Tuesday, November 22, 2011

FTL Neutrinos Update

Apparently the ftl neutrinos have been refuted:

Their claim is that in getting to superluminal velocities, the neutrinos should lose energy by producing photons and electron/anti-electron pairs (“e+e- pairs”), in a process “analogous to Cherenkov radiation” (the “blue glow” in nuclear reactor water, so beloved of movie-makers).

“A very significant deformation of the neutrino energy spectrum and an abundant production of photons and e+e- pairs should be observed,” the ICARUS group says.

This hasn’t happened, they assert: “We find that the neutrino energy distribution of the ICARUS events … agrees with the expectations for an undisturbed spectrum of the CERN neutrino beam.

“Our results therefore refute a superluminal interpretation of the OPERA result,” the group writes.

Okay, who can see the huge hole in the logic here? Let me explain: by conventional theories the neutrinos can't travel faster than light but, by conventional theory, if they do go ftl, they should do the above. This is what is known in physics as having your cake, the other guy's cake, and eating both while disappearing up your own arsehole.


j purdie said...

I read this at the Independent and thought the same. As some theoretical thing did not happen the recorded readings are therefore invalid. Their logic: monsters should leave massive footprints, there are no massive footprints, ergo there are no monsters. I must say I did have a bit of a chuckle when I first read their 'explanation'.

The Indy tell us the scientists are part of the Icarus collaboration. Apt or what?


Neal Asher said...

Yeah, you can hear the wax melting.

Theo d'or said...

There are very good reasons to doubt that neutrinos are indeed ftl, most likely because relativity has been proven, many, many times.

That said, these are scientists (as opposed to SF writers who make embarrassing references to bluetooth two hundred years in the future), and it is their job to poke holes in the results if they can. Not only that, but this experiment has been done before and that data is being re-analysed at the moment, and the same experiment will be repeated elsewhere, because that two is part of science; being able to reproduce results.