Monday, November 21, 2011

Warp Factor One Million

So the guys at CERN did another test with their superluminal neutrinos:

By tweaking the experiment in an attempt to address a potential flaw in their original experiment, they again showed that the neutrons arrived at the Italian site some 60 billionths of a second faster than if they had been travelling at the speed of light.

I do have to wonder with measurements like this if they’re getting into some error bar, some tolerance limit on actually measuring the speed of light. It’s the kind of thing that rears its head quite often in science and is quite often ignored by the mainstream media. Anyone who has worked in engineering knows about tolerances and the impossibility of exact measurement.

Nevertheless it is all exciting stuff (for a nerd like me). The MINOS team at Fermilab are going to try and replicate the results, but it’s interesting that they had similar results before but which lay within a margin for error. So, what does this all mean? Some people are already speculating:


The new findings, available here, also further strengthen a particular scenario: The neutrinos do not travel with superluminal velocity all the way. They only ‘jump’ a small initial distance shorter than 20 meters, after which they settle back and travel as usual with speeds below that of the speed of light. This initial jump would occur at speeds that are more than ten times the speed of light, perhaps even millions of times the speed of light.

I don’t really have to elaborate on why I particularly like this speculation, do I?

6 comments:

Mason Loring Bliss said...

The pilot in that image of the starship you linked is finally giving up the game and giving away all his ISK to the first person to sell him one unit of tritanium via the contract he's helpfully provided.

Neal Asher said...

Sorry, I've got no idea what you're talking about. Something connected to that image? I didn't check what it was connected to, just grabbed it because it looked right.

Antony said...

Yes, the image is from the online game Eve Online, hence the game references.

Sadly, as an ex-player myself (7 years +) i understood it and found it quite funny - its a common scam in that game :)

Neal Asher said...

I see. I just don't know this stuff because I avoid such games like the plague, as regular readers here know.

(I would like them too much and therefore no books would get written)

freegnu said...

I just figured this one out. Gravity well at the center of the earth forces the speed of light to be variably faster. Neutrinos not traveling faster than the speed of light. Instead traveling the same speed if light took the same path through the stronger gravity closer to the center of the earth.

Hehe

freegnu said...

I just figured this one out. Gravity well at the center of the earth forces the speed of light to be variably faster. Neutrinos not traveling faster than the speed of light. Instead traveling the same speed if light took the same path through the stronger gravity closer to the center of the earth.

Hehe.

It's the emitter idea of faster than light travel. Projecting a gravity well in front of a spaceship will make it travel faster than the speed of light in the direction of the gravity well given a strong enough gravity well. The problem with living in a gravity well as powerful as the earth's is that we are already traveling through time into the future at an accelerated rate. Making the Universe whiz by. Most space travelers are at a disadvantage when it comes to time unless they want more of it to do things with. Case in point, the probe that is already passing the threshold of our solar system has experienced much more time than we have here on Earth since the 70's when it was launched. Allowing it to travel much further in distance than we planned because of the additional time it has experienced.

Just my 2 cents.