bp's science: in the future, precious cargo will be sent to earth through beams of light (or maybe neutrinos) (v.1)

title note: if any of you have been on Space Mountain at Disney World (only Disney World, not Disneyland), it is this statement that is repeated again and again as you wait in line. Hilarious stuff.

Yesterday a good friend of mine told me some neat scientific news. She mentioned that scientists have measured that subatomic particles, neutrinos, have been measured as going faster than the speed of light.

What?! Really?

But Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. He said this when he came up with the Theory of Relativity. Remember the twin paradox?

So how'd this happen? A team of scientists shot a beam of neutrinos underground from Geneva to Italy, 454 miles away, and measured how long it took (This is where we question how in the world neutrinos travel underground through the earth. Come to find out, they can travel through just about anything without hardly being affected). Once the neutrinos got to Italy, it was found that they took 60 nanoseconds less than light. Doesn't sound like much, but over a distance of 621 miles, neutrinos travel about 66 feet more than light in the same amount of time.

This is such a crazy finding that the scientists who measured the discovery are apprehensive. They are asking that their results be retested, remeasured, checked, and rechecked by other scientists. Some scientists not affiliated with the team suspect experimenter error instead of major finding. It will just take time to find out.

If neutrinos do travel faster than light then Einstein's Theory comes into question and has to be reworked. However, I'll second my opinion with that of a scientist who said, "If relativity turned out to be wrong, it's very, very close to being right." We shall see.

Read more here, here, and here.

As a side note, after talking to Jess about neutrinos, he gave his 2 cents on the matter:
- Now Superman's motto will be, "Faster than a speeding neutrino!"
- A baseball player who's really fast at stealing bases could be called "The Great Neutrino"
- And he's already working on a getting a copyright for a nutrition drink that "Gets you nutrition fast!" It's called the Nutrino©.
Hilarious stuff.

1 comment:

jo said...


Fascinating stuff. I'm excited about what such a discovery (if retested with the same results) might mean for our view of the world.

I can just hear your voice now, "... through beams of light!"... as we go on Space Mountain for the umpteenth time.