Einstein was right, neutrino experts say

2012-06-08 14:13
Albert Einstein. (AFP)

Albert Einstein. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Switzerland
    A guide to one of the world's finest ski resorts, with personal introductions to the best runs,... Now R148.00
    buy now
Geneva - Scientists on Friday said that an experiment which challenged Einstein's theory on the speed of light had been flawed and that sub-atomic particles - like everything else - are indeed bound by the universe's speed limit.

Researchers working at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) caused a storm last year when they published experimental results showing that neutrinos could out-pace light by some 6km/s.
The findings threatened to upend modern physics and smash a hole in Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, which described the velocity of light as the maximum speed in the cosmos.

But CERN now says that the earlier results were wrong and faulty kit was to blame.

"Although this result isn't as exciting as some would have liked, it is what we all expected deep down," said the centre's research director Sergio Bertolucci.

"The story captured the public imagination, and has given people the opportunity to see the scientific method in action.

"An unexpected result was put up for scrutiny, thoroughly investigated and resolved in part thanks to collaboration between normally competing experiments. That's how science moves forward."

The neutrinos were timed on the journey from CERN's giant underground lab near Geneva to the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy, after travelling 732km through the Earth's crust.

To do the trip, the neutrinos should have taken 0.0024 seconds. Instead, the particles were recorded as hitting the detectors in Italy 0.00000006 seconds sooner than expected, the preliminary experiment had shown.

New picture

Researchers updated the science community on Friday at the International Conference on Neutrino Physics and Astrophysics, being held in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto.

"The previous data taken up to 2011 with the neutrino beam from CERN to Gran Sasso were revised taking into account understood instrumental effects," the team said.

"A coherent picture has emerged with both previous and new data pointing to a neutrino velocity consistent with the speed of light."

The initial findings had been greeted with a combination of excitement and scepticism, even from those involved in the experiment, who urged other physicists to carry out their own checks to corroborate or refute what had been seen.

"If this result at CERN is proved to be right, and particles are found to travel faster than the speed of light, then I am prepared to eat my shorts, live on TV," Jim Al-Khalili, a professor of theoretical physics at Britain's University of Surrey, declared at the time.

Read more on:    albert einstein  |  switzerland  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
42 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The spotlight may be on you and you need to perform. This can be overwhelming and you need to stay as focussed and centred as you...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.