Einstein’s speed of light tested again
Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), who recently claimed that the speed of light is quicker than estimated by Albert Einstein, are testing their findings once more following criticism from the scientific community.india Updated: Oct 29, 2011 20:01 IST
Scientists at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), who recently claimed that the speed of light is quicker than estimated by Albert Einstein, are testing their findings once more following criticism from the scientific community.
According to Einstein, the cosmic speed limit is 186,282 miles per second - the speed of light. But last month CERN scientists claimed that they’d measured neutrino particles zooming along even quicker.
Critics argued that the organisation’s measurements were simply wrong, so the experiment is being run again.
“The new test began two or three days ago. The criticism is that the results we had were a statistical quirk. The test should help (us) address this,” the Daily Mail quoted Stavros Kasavenas, deputy head of France’s National Institute for Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics as telling a news agency.
In the original experiment CERN fired the neutrino particles from an accelerator in Switzerland to a detector in the Gran Sasso cavern in Italy, 434 miles to the south - and amazingly they arrived 60 nanoseconds earlier than light would have done.
The results of the experiment, which were re-checked many times over a period of six months, left the scientific community in a state of disbelief.
Celebrity scientist Brain Cox said that if the results are confirmed it would be ‘one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time.’
However, others like Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Physics at the University of Surrey, were more dismissive.
“Let me put my money where my mouth is: if the CERN experiment proves to be correct and neutrinos have broken the speed of light, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV,” said Al-Khalili.
First Published: Oct 29, 2011 19:59 IST