On Thursday, September 22, 2012 Albert Einsteins theory of relativity was disproved. At least according to scientists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
The scientists have claimed that they have clocked a neutrino (which is a subatomic particle with no charge that is able to pass through ordinary matter unaffected, or as Wikipedia referenced "a bullet passing through a bank of fog") at twenty five thousandths percent faster than the speed of light.
This would be a direct contradiction to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity (the concept that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content) and practically every definition of physics that is known in today's scientific community.
According to ABC, who posted a story:
CERN says a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles (730 kilometers) away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. Scientists calculated the margin of error at just 10 nanoseconds, making the difference statistically significant. But given the enormous implications of the find, they still spent months checking and rechecking their results to make sure there was no flaws in the experiment.
Now Fermilab, a U.S. Department of Energy lab in Chicago plans to test a similar neutrino experiment. The lab plans to get started on testing measurements as soon as possible.
"It's a shock," said Fermilab head theoretician Stephen Parke, who was not part of the research in Geneva. "It's going to cause us problems, no doubt about that - if it's true."
Ironically, the Chicago laboratory isn't a stranger to this theory. In fact, the lab had similar claims in 2007, but with too great a margin of error, it was stopped cold. The lab is looking to retest the neutrino's again, using similar equipment as in 2007 called MINOS.
According to spokesman Kurt Riesselmann on IBT,
"We're updating the [MINOS] to measure more precisely the time that it takes the neutrinos to travel from Fermilab to the detector in Minnesota.."
To put it in plain, if the finding is true, it will have far-reaching implications as the until now accepted perception was that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Einstein had said if there was a way to send a message faster than light, then the possibility of sending a "telegram to the past" was real. But his theory of special relativity holds that the speed of light speed was a "cosmic constant" and that nothing could travel faster.
Many are still not yet convinced, as Einstien's theory has been challenged many times since it's inception, and to date has not been disproved.
Added by British physicist Jim Al-Khalili that:
"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"
Tags: Albert Einstein, CERN, Chicago, E=MC2, European Organization for Nuclear Research, Fermilab, Geneva, Italy, Jim Al-Khalili, Kurt Riesselmann, mass, MINOS, Neutrino, physics, Science, speed of light, Stephen Parke, theory of relativity, U.S. Department of Energy, Wikipedia