'Breaking light speed' surprises scientists

Researchers discover particles which appear to travel faster than the speed of light.

    " />

    Physicists report that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos can travel faster than light, a finding that, if verified, would blast a hole in Einstein's theory of relativity.

    In experiments conducted between the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland and a laboratory in Italy, the tiny particles were clocked at 300,006 kilometres per second, about six km/sec faster that the speed of light, the researchers said.

    "This result comes as a complete surprise," said physicist Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the experiment, known as OPERA.

    "We wanted to measure the speed of neutrinos, but we didn't expect to find anything special."

    Scientists spent nearly six months "checking, testing, controlling and rechecking everything" before making an announcement, he said.

    Researchers involved in the experiments were cautious in describing its implications, and called on physicists around the world to scrutinise their data.

    But the findings, they said, could potentially reshape our understanding of the physical world.

    "If this measurement is confirmed, it might change our view of physics," said CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci.

    The finding could force scientists to rethink the fundamentals of physics. It has surprised them so much they are asking other scientists to replicate their results.

    Al Jazeera's Peter Sharp reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.