Friday, September 23, 2011

Einstein wrong? Could it be?

Perhaps one of the most well known elements of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity is that the speed of light is a cosmic constant; nothing can move faster than the speed of light. But the modern brain bending scientists of CERN are ready to challenge that element of the Special Theory of Relativity.

Physicists working on the OPERA experiment by Geneva's CERN and Italy's the Gran Sasso Laboratory found that Neutrino's appear to move faster than light. When measuring beams of neutrino's moving from CERN to Gran Sasso Laboratory, they found that the beams arrived 60 nano-seconds sooner than light would have.

What does this mean? It means that if the measurements can be reproduced and verified - the universe is a bit spookier than Einstein could have imagined. Part of Einstein's idea of the speed of light being the cosmic speed-limit was the need for a constant with which to measure the rest of the world. Without that constant, much of the standard model of physics will have to change. Back to the drawing board so to speak.

Our universe is so much more complicated than even Einstein's alpha brain could contemplate. The more we learn, the more we learn how much of what we learned was wrong. Isn't science fun?

Today's Link of the day: Particles found to break speed of light!

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