Wednesday, February 22, 2012

FTL Neutrinos? - Maybe Not So Fast

The sensational result that neutrinos can travel faster than the speed of light may be undone by nothing more than a simple mechanical error.

Scientists from the OPERA collaboration at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy have “identified two issues that could significantly affect the reported result,” wrote OPERA spokesman Antonio Ereditato in an email.

The first issue is a faulty connection of the fiber-optic cable bringing the GPS signal to the experiment’s master clock. The experiment’s GPS may also have been providing the wrong timestamps during synchronization between events.
There's an old saying: "Chemistry is dirty experiments with clean equipment, while physics is clean experiments with dirty equipment."

To which I'd like to add Miller's corollary, "Biology is dirty experiments with dirty equipment."

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