Fabrizio Tamburini (left) is an old friend - I have known him since 1976, when we both used to attend the gatherings of the newborn Associazione Astrofili Veneziani, at the Lido of Venice. The love for astronomy had brought us together, but we took different paths in our scientific activities. Fabrizio remained maybe more faithful to his old love for the universe, and is now a well-known and respected astrophysicist, who studies original ideas in the physics of photon propagation and more. I repeatedly invited him to write about his research here, but so far he has not accepted, mainly for lack of time... But I am sure he will soon. In the meantime, he will be talking at TEDx Bologna on October 15th on his theory of photon vortices. Anyway, back to neutrinos.
The recent result by Opera which hints at a possible superluminal motion of neutrinos produced by CERN and shot underground to the Gran Sasso mine in central Italy raised Tamburini's interest. Together with Marco Laveder, a colleague of the Physics Department of Padova University, Tamburini recently wrote an interesting paper where he explains that Einstein's Relativity Theory needs not be put in discussion by the measurement: rather, the fact that neutrinos could exhibit an apparent superluminal motion is inherent in the theory written as far back as 1932 by Ettore Majorana, the talented and mysterious Italian physicist who disappeared shortly thereafter -probably to live in South America under false identity.
Tamburini and Laveder's paper (which you can download from the arxiv) explains how a fictitious "imaginary mass" term in the solution of Majorana equations for neutrino propagation may be responsible for the observed faster-than-light travel of neutrinos in a dense medium.
Specifically, the authors start from the hypothesis that the observed superluminal speed of neutrinos may be caused by matter effects, and they work out the effective imaginary mass which corresponds to each of the experimental measurements.
What I find interesting is that Tamburini and Laveder do not stop at discussing the theoretical interpretation of the alleged superluminal motion, but put their hypothesis to the test by comparing known measurements of neutrino velocity on a graph, where the imaginary mass is computed from the momentum of neutrinos and the distance traveled in a dense medium. The data show a very linear behaviour, which may constitute an explanation of the Opera effect:
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Part I: Bee Deaths Mystery Solved? Neonicotinoids (Neonics) May Actually Help Bee Health
- 3X Saturated Fat In The Diet Doesn't Increase It In Blood
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis: Genetic Clues Of Severe Food Allergy
- Still No Contact with NASA's Sun-watching Probe
- Interstellar Is A Dangerous Fantasy Of US Colonialism
- Is Religion A Consolation Worth Having?
- Why Computer Programs Can't Understand Truth - And Ethics Of Artificial Intelligence Babies
- "As an earlier cigarette smoker and now e-cig smoker, I can confirm they don't help you quit. As..."
- "Reality? What is reality if you use irrational arguments to justify man's cruelty toward..."
- "Always loved the Heels that showed of the instep (arches) ..."
- "By the way, I am a fan of your blog. It's one of the few places I can follow physics without getting..."
- "Hello Anon,you're entirely right, it's arbitrary and it does not provide protection against cases..."
- Gene in kidney may play role in high blood pressure
- Panel-based genetic diagnostic testing for inherited eye disease proves highly accurate
- Research finds tooth enamel fast-track in humans
- Good news for cocaine users: Caffeine counters cocaine's effects on women's estrus cycles
- Clipping proteins that package genes may limit abnormal cell growth in tumors
Books By Writers Here