this progress.
And again, that's not the fault of science, that's economics and human behaviour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soojooko View Post
So, in closing, I really don't believe we are actually more advanced then we were 1000 years ago. I know that might sound preposterous to you, but its honestly how I feel.

Now, you can all proceed to laugh at me. I can take it.
Nah, it's not about laughing at you. I think it's pretty understandable to feel somewhat depressed when you look at the world, but you're making out the false causer if you're blaming science for it.
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