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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »

The observations of faster than light neutrinos have stirred up much debate, but the most important is not pointed out. Seen in a wider context, the affair sheds yet again light on the rapid decay of the academic science machinery, a social construct where the quest for truth has given way to career gaming as well as plain political and monetary interests.


The news cycle spins quickly, and spinning it does, the news that is. Neutrinos forgotten faster than light speed. What neutrinos? Foxy Knoxy got away without spilling the beans – well done. Stupid Italians - imprisoning innocent virgins. Gosh, those Muslims probably would have killed her. Back in the US, saved at last; nothing like this ever happens in the holy land.

This year’s Nobel Prize in physics goes to Saul Perlmutter, who shares it with Adam Riess and Brian P. Schmidt, all having been vital in the discovery of that the universe’s expansion is speeding up; research that was done during the 1990s.

Several science bloggers opined that maybe work on quantum entanglement was more deserving, and they have a point, but if the wider impact of scientific issues is at play in the considerations that lead to awarding the Nobel Prize, the decision today was a good one in that regard.

The reportedly faster than light neutrinos at OPERA may be a systematic error, but if these and those data of other neutrino experiments are correct, they hint at a phenomenon that propagates with very many times, perhaps millions of times the speed of light.


Although I went on record that the reportedly faster than light neutrinos from CERN to OPERA will likely go away as mere systematic error, and although my very own resolution of the EPR paradox rejects superluminal phenomena even in non-local quantum entanglement, it is nevertheless quite possible that speeding particles are here to stay and perhaps expected (especially with neutrinos) for a number of reasons.

The article Neutrinos CAN go Faster than Light has triggered large interest and is at present widely discussed, for example here and here on my favorite (for variety and reliability) German science column Here There Be Dragons and somewhat