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FTL travel may be possible, afterall...

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/22/science-light-idUSL5E7KM4CW20110922

 

Finding could overturn laws of physics

 

Scientists confident measurements correct

 

By Robert Evans

 

GENEVA, Sept 22 (Reuters) - An international team of scientists said on Thursday they had recorded sub-atomic particles travelling faster than light -- a finding that could overturn one of Einstein's long-accepted fundamental laws of the universe.

 

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.

 

"We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing," he said. "We now want colleagues to check them independently."

 

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a "cosmic constant" and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

 

That assertion, which has withstood over a century of testing, is one of the key elements of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works.

 

The totally unexpected finding emerged from research by a physicists working on an experiment dubbed OPERA run jointly by the CERN particle research centre near Geneva and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy.

 

A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos -- tiny particles that pervade the cosmos -- were fired over a period of 3 years from CERN towards Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.

 

Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds -- or 60 billionths of a second -- less than light beams would have taken.

 

"It is a tiny difference," said Ereditato, who also works at Berne University in Switzerland, "but conceptually it is incredibly important. The finding is so startling that, for the moment, everybody should be very prudent."

 

Ereditato declined to speculate on what it might mean if other physicists, who will be officially informed of the discovery at a meeting in CERN on Friday, found that OPERA's measurements were correct.

 

"I just don't want to think of the implications," he told Reuters. "We are scientists and work with what we know."

 

Much science-fiction literature is based on the idea that, if the light-speed barrier can be overcome, time travel might theoretically become possible.

 

The existence of the neutrino, an elementary sub-atomic particle with a tiny amount of mass created in radioactive decay or in nuclear reactions such as those in the Sun, was first confirmed in 1934, but it still mystifies researchers.

 

It can pass through most matter undetected, even over long distances, and without being affected. Millions pass through the human body every day, scientists say.

 

To reach Gran Sasso, the neutrinos pushed out from a special installation at CERN -- also home to the Large Hadron Collider probing the origins of the universe -- have to pass through water, air and rock.

 

The underground Italian laboratory, some 120 km (75 miles) to the south of Rome, is the largest of its type in the world for particle physics and cosmic research.

 

Around 750 scientists from 22 different countries work there, attracted by the possibility of staging experiments in its three massive halls, protected from cosmic rays by some 1,400 metres (4,200 feet) of rock overhead.

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Do not let NASCAR hear about this.

 

But just imagine Domino's new add campaign: "We'll deliver your Pizza five minutes before you order it, guaranteed!" :grin:

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Actually I rather liked him especially after I found out he was expelled from school for never paying attention and allways

staring out the window all the time.

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So if traveling faster than light makes it possible to travel trough time do these particles travel forward in time or backwards?? Then again the argument that time travel is possible comes from Einsteins theory so why would time travel be possible if his theory ends up being wrong?

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So if traveling faster than light makes it possible to travel trough time do these particles travel forward in time or backwards?? Then again the argument that time travel is possible comes from Einsteins theory so why would time travel be possible if his theory ends up being wrong?

 

Most possibly, however, that´s all we got for now. It could be simply that light speed is not faster than instantaneous, and for that matter, space, time and speed behave at those greta magnitudes in a way more like our scale of time. I´m not a genius, but it would make more sense for me.

 

If you cross a lightyear in half a year and "jumping" out of FTL half a year after you did so? why not? Let´s say, that for travelling backwards in time, you need to move from A to B faster than instantly, theorically fast enough to be at both places at the same "time". If that´s a LY, and you spend half a year on the way you are not in both places at the same time. I know there is a lot of theory and observations that support einstein theory, but why coulnd´t it be that simple? maybe time is more coherent within space than he thought.

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Even with this tech the Russian Mail will still be late.

 

In Russia, the mail is not late, in Russia you are late.....

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Maybe you dont travel back and forth in time, Maybe you just get somewhere faster......

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Maybe I'm the only one reading SciFi here, but I've heard about "Tachyons" for years. These are theoretical particles (from science, not a scifi book) that ONLY move faster than light. I'm surprised the article didn't mention them.

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AFAIK, no one has detected a tachyon.

 

Neutrinos are tricky, for a long time they were thought to be massless. If so, going FTL wouldn't be a big deal. They now believe they aren't, but are possibly the lightest particles that exist ie the only thing that weighs less are the massless ones.

 

Anyway, Einstein's theory can be interpreted many ways. One way is to say that anything that is going the speed of light, c itself, that has mass would have to be everywhere. If there's no mass, it's not an issue.

Another way is to say INFORMATION can't travel FTL, so there's no way to transmit knowledge of an event "through time" so someone would get a message before they actually saw them send it.

 

I don't know that you could use neutrinos for communications, so I think it might be one of those things where it SEEMS to go FTL, but it has no practical implications because you can really only observe them, you can't USE them.

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Tachyons are only theoretical. The theory hasn't been proven yet, but finding Neutrinos that move FTL (if all this proves to be correct) seems to be proof of Tachyons.

 

I'm still not sure how you would "use" neutrinos or tachyons. I know there's people who are trying to build a "neutrino detector" but they're having big problems with that. Since neutrinos can pass through solid objects, that also means they pass through any detection system you can build. A difficult problem to solve.

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Tachyons are only theoretical. The theory hasn't been proven yet, but finding Neutrinos that move FTL (if all this proves to be correct) seems to be proof of Tachyons.

 

I'm still not sure how you would "use" neutrinos or tachyons. I know there's people who are trying to build a "neutrino detector" but they're having big problems with that. Since neutrinos can pass through solid objects, that also means they pass through any detection system you can build. A difficult problem to solve.

 

If the detector is dense and sensitive enough then some neutrinos are bound to hit another particle in that detector. Well eventually it might happend. The thing is you have to see when that happens.

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Taking into account that time goes forward everywhere I don't believe it's possible to go back in time as well - it is however possible to give the impression to be in more than one place at a time if one is traveling constantly at ultra-high speed...

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