[LMB] Never thought I'd see THIS coming out of CERN

Ed Burkhead ed at edburkhead.com
Tue Sep 27 01:58:26 BST 2011


Bear Master wrote:
> 0.0028% faster than light. Would reach Alpha Centauri 
> about 2 hours faster than a radio wave.

While I'll agree with your statement that the overage is tiny, a quick calculation tells me the overspeed neutrino would reach Alpha Centauri about 4.47 days before the radio waves.

4.37 light years (average) * 365.25 days/year * 24 hours/day * 3600 seconds/hour = 137,906,712 seconds

137,906,712 * .0028 (difference in speed of fast neutrino versus light) = approximately 386139 seconds difference.

386139 / 3600 = 107.26 hours = 4.47 days, more or less difference in arrival times.
 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I'm with Bear Master in being amazed they can measure differences that small over such small distances.

I'll bet that the neutrinos did not, really, go faster than the speed of light.  I do wonder this:  The speed of light varies depending on medium, i.e. it's slower in glass than in vacuum, etc.  The speed of light "in a vacuum" is assumed to be the fastest light CAN travel.

Neutrinos go between subatomic particles, not interacting with matter, in an environment that might be called the most nearly perfect vacuum in existence.  I wonder if our "standard" measurement of the speed of light "in a vacuum" is really in as *NEARLY PERFECT* a vacuum as the neutrino's environment.

We might have to revise the "speed of light" in a vacuum upward to the more nearly perfect vacuum.  Just speculating.

Expecting disappointment but wishing for a revolution in this aspect of scientific knowledge,

Ed Burkhead





More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list