Neutrinos going faster than the speed of light? Is it possible and, if it is true, what are the implications?
t'=t⁄√(1- v2 ) c2
m=mo ⁄√(1- v2 ) c2
So if something was travelling faster than the speed of light, you would have to have the square root of a minus number on the bottom, an impossible idea, at least in the physical universe (I am not an advanced enough mathematician to go further into this). Therefore if something can move faster than the speed of light, this theory cannot be true. However there are situations, though unlikely, in which these equations do not apply. If relativity is true then these results will instead drastically change our view of neutrinos or possibly prove string theory, but more on that later. The neutrinos were created at CERN and shot through 454 miles of mountain, because, as I said before, neutrinos can pass through matter, before hitting a detector at the INFN-Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy. The time measured for the neutrinos to cover this distance was 60 nanoseconds quicker than the time it would have taken light to travel it. After the initial excitement people became sceptical, despite the 16000 times the test was done. The objection that held the most ground was that the neutrinos, which decay, that were used were particularly long lasting ones which could produce errors in the results. To correct any problem this could have caused, they changed the way the neutrinos were created so that they lasted for a short time. Strangely this second experiment showed the same result as the first. The researchers are now asking for other teams to do the same experiment. All of these results are particularly strange because when tracking supernovas in the past, neutrinos have been shown to be moving slower than the speed of light.
m=mo ⁄√(1- v2 ) c2
And the second is here.
Anyway, I got a little off topic, some string theorist are taking the results of the neutrino experiment as evidence of this. The idea is that the neutrinos may not be actually traveling at, or faster than, the speed of light, but, because of the remarkable circumstances, are moving a certain distance, and then taking a shortcut through another dimension, and then popping back into our dimension at a different location. This does not have any proper proof, accept for the strange times, but it is an idea which could hold water. String theory is not yet proven and not all physicists agree on it so we can only take this with a pinch of salt.
I hope you liked this post, I will keep looking for other things to do with this and other physics or mathematical news. You can hear about all my new posts or any interesting things I found, on my Twitter. Thank you for reading and I hope I shed some light on this confusing subject.