Faster than light neutrinos reported in BBC News, ABC News in Science, and arXiv 23 September 2011 and Science Live Chat 28 September 2011 (and other sources too numerous to mention). Neutrinos are subatomic particles that have such a miniscule mass they have been called “ghost particles”. Over the last three years scientists at CERN, near Geneva in Switzerland have fired bursts of neutrinos towards a particle detector 732km (455 miles) away in the Gran Sasso National Laboratory near L’Aquila, Italy and found they arrived 60 nanoseconds faster than if they had travelled at the speed of light. According to Einstein’s theories, nothing can go faster than the speed of light, but after 16,000 measurements the research team concluded their results were real, and not experimental error. A spokesman for the research team, Antonio Ereditato of the University of Bern, explained: “This outcome is totally unexpected. Months of research and verifications have not been sufficient to identify an instrumental effect that could explain the result of our measurements”. The researchers are not yet ready to rewrite Einstein’s theories and have appealed to other researchers to carry out similar experiments to confirm the findings. Ereditato told BBC News: “My dream would be that another, independent experiment finds the same thing – then I would be relieved”. He went on to say, “we are not claiming things, we want just to be helped by the community in understanding our crazy result – because it is crazy”. The “crazy” results have led to some bizarre speculations about wormholes in space and time travel, but physicists are looking for other more sober explanations.
As part of a discussion in Science Live Chat, Alan Kostelecky of the University of Indiana suggested: “the universal speed limit could in principle be that of neutrinos. The puzzle would then be why particles that supposedly have masses (from experiments looking at neutrino oscillations) are travelling faster than light, which is made of massless photons. One possibility discussed a lot in the scientific literature is that there might be an unknown background field in the vacuum, which effectively slows down photons more than neutrinos”.
Editorial Comment:: Wow you could run with this, and some of the press have – Einstein finished, light can go faster, E=mc2 is relatively wrong? etc. So these scientists are correct in asking for confirmation by other researchers, and in being cautious about interpreting their results. If they do turn out to be correct however, Einstein’s reign as king of physics will be over, and all theories built on maximum speed of light concepts, big bang, old universe, etc will be up for grabs.
Alan Kostelecky’s suggestion is interesting, as it reminds us the vacuum of space is not completely nothing, as in total non-existence. Empty space was still something God had to create on Day 1, before He filled it with matter, energy and time. The eternally existent Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit designed the laws of physics and incorporated them into the space, matter, energy and time He created.
The fact that modern day physicists with all their elaborate particle accelerators and detectors can’t explain all their experimental results about the nature of space and matter reminds us the Law Maker is far more intelligent, and more powerful, than the law observers. That same Law Maker God has given us the intelligence to observe the laws of physics and put them to use as we exercise the dominion He has given man. We should continue to search out how the universe works, but in doing so, we should recognise the Creator’s hand at work and give Him the honour due to His name. (Ref. relativity, scientific method, Big Bang)
Evidence News 12 October 2011