The Impossible Has Happened — Speed of Light Barrier Breached (Maybe)

I picture your average physicist walking around with his jaw permanently hanging open at the mindbending discoveries both macro and micro that are emerging almost monthly. If it’s possible to exceed the speed of light, then a nearby galaxy could be within the reach of human space travelers without dedicating a million generations to the project. Time to revise our theories of the universe again:

Particle might have traveled faster than speed of light

By Seth Borenstein, Associated Press

GENEVA – A pillar of physics — that nothing can go faster than the speed of light — appears to be smashed by an oddball subatomic particle that has apparently made a giant end run around Albert Einstein’s theories.

Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab said Thursday they have clocked neutrinos traveling faster than light. That’s something that according to Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity — the famous E (equals) mc2 equation — just doesn’t happen.

“The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The organization, known as CERN, hosted part of the experiment, which is unrelated to the massive $10 billion Large Hadron Collider also located at the site.

Gillies told The Associated Press that the readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to independently verify the measurements before claiming an actual discovery.

Read the rest here.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. Reprinted under Fair Use.

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