Ye cannae change the laws of physics

Discussion in 'Science / Nature' started by PTeppic, Sep 22, 2011.

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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    chrispenycate

    chrispenycate resident pedantissimo Staff Member

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    Just what I needed. A whole batch of second-hand trinoes going on holiday to Italy just under my feet, and do they respect the speed limit? It's not as if it takes them that long to get there at 300,000 kM/sec. (Now, parking when they get there, that's a whole different kettle of spaghetti).
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    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    It has been an interesting week scientifically - there has also been a new species of sparrow found. (my son is bird obsessed).
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    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Wow! Of all the things that could send the physics model completely back to the drawing board, it turns out to be the humble, innocuous little neutrino! Couple that with not finding the Higgs Boson and -- after only a year and still at only half power -- the LHC appears to be giving more than its money's worth, just not quite in the way expected ...
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011
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    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

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    It's probably as the team at CERN said, an information error, but if not, it would mean new text books all round. Not to mention possibilities for the SF field.

    The Italian Sparrow. It's been known about for years but there was always the argument over whether or not it was truly a different species. Thankfully, that's now been proven by DNA analysis. Sorry, my working life began in bird conservation. I get a bit geeky. :eek:
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    AnyaKimlin

    AnyaKimlin Active Member

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    LOL I am going that way courtesy of a early five year old with a speech delay. We had a breakthrough when he started being bird obsessed and he started to learn their names. He wants to work in bird conservation when he is big - so he is starting by feeding them, and making sure we keep feeders clean etc :)

    I've had to read the name of every bird in the Collins Birdbook every night before he goes to bed for about six months now.
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    jojajihisc

    jojajihisc vast and cool

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    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

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    60 nanoseconds ? That's only slightly longer than it takes for the car behind you to start beeping when the lights change.
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    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

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    That's because the driver behind you sees by neutrinos, and thus sees the signal change before those slow-moving photons reach your eyes.
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    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    It's still 7 340 meters/sec faster than light.

    A 'neutrino year' would be 231 475 000 kilometers further than a light year.

    The dimension thing looks good though, if the finding is correct. It has already been carefully checked for years by people who know pretty much what they're doing ...?
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    jojajihisc

    jojajihisc vast and cool

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    No doubt it's fast (only a few orders of magnitude faster and inter-stellar travel becomes a reality ;)), my only point is that incredibly fast speeds measured over relatively tiny distances, making the differences in elapsed time extremely small, could easily be done incorrectly. But I'm hoping for the dimensional hop theory myself.
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    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

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    A priori. Now there's proper science.
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    PTeppic

    PTeppic Reetou Diplomatic Corp

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    Except New York, where the taxi drivers have been using neutrino time for starting their honk for decades...
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    It is a very exciting announcement though the difference is not exactly going to see a tour of the galaxy taking a mere year or two. However (sadly) I think it far, far more likely that it will eventually turn out to be a systemic error that they have missed, as they themselves suspect.

    Remember it is not a direct comparison with the speed of light as they can't actually mearsure light travelling the same path (due to rather a lot of rock in the way). So, for example, how was the exact distance between the two points established and how many alterntive methods of establishing that distance were used. I'm not saying that is the problem but there are countless things like that involved in this sort of experiment and it is easy to miss some.
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    RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet Never Sure

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    Richard Feynman's 'sum of all possibilities' means that a single photon of light takes all possible paths, to arrive at the detector at exactly the same time, but in fact averages out having chosen the shortest route. It's a graph with time running vertically and distance horizontally. Simplified, the photon travels in all possible curves to reach the fixed detector in a straight line, so the vertical destination is the same regardless of the horizontal movement. So light speed is the average of all the speeds at which the photon of light that we detect has actually traveled. It's Schrodinger's cat. It's everywhere, until you look at it.

    A positron, or anti-electron, is an electron with the sign reversed, including the time sign, so anti matter can be expressed in the mathematics (I believe) one way as matter moving backwards in time. At electron level, time is a very malleable thing.

    Also, light-speed is measured in vacuo.

    It travels slower through air or water or glass, and not at all through a brick wall. But neutrinos aren't slowed by anything.

    Perhaps some very small percentage of neutrinos are refracted somehow to travel ex vacuo through these extra dimensions proposed by string theory, and an even smaller percentage re-emerge?

    We'll see ...
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2011
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    Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    Indeed... interesting times. I suspect there are a lot of physicists in a bit of a tizzy right about now :)
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    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

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    "No, I better not look. I just might be in there." (@4:40)

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    Metryq

    Metryq Cave Painter

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    Parson

    Parson This world is not my home

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    Could the error be this simple? Surely the original team would have thought of this. When you deal with a time span of 70 nano seconds you have to take in everything. But I would note that the answer is close but that there is still a discrepancy.
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    mosaix

    mosaix Active Member

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    According to New Scientist (1st October, page 6) the original team aren't exactly certain when the neutrinos leave CERN and this could cause an error of up to 5ns. Nor are they entirely certain of the exact direct-line distance between the 'transmitter' and 'receiver'. However they think they have calculated the distance to within 20 centimetres, but this could only account for an error of 0.67ns.

    Some things the team had to consider before publishing their results:

    • Curvature of the Earth
    • Tidal effects of the Moon
    • General Relativistic effects of having the two clocks (CERN and Gran Sasso) at different heights (The clock closer to the Earth runs fractionally slower.)
    In 2007 the MINOS neutrino detector at Fermilab in Illinois searched for faster-than-light neutrinos but 'didn't find anything statistically significant'.

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