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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 »

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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

Just about two days ago I warned that there will be a lot of nonsense about relativity coming out these days, and promptly there are already three articles here on Science2.0 alone that are exactly what I feared: Physicists with only basic knowledge about relativity claiming that particles cannot possibly go faster than light and portraying anybody who holds otherwise as a moron (not literally, but that seems to be the gist). Wake up guys – it is 2011 – modern physics has come a looooong way since Albert.

The people with the atom smashers, especially the ones at OPERA (Oscillation Project with E-tR Apparatus) in Italy’s Gran Sasso, announced to likely have a whopping 60 nano second systematic error with some neutrino experiments, but it makes for much better news to question Einstein. The scientists blame journalists for the hype, but of course they prepared everything just so that the press has no reason not to go ahead and make an Einstein spectacle out of it – the BBC promptly obliged.

Ask around what fundamental physics is, where the cutting edge of profound, foundational science is investigated, and you will most likely hear the Large Hadron Collider being mentioned, also referred to as Large Hype Constructor (LHC), which tries to find the so called “God particle” and super-symmetry. String theory will also be mentioned. Very few will tell you about comparatively dirt cheap laser labs that explore quantum entanglement.