Artistic view of the SPS/CNGS layout.  The CNGS beam is produced by accelerating protons to 400 GeV/c with the CERN Super  Proton Synchrotron (SPS). These protons are ejected with a kicker magnet towards a 2 m long  graphite neutrino production target in two extractions, each lasting 10.5 ?s and separated by 50  ms. Each CNGS cycle in the SPS is 6 s long. Secondary charged mesons are focused by two  magnetic horns, each followed by a helium bag to minimise the interaction probability of the  5  mesons. Mesons decay in flight into neutrinos in a 1000 m long vacuum tunnel.

Faster Than The Speed Of Light… OPERA Update

24 Sep , 2011 by

[/caption]

A few days ago, the physics world was turned upside down at the announcement of “faster than the speed of light”. The mighty neutrino has struck again by breaking the cosmic speed limit and traveling at a velocity 20 parts per million above light speed. To absolutely verify this occurrence, collaboration is needed from different sources and we’re here to give you the latest update.

“This result comes as a complete surprise,” said OPERA spokesperson, Antonio Ereditato of the University of Bern. “After many months of studies and cross checks we have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement. While OPERA researchers will continue their studies, we are also looking forward to independent measurements to fully assess the nature of this observation.”

Since the OPERA measurements go against everything we think we know, it’s more important than ever to verify its findings through independent research.

“When an experiment finds an apparently unbelievable result and can find no artifact of the measurement to account for it, it’s normal procedure to invite broader scrutiny, and this is exactly what the OPERA collaboration is doing, it’s good scientific practice,” said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci. “If this measurement is confirmed, it might change our view of physics, but we need to be sure that there are no other, more mundane, explanations. That will require independent measurements.”

To get the job done, the OPERA Collaboration joined forces with CERN metrology experts and other facilities to establish absolute calibrations. There cannot be any error margin in parameters between the source and detector distances – and the neutrino’s flight time. In this circumstance, the measurements of the initial source of the neutrino beam and OPERA has an uncertainty value of 20 cm over the 730 km. The neutrino flight time has an accuracy of less than 10 nanoseconds, and was confirmed through the use of highly regarded GPS equipment and an atomic clock. Every care was given to ensure precision.

“We have established synchronization between CERN and Gran Sasso that gives us nanosecond accuracy, and we’ve measured the distance between the two sites to 20 centimetres,” said Dario Autiero, the CNRS researcher who will give this afternoon’s seminar. “Although our measurements have low systematic uncertainty and high statistical accuracy, and we place great confidence in our results, we’re looking forward to comparing them with those from other experiments.”

“The potential impact on science is too large to draw immediate conclusions or attempt physics interpretations. My first reaction is that the neutrino is still surprising us with its mysteries.” said Ereditato. “Today’s seminar is intended to invite scrutiny from the broader particle physics community.”

Original Story Source: CERN Press Release. For Further Reading: Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam.

Read our previous article on this paper.

, , ,



Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 24, 2011 8:13 PM
If this was true the Neutrinos from SN1987A should have arrived just over 4 years before the light. THey only arrived a few hours before the light. It is not probable that the SN was in progress for 4 years before the light escaped. ( They were anti-neutrinos so there is an outside possibility that the result does not apply to anti-neutrinos). The neutrinos in the experiment arrive only 60ns before the light. In this time light travels around 18m (60 ft). I think it is more likley they have an error in the surveying of the instrument baseline else an additional delay in the standard time distribution. Time to dig a straight tunnel along the baseline so… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 24, 2011 9:47 PM

4 Years ago no one was looking for Neutrinos from SN1987A so how would any one detect them if they were there. The Neutrinos that arrived a few hours before the light may not be connected.

gopher65
Member
gopher65
September 24, 2011 11:14 PM

4 years prior to 1987 you mean (minor typowink).

I doubt that this result will hold up to rigorous testing at other facilities (I’m guessing that it’s some really weird systematic error that no one has seen before… which is cool enough in its own right). But if it does hold up, then the fact that the SN1987A neutrinos arrived right around when it was predicted that they should doesn’t necessarily negate the CERN/OPERA result.

It’s possible that only certain flavours of neutrino travel FTL, and that the other flavours travel slightly slower.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 8:01 AM
Further to my previous statement I wonder how they allowed for the fact that that vertical as defined by a plumb bob will be effected by local masses – the receiving end is 10km inside a mountain which will have affected the local vertical and thus presumably the local horizontal for the surveying equipment. Also they need to allow very carefully for the non-spherical shape of the earth to determine where the emitter & detector are in 3 dimensional space. Time distribution is also a challenge as it take the time pulse 1ns to travel .3m ( 1 foot), it’s also slower than this in optic fibre and even slower in wire. As a result while they will… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 12:50 PM

If the neutrinos are actually tachyons, then this would make perfect sense. The more energy tachyons have, the slower they go, approaching the speed of light, this means very high energy neutrinos from a supernova would be very close to the speed of light, and so it is entirely possible for them to arrive 3 hours beforehand, whereas the neutrinos produced by cern were comparatively low energy, and so had a higher velocity.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 2:26 PM
Well, I think the thing is that SN1987A neutrinos were in MeV range (and also electron antineutrino flavor) – btw. altogether around 24 of them were detected from this event… As for CERN – those were muon neutrinos in GeV range (and ~15-16k detections). Moreover I think CERN fellows admitted that they didn’t find a correlation between neutrinos energy and velocity. So maybe it might have something to do with their flavor (which can change (oscillate)…). Anyway I think there is a lot more that can happen to a particle when it travels a distance of 168k Ly then 730km so it’s really hard to say what’s going on Still I couldn’t find any explanation if someone was… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 5:14 PM

Hmm that’s strange, I would have expected supernova neutrinos to be of very high energy, well I guess that completely contradicts my theory :L If they were tachyons, travelling with that low energy probably would have meant they’d have come decades or even centuries earlier :L I think I can now safely say I understand nothing about neutrinos smile

henk
Member
henk
September 24, 2011 8:36 PM

maybe the Neutrino was going to a other dimension for a very short time. In that dimension the speed of light is a little bit faster,because of that it created a ilusion that the Neutrino travelt faster than light. than general reletivity is not violeted, but it is just speculation

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 24, 2011 10:09 PM

And that would be just about as radical, wouldn’t it?

henk
Member
henk
September 24, 2011 10:35 PM

yes you are right about that

gopher65
Member
gopher65
September 24, 2011 11:16 PM

It would be way more awesome than slightly FTL neutrinossmile. If neutrinos are FTL then the most likely explanation involves photons having a tiny little bit of mass – which would be neat, but personally I’d find that a much more “meh” result than extra dimensions.

joeclark0123
Member
joeclark0123
September 26, 2011 1:21 AM

If general relativity is proved to have been violated by the new findings what kind of playing field are we on in the current world of thought in physics?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 27, 2011 12:26 AM
there would be a violation of causality, and a strong violation of Lorentz invariance, if these findings are confirmed. Outer space has been considered a vacuum metamaterial that is not empty but filled with briefly existing charged particles and antimatter that interact and could briefly slow electromagnetic radiation speed (light), but nearly chargeless massless neutrinos would not interact and hence travel faster then light in this not perfect vacuum. Light speed slows by refraction, so we observe cases where c is not a constant. I theorize a perfect vacuum would be a black hole at absolute zero temp, both of which are not quite possible. The larger the black hole, the nearer to absolute zero. Such a perfect… Read more »
Rick Gillespie
Guest
September 24, 2011 9:49 PM

I have been writing about this for a while now. Please check out the dates. I have posted blogs at http://jetsrock.wordpress.com/category/physics/
I was extremely pleased to see physical evidence backing up my hypothesis.

Olaf
Member
Olaf
September 25, 2011 12:24 PM

What exactly is your hypothesis and how exactly does your hypothesis fit in this neutrino’s being faster than light?
I fail to see any detailed hypothesis in your page, only fuzzy claims that happen to coincide with a paper that might not be correct at all.

Rick Gillespie
Guest
September 27, 2011 11:55 AM

More possible proof I was right that the speed of light is a frame of reference constant not a universal one.
http://jetsrock.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/more-possible-proof-i-was-right/

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 5:51 PM

Have read your ‘Jetsrock’ post Rick.
Would agree that Time is relative, in as much as Time is only the rate at which Physical processes occur / run. The ‘nearness’ of Mass determining the Inertial Frame.
Interstellar Space, no adjacent Mass, Time quite lively.
On edge of black hole, great adjacent Mass, Time almost stopped.
Not a very Technically phrased description admittedly.
However, unable to follow how the size or volume relates?
Regards, SERAPH.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 24, 2011 11:19 PM

Neutrinos, faster than gravity?
Did this enable them to ‘slip’ ahead?

Amaury Carvalho
Guest
Amaury Carvalho
September 25, 2011 2:41 AM

Or, maybe, neutrinos are less affected by gravity than light. So, light could be more curved when passing next gravity sources than neutrinos.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
September 25, 2011 4:31 AM

The geodesics or paths of very light particles are less deformed by curved spacetime or gravity. Light is only slightly curved around the sun, while massive planets can enter into orbits.

LC

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 7:10 AM

That ‘matter waves’ have a very much higher frequency than that which we normally consider as ‘light’, and that ‘Mass’, in the form of planets etc. have a much longer transit time than light should explain to an extent.
Of course, since my contention is that Gravity is nothing more than the Refraction of the Matter Wave, as per Einstein’s Spacetime bending, then I am somewhat biased.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 26, 2011 9:42 PM

But there was no measurement of speed of light, only of neutrino, which was compared to vacuum speed of light assuming straight line propagation. If one says, ok this is maybe a gravity effect, it would impact the neutrino and would have the opposite effect. (if the neutrino has a curved, hence longer trajectory)

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
September 25, 2011 12:16 AM
The OPERA paper http://static.arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897.pdf gives a (v-c)/c = 2.48 ± 0.28 (stat.) ± 0.30 (sys.)) ×10^{-5}. They cite this as within the bounds of the MINOS experiment (v-c)/c = 5.1 ± 2.9×10^{-5}, and that these experiments with neutrino beams are far less accurate than the |v-c|/c < 2×10^{-9} set by neutrino observations emitted by the SN1987A supernova. If we were to take the OPERA data we have a ?v = 7.5km/sec faster than light. Let us assume the distance to SN1987A d = 1.68e^5ly x 9.5×10^{12}km/ly = 1.59×10^{18}km. Now take d = ct and compute t to get t = 5.292×10^{9}sec. Now compute d’ = (c + ?v)t’, t' = 5.267×10^{12}sec and the time difference is 2.55×10^{10}sec. This… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 1:05 AM

I get ~4 years (assuming distance is d = 168 000 Ly = 1,59*10^21 [m]).
Time difference I get is ~1,3*10^8 [s].

_l for light, _n for neutrinos.

Velocities:
v_l: 299 792 458 [m/s]
v_n: 299 799 893 [m/s] (v difference is: dv=v_l*(2,48*10^(-5)) = 7 435 [m/s])

Times (d/v):
t_l: 5,30156E+12 [s]
t_n: 5,30143E+12 [s]

so t_l – t_n = 1,31E+08 [s]

Which is: 4,17 years.

PS. Ha! razz

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
September 25, 2011 4:26 AM

You are right. I made a calculator error.

LC

HeadAroundU
Guest
HeadAroundU
September 25, 2011 11:14 AM

For some reason I can’t stop laughing.

Lawrence B. Crowell
Member
Lawrence B. Crowell
September 25, 2011 12:03 PM

As the bard said, “To err is human to forgive is divine”

LC

gopher65
Member
gopher65
September 25, 2011 4:44 AM
Yeah. Using lcrowell’s figures here’s what you should get: SN1987A d = 1.68e^5ly x 9.5×10^{12}km/ly = 1.59×10^{18}km *1000m/s = 1.59×10^{21}m 1.59×10^{21}m * ((1 / 299792458m/s) – (1 / 299799893m/s)) = 132026674s 132026674s / 60 (s/min) / 60 (min/hour) / 24 (hours/day) / ~365.25 (days/year) = ~4.18 years (I didn’t bother with significant figures) I didn’t look too closely at lcrowell’s math (it looks unnecessarily complicated for the simple nature of the problem), but I suspect that half the other people doing this made the following mistake: This is what they expected to get: 1.59×10^{18}km * (1 / 7.5km/s) = 132026674s (that equation isn’t true) This is because they assumed the problem could be reduced down like this: (X/Y)… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 25, 2011 8:14 AM

Correctly that should be

(X/Y) – (X/Z) = X*( (1/Y)-(1/Z) )

smile

gopher65
Member
gopher65
September 25, 2011 12:57 PM

Yeah, I dropped a bracket in theresmile.

joeclark0123
Member
joeclark0123
September 25, 2011 11:51 PM

In layman’s terms what are the implications for the standard model as it now is if the speed of the neutrino tests as reported are validated as correct? Obviously the lives of ordinary people will not be impacted but for physicists it appears its a whole new ball game.

Meldro
Member
Meldro
September 25, 2011 6:09 AM

Don’t you think this has something to do with the quantum mechanics paradox Schrödinger’s cat?

Torbjorn Larsson OM
Member
Torbjorn Larsson OM
September 25, 2011 10:33 AM
It is too early to think of new physics. The repeat by the necessary independent experiment, such as it is (SN 1987A), points to preserved relativity. And extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. What “we” think, so far, is that there is a systematic error somewhere, as the parsimonious explanation. The energy independent discrepancy points to a simple error such as an error in measuring distance or timing. My GPS notion from the other day, a forgotten transformation between geodesic and cartesian coordinates which would give precisely the discrepancy, doesn’t seem to pan out. If it was that simple we would have heard about it by now, and rereading the distance measurement paper there is an implicit extraction of… Read more »
interI0per
Member
interI0per
September 25, 2011 1:22 PM

Is it currently possible to derive a source vector from neutrino detectors?
(in the manner of swinging the telescopes around to look for optical afterglow after GRB’s)

Richard Kirk
Member
Richard Kirk
September 25, 2011 1:41 PM
The paper shows the sum of the various timing corrections. Many of the timing corrections are much bigger than the 60 ns we are looking for. While I doubt I can spot anything that the hundred plus authors missed, there is at lease scope that the difference may still be found. Here’s a sobering thought. Suppose the error had gone the other way, and we had found the speed was a couple of parts per million under the speed of light. The rest mass of the neutrino is believed to be tiny, so this would have suggested neutrinos take a more massive state when generated by the more energetic CERN apparatus. This would be strange but plausible, and… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 26, 2011 9:24 PM
I fully agree with your first point (and your second btw), the list of large time corrections is a bit frightening, and maybe another one was missed. Many people focus on the baseline measurement, but I really do not believe it is an issue at all. Geodesy, with or without GPS is pretty standard old technology. Otherwise bridges would not meet their pillars, tunnels drilled from both end would not meet. googling “gps millimeter precision” one finds load of papers from the past century. Also the measurement was not done by Joe Physicist but by companies for which this is routine job. Also possible subtle general relativity (that is if neutrino behaves like photons) can be rule out… Read more »
Churchill
Guest
Churchill
September 25, 2011 2:52 PM

I’m curious, can somebody do the math on this? Let’s take the diameter of the Milky Way at 10,000 light years and calculate how long it would take a neutrino to make the passage? Extend the distance out 1 million light years, same question? As a layman here, I would like to see the significance of this new finding in more than just the 1/60 of a nanosecond over 500 miles. Thanks for your help.

Churchill
Guest
Churchill
September 25, 2011 2:58 PM

I’m sorry, not 1/60 of nanosecond but 60 nanoseconds or 60 billionths of a second. Please put this in a neutrino speed context that is clearer in terms of exactly how significant this new finding is. How much faster than the speed of light are neutrinos getting here from the edge of the visible universe? Translate that into neutrino years versus light years. thanks

Gregb
Member
Gregb
September 25, 2011 3:39 PM

I wonder if they’d still get this strange result if they measured the baseline from the same reference frame as the satellite used to synchronise the timing. Maybe at the altitude of the satellite the baseline down below is a little length-contracted so that the velocity of the neutrinos isn’t so fast after all. I guess they’ll have already taken that into account even if I’ve got things the right way round here.

Jay Whitehead
Guest
Jay Whitehead
September 25, 2011 8:51 PM

arr-hah eureka! E = m?²
Energy equals mass multiplied by the speed of a neutrino (?) squared! – see you learn something new every day~! lol… wink~

Jay Whitehead
Guest
Jay Whitehead
September 25, 2011 8:56 PM

You know if maybe possible to mop up all the “dark matter” equations with E = m?² solving the dilemma of why we can not directly observe 90% of the universe.. smile~

ProfMOZ
Member
ProfMOZ
September 26, 2011 12:06 AM

Regarding the Neutrinos from SN1987A, has the expansion velocity of the universe been taken into account…? Sorry for the questionwink

julanna hennessy
Guest
julanna hennessy
September 26, 2011 1:19 AM

Well I just think every little smart arsed kid who argued (or didn’t argue) with their science teacher has been pumping air for days. I remember thinking (so so many years ago) if light has a speed something is going to be faster.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 26, 2011 4:36 AM

I worked in the casino industry for many years and I’ve learned that not all that glitters is gold. There was a woman who hit two 35 million to 1 jackpots in the span of two months. There is no way that this should have ever happened – but since it’s in the realm of the possible sometimes it just does. I’m not saying that I understand all the math or science behind these results, but I’m pretty sure that it’s more likely that something else happened – not that the speed of light was broken forever.

Emily Knell
Guest
Emily Knell
September 26, 2011 5:28 AM

So now we can finally say “They’ve gone to plaid!” & not sound like a complete lunatic.

Pat
Guest
Pat
September 26, 2011 4:44 PM

No Plaid yet- first we must surpass ‘ludicrous’ speed…
Another year ought to do it.

Everyone can calm down. The reason this happened was….well, the
thing is, is I did it. I was messing with some aliens and things got out of hand. Sorry.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 26, 2011 5:49 PM
Only sterile neutrinos could travel through extra warped dimensions. The accuracy is within 20 cm with 2 meters distance. The earth’s rotation or spin around its axis is about 50% of the distance, or about 1 meter of motion for the travel time. An earthquake would give about 7 cm variation. Light speed is dependent on its measurement with respect to an inertial reference frame, of which there is none in general relativity. Could perhaps the solar systems spin around the sun, and suns motion around the galaxy, account for the remaining 50%? The geodesic effect is the analog of the magnetic frame-dragging component that twists and warps space when the earth spins on its axis, but is… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
September 26, 2011 11:02 PM
Why are you picking on Einstein ??? His energy to mass conversion factoring was acknowledged as being a rough working tool with a variance quotient from the start. His special theory of relativity had little to do with the speed of light, … it was about distances between two ‘ semi-fixed objects ‘, … Why not give accreditation where it is really due, … that was known ‘ stuff ‘ to me more than forty years ago. Since then there has been thousands of ‘ theories ‘ , … using a so-called magnetic rail gun our species has through human equation factoring accelerated a particle faster than the known speed of light. Two thumbs up to the team… Read more »
wpDiscuz