Einstein's Speed Limit Still Enforced

Author: Jonathan Vizcarra
Published: October 18, 2011 at 5:45 am

Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy Source:dvice.com

Last month, CERN thought they have detected particles called neutrinos travelling at faster-than-light speeds. It was groundbreaking news in the science world as Einstein's Theory of Relativity states that nothing can travel faster than light.

CERN beamed particles of neutrinos from Switzerland to Italy. They measured the speed at which the neutrinos took to cover the 730 km(453.60 mile) journey. The experiment was named OPERA, Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus.

Physicists ran the experiment over 15,000 times and saw that the particles consistently arrived 60 nanoseconds earlier than expected. They theorized that the particles were 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light.

No one knew how to explain it until Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands makes a convincing argument that he has found the error.

It seems because the experiment used GPS satellites to accurately synchronize time, the scientists forgot to factor in that these were in orbit and not part of the Earth.

This gave the satellites a small difference in measuring the distance of the neutrinos. From orbit, the neutrinos AND both destination and source are also moving. Meaning, when sitting on the orbit and looking down on Earth, the destination in Italy and source of the particles in Switzerland are also moving and not stationary unlike when standing on Earth the two are stationary.

The difference? 32 nanoseconds on each end or a total of 64 nanoseconds which would the 60 nanosecond anomaly.

The explanation is already under peer review and once finalized, would set the record straight that Einstein's theory still holds true.


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Article Author: Jonathan Vizcarra

Filipino. Aside from being a Brand Manager, Jonathan also writes for AdEdge,the trade magazine of the Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA). He was also a headwriter for a political TV show as well as TV segment producer.

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