# Faster than lightspeed achieved?

## Recommended Posts

I'm sory folks. I njust don't get it. How can a possible error of 10 nanoseconds from a total of 60 nanoseconds be considered in accurate? Thats like the media telling me the falling satalite will hit 1:3200 persons. Don't you think that a bit odd?

Guess I should start using my spell check huh?

Edited by Delphi

• Replies 208
• Created

#### Posted Images

I'm sory folks. I njust don't get it. How can a possible error of 10 nanoseconds from a total of 60 nanoseconds be considered in accurate? Thats like the media telling me the falling satalite will hit 1:3200 persons. Don't you think that a bit odd?

Guess I should start using my spell check huh?

It's 60 ± 10 nanoseconds. Could be between 50 and 70 (with some level of confidence).

One of the comments at Nature points out that the GPS distance would be the distance along the geoid. The straight-line distance would be a chord, about 20 m shorter. Which would take light 60 ns to travel. AFAICT it's not yet clear if they corrected for this, so there has to be confirmation that the correct distance was used. It would be kinda funny if it was that simple.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.554.html (comment #26965 and following)

##### Share on other sites

It's 60 ± 10 nanoseconds. Could be between 50 and 70 (with some level of confidence).

One of the comments at Nature points out that the GPS distance would be the distance along the geoid. The straight-line distance would be a chord, about 20 m shorter. Which would take light 60 ns to travel. AFAICT it's not yet clear if they corrected for this, so there has to be confirmation that the correct distance was used. It would be kinda funny if it was that simple.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.554.html (comment #26965 and following)

Haha, a guy working at cern just read this and went oh sh**!

##### Share on other sites

Einstein may be wrong, relatively speaking

It is the most famous scientific equation of them all, but it emerged this week that Einstein's theory of special relativity may be wrong.

The science world was left in shock when workers at the world's largest physics lab announced they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light - a feat that Einstein said was impossible.

That say Einstein was wrong about faster than light how does that mean that special relativity is wrong?

If the findings are proven to be accurate, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the way the universe and everything within it works.

How so ? I do not understand.

If the findings are proven to be accurate, they would overturn one of the pillars of the Standard Model of physics, which explains the way the universe and everything within it works.

How so.

Edited by nec209
##### Share on other sites

Haha, a guy working at cern just read this and went oh sh**!

I really don't think it'll be something "easy and obvious". This is a "large group" of physicists working for a few years on this. They're not idiots. They didn't spend an hour thinking about it only to say "Well I'm stumped. Maybe the internet will know!"

That does not rule out something simple and obvious. Science isn't about a fixed set of knowledge; everything that is scientifically obvious today was missed consistently up to some point in history.

In some science blogs about the story, I'm seeing a kind of hostility toward the scientists, such as here: http://motls.blogspot.com/2011/09/italian-out-of-tune-superluminal.html

Some people appear to feel that relativity is such a crucial part of their understanding that a challenge of it feels like a personal attack (as I tend to feel about causality), and that any challenging evidence must necessarily be wrong and thus the experimenters must have made a mistake and thus they are incompetent retards.

This is a typical view of science these days, due to politics or lack of understanding or whatever it is... there's this general idea that scientists don't know what they're doing, or that someone "off the street" -- whose knowledge of the experiment or the science behind it might consist of "I read about it in a news story and then looked it up in wikipedia" -- is just as knowledgeable about the science as the experimenters, and likely to think of something "obvious" that the experimenters missed.

It could be. No one person will think of everything. The entire "large group" of scientists could all have overlooked something. It's likely a systematic error; it could be a simple one. I'm not going to assume it though. I think they know what they're doing.

##### Share on other sites

It's 60 ± 10 nanoseconds. Could be between 50 and 70 (with some level of confidence).

One of the comments at Nature points out that the GPS distance would be the distance along the geoid. The straight-line distance would be a chord, about 20 m shorter. Which would take light 60 ns to travel. AFAICT it's not yet clear if they corrected for this, so there has to be confirmation that the correct distance was used. It would be kinda funny if it was that simple.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.554.html (comment #26965 and following)

Well I did the the calculation. Taking the GPS distance as 730km, the Earth's circumference as 40070km, and the Earth's radius as 4378km.

The shortened chord distance I get is 729.677km, which is 323m shorter, not the 20m claimed. Another bright idea bites the dust, probably.

Anyone care to check my calc.

##### Share on other sites

Well I did the the calculation. Taking the GPS distance as 730km, the Earth's circumference as 40070km, and the Earth's radius as 4378km.

The shortened chord distance I get is 729.677km, which is 323m shorter, not the 20m claimed. Another bright idea bites the dust, probably.

Anyone care to check my calc.

Based on a geode.. oblique spheroid?

##### Share on other sites

View Postlouis wu, on 24 September 2011 - 09:33 PM, said:

Well I did the the calculation. Taking the GPS distance as 730km, the Earth's circumference as 40070km, and the Earth's radius as 4378km.

The shortened chord distance I get is 729.677km, which is 323m shorter, not the 20m claimed. Another bright idea bites the dust, probably.

Anyone care to check my calc.

Based on a geode.. oblique spheroid?

Based on the GPS distance of 730km from the paper being a great circle upon a sphere of the dimensions quoted, which are equatorial dimensions from the internet. The oblate spheroid nature of the Earth should not introduce any great error as the polar radius is 7357km so the chord calculated assuming the polar radius would actually be shorter.

##### Share on other sites

My point is till the same. 60 +or- 10 is still NOT VARY ACCURATE!

##### Share on other sites

Well I did the the calculation. Taking the GPS distance as 730km, the Earth's circumference as 40070km, and the Earth's radius as 4378km.

The shortened chord distance I get is 729.677km, which is 323m shorter, not the 20m claimed. Another bright idea bites the dust, probably.

Anyone care to check my calc.

I don't think it's that simple. CERN and the lab are probably not at the same distance from the center of the earth, and are certainly not on the geoid. I suspect the calculation is more complicated than simply measuring the chord of a sphere.

##### Share on other sites

In their arxiv file, they talk about 20 cm precision, not 20 meters.

Shouldn't they take into account the rotation of the Earth?

----------------

edit

There is a change in latitude between CERN & OPERA. The rotational speed at CERN is thus different from OPERA's. And since neutrinos have mass, they must be treated like massive objects, I guess.

This is true. There is a change is altitude of about 8,300 ft. on the rise, but their calculations were based upon the GPS system which is supposed to take into account all factors including the rotation rate of the Earth. And I would presume that they are smart enough to do the trig compensation for altitude, even though they are shooting through the Earth to get there. There might be unknown problems with the GPS system in some locations whereby it might be less accurate than in other locations based upon the relative positions of the satellites. Their claim was 20 cm accuracy concerning distance. I would bet a six pack that the accuracy is not that good. What I said was that the GPS system in general claims a 3 meter accuracy in any one location concerning the designated coordinates. I also said that for the error to be 60 nanoseconds off, it would require a 20 meter error in distance over-estimation, according to my calculations, to account for a 60 nanosecond error.

Your other point is a good one. Accordingly most are claiming that these muon neutrinos have mass. If so then their speed according to Special Relativity must be less than the speed of light (accordingly it would take infinite energy for massive particles to reach the speed of light). General Relativity might also come to play to some minuscule extent because "massive" neutrinos are moving upward 8,300 ft. against gravity. Any such calculated effect seemingly would be a lessening of the calculated speed.

Edited by pantheory
##### Share on other sites

(...)

One of the comments at Nature points out that the GPS distance would be the distance along the geoid. The straight-line distance would be a chord, about 20 m shorter. Which would take light 60 ns to travel. AFAICT it's not yet clear if they corrected for this, so there has to be confirmation that the correct distance was used. It would be kinda funny if it was that simple.

http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110922/full/news.2011.554.html (comment #26965 and following)

In the arxiv file, it is mentioned that the measurement concerns particles traveling through Earth's crust, so it is well understood that it is a chord.

Quoting arxiv http://static.arxiv.org/pdf/1109.4897.pdf

In this paper we report on the precision determination of the neutrino velocity, defined as

the ratio of the precisely measured distance from CERN to OPERA to the time of flight of

neutrinos travelling through the Earth’s crust.

This is true. There is a change is altitude of about 8,300 ft. on the rise, but their calculations were based upon the GPS system which is supposed to take into account all factors including the rotation rate of the Earth. And I would presume that they are smart enough to do the trig compensation for altitude, even though they are shooting through the Earth to get there. There might be unknown problems with the GPS system in some locations whereby it might be less accurate than in other locations based upon the relative positions of the satellites. Their claim was 20 cm accuracy concerning distance. I would bet a six pack that the accuracy is not that good. What I said was that the GPS system in general claims a 3 meter accuracy in any one location concerning the designated coordinates. I also said that for the error to be 60 nanoseconds off, it would require a 20 meter error in distance over-estimation, according to my calculations, to account for a 60 nanosecond error.

Your other point is a good one. Accordingly most are claiming that these muon neutrinos have mass. If so then their speed according to Special Relativity must be less than the speed of light (accordingly it would take infinite energy for massive particles to reach the speed of light). General Relativity might also come to play to some minuscule extent because "massive" neutrinos are moving upward 8,300 ft. against gravity. Any such calculated effect seemingly would be a lessening of the calculated speed.

I suppose OPERA's receiver is South-East of CERN. If OPERA is south of CERN, then its distance from Earth's axis is greater than CERN , IOW its radial velocity caused by Earth's rotation is greater than CERN's.

If one had to estimate the velocity of a marble sphere expulsed from CERN to a location South-East, he should take into account that initial velocity at CERN is not the same than initial velocity at the receiver.

---------------

edit

OPERA's receiver at LNGS Gran Sasso is south-east of CERN.

Edited by michel123456
##### Share on other sites

In the arxiv file, it is mentioned that the measurement concerns particles traveling through Earth's crust, so it is well understood that it is a chord.

Quoting arxiv http://static.arxiv....f/1109.4897.pdf

These neutrino "shots" were a chord but the GPS system is based upon the surface distances which is an arc, and the difference of altitude still must be compensated for. Since the distance would have to have been overestimated, it would seem that the GPS and/ or the related calcs are the most likely culprit, in my opinion.

I suppose OPERA's receiver is South-East of CERN. If OPERA is south of CERN, then its distance from Earth's axis is greater than CERN , IOW its radial velocity caused by Earth's rotation is greater than CERN's.

If one had to estimate the velocity of a marble sphere expulsed from CERN to a location South-East, he should take into account that initial velocity at CERN is not the same than initial velocity at the receiver.

What you are saying sounds valid but the GPS did the measurement and it is supposed to account for all factors. As I said before, I think there may be a lot of problems with the GPS system if this kind of accuracy is expected from it. I think as far as most applications would be concerned, a 20 meter error in a 450 mile span would be adequate

Edited by pantheory
##### Share on other sites

I think Lisa Randall is getting excited!

##### Share on other sites

I think Lisa Randall is getting excited!

After looking up "Lisa Randall" on Google I understand that she is a theoretical physicist and a big proponent of string theory. I too am a theoretical physicist and have my own string theory in only 3 physical dimensions, no joke. My own model may also explain what they are observing at Cern (so I am excited too) but since such an explanation would not be mainstream it must be discussed in the Speculation forum. If you or anyone is interested, ask any questions about it that you like in the "alternative to the Big Bang theory" or the "pushing gravity" threads and I will explain theoretically what might be the problem(s) involved.

//

Edited by pantheory
##### Share on other sites

It is matter of waiting a while to find results.

If findings show it was an error; nothing has changed.

If unable to find a flaw in the experiment; if becomes an accepted consensus then what ?

Life will continue daily as always.

What would be the tangible implications ?

What would be seriously affected the most ?

What corrections would be needed ?

Anyway, nature has been like that since always; It would be just a new learned thing. Nothing has changed.

##### Share on other sites

It is matter of waiting a while to find results.

If findings show it was an error; nothing has changed.

If unable to find a flaw in the experiment; if becomes an accepted consensus then what ?

Life will continue daily as always.

Just because they don't find a flaw in the experiment does not necessarily mean that the conclusion that there was no error will soon become an accepted consensus. I strongly suspect that the conclusions would be those that were expected, for example, if a change in altitude were not involved, in which case other experiments would come out differently. We should certainly know the results concerning other experiments concerning the speed of muon neutrinos within 3 years or less.

What would be the tangible implications ?

What would be seriously affected the most ?

What corrections would be needed ? .........................

Conceivable implication might be that the formulations and algorithms which are used as part of the GPS system may have to be changed which certainly would involve many practical future applications. If particles could somehow go faster than light then maybe countless possible inventions might be realized, some could greatly effect our future. If light itself varies in speed in a vacuum over great distances or by changing altitudes, then there would be many theoretical implications which could impact our future.

//

Edited by pantheory
##### Share on other sites

I cannot help but compare the attitude of CERN. "Here is our data, etc. Please examine it and see what might be wrong" with the immortal words from climate science "Why should I show you my data? You only want to find something wrong with it."

And people wonder why there are sceptics....

##### Share on other sites

I looked on archive and didn't see much. I hope there is an expanded version of it. I did find what I was looking for concerning the design of the experiment which was pretty helpful. This info is unrelated to this particular "finding."

Based upon the design of experiment it is apparent that two major things might be wrong with the set-up. The first is the timing devices concerning the production of muon neutrinos, and the other concerns the distance which was not measured by lasar shot, which I think could have been done, but instead distance was calculated based upon the GPS system and the difference in altitude, which was about 8,300 ft. We are only talking about a distance error of 20 meters in more than 450 miles. If the distance was determined to be ~20 meters shorter, then the calcs. seemingly would have come out right. My best bet presently is that at their location and the way the satellites interact there for the GPS system, that such calcs could be off by this amount. The accuracy of the GPS system is supposed to be within 3 meters. There are other possible theoretical problems that I think the GPS system might have that I will not mention here since they are more speculative.

They have conducted two different measurements of the length, moving along the path. The first had an error of ~60cm, the second of ~20cm. In the webcast/conference thing, this was the area that seems to give most people a problem.

They also have a nice figure where they have done constant positioning measurements, and you can see continental drift on it...

##### Share on other sites

I suppose OPERA's receiver is South-East of CERN. If OPERA is south of CERN, then its distance from Earth's axis is greater than CERN , IOW its radial velocity caused by Earth's rotation is greater than CERN's.

If one had to estimate the velocity of a marble sphere expulsed from CERN to a location South-East, he should take into account that initial velocity at CERN is not the same than initial velocity at the receiver.

---------------

edit

OPERA's receiver at LNGS Gran Sasso is south-east of CERN.

If the effect is because the speed is c-v or c+v, the timing difference should be given by ~vd/c^2

d is 730 km and v is a maximum of ~0.5 km/s, which gives 4 ns for an E-W trajectory at the equator.

##### Share on other sites

If the effect is because the speed is c-v or c+v, the timing difference should be given by ~vd/c^2

d is 730 km and v is a maximum of ~0.5 km/s, which gives 4 ns for an E-W trajectory at the equator.

It also means that d is not 730 km. The neutrinos travel less.

##### Share on other sites

It also means that d is not 730 km. The neutrinos travel less.

Either you use c+v, or you change the distance. You get to account for it one way or the other, but you don't get to count it twice.

##### Share on other sites

They have conducted two different measurements of the length, moving along the path. The first had an error of ~60cm, the second of ~20cm. In the webcast/conference thing, this was the area that seems to give most people a problem.

They also have a nice figure where they have done constant positioning measurements, and you can see continental drift on it...

All of these "measurements" involved the GPS system. Claimed accuracy is no better than any claim The only fact would be if they have a couple of laser shoots of the distance by surveyors. Two separate teams and measurements would be preferable. It would take awhile and would not be without expense for a 450 mile span, but I believe that would be the only way to be certain of the distance. From this data the direct-line distance could be accurately calculated. To solely rely on the GPS system now after the results are suspect, would be simple folly.

//

Edited by pantheory
##### Share on other sites

All of these "measurements" involved the GPS system. Claimed accuracy is no better than any claim The only fact would be if they have a couple of laser shoots of the distance by surveyors. Two separate teams and measurements would be preferable. It would take awhile and would not be without expense for a 450 mile span, but I believe that would be the only way to be certain of the distance. From this data the direct-line distance could be accurately calculated. To solely rely on the GPS system now after the results are suspect, would be simple folly.

//

I'm not sure, but I'd think that GPS (with a good beacon) over that sort of distance would be more accurate than a laser. Changes in refractive index over that distance would need to be considered for that level of precision

##### Share on other sites

I'm not sure, but I'd think that GPS (with a good beacon) over that sort of distance would be more accurate than a laser. Changes in refractive index over that distance would need to be considered for that level of precision

I think the problem lies within the programming of the GPS system concerning the differences of altitudes involved. I also think there are some new physics involved unrelated to the velocity of the neutrinos, but related to a discrepancy of distance and timing.

//

Edited by pantheory

×