Won’t They Ever Learnon September 26, 2011 at 12:00 am
Breaking News! Literally! Scientists believe they have now broken one of the most fundamental constants of the physics world; the speed of light!! Pretty neat!!
Hmm… something tells me this is a bit of a double jab… Anyways, so here’s the story… Scientists at CERN have been firing packets of Neutrinos (really tiny thingies that can go through stuff) at a research facility in Italy, over 730 km away, for the last 3 years and all the data suggests that these little itty bitty particles beat the pants off the poster child for speed, the photon, by 60 nanoseconds. Sure, it doesn’t seem like much, but that means these particles traveled 770,400 km/hr FASTER than light. That’s… a big difference. (the current speculation is that these were high energy neutrinos rather than ones of lower energy, which explains why these move faster than ones observed from a “recent” super nova explosion)
What does this mean for science? Well, you know that famous E=MCC (that’s C squared) thing? Well… you can kiss that goodbye. Jump up in your physics class when the teacher talks about relativity and yell out “OBJECTION”! All science books will be burned and rewritten! People will rejoice and riot in the streets– *AHEM* Ok ok, that’s overly dramatic, we’ve still been using the equation, especially in the experiments at CERN when trying to convert virtual field particles to real particles and seeing decent success. But it, more or less, means that the equation is incomplete or not as precise as we’d like to think. Also… it’ll probably undermine the whole of physics and our understanding of the quantum universe. It would put a lot of scientists to work for a while, since we’ll have to change all the books. Golly, it’s a great time to be alive! Such amazing science to be had!
But this all goes back to my “science is belief” thing. Even when all this came out, after 3 years of testing by very VERY smart peoples, and a six-sigma level of certainty (it’s a lot), we STILL have people who argue this with a passion. I mean, think about it… If one day you wake up, read the paper, and realize that everything you knew, everything you’ve been taught to be true and doctrine are claimed as false… it would be maddening! So there’s a lot of angst, resentment, passion, and denial of these findings. Kinda reminds me of that whole “universe doesn’t move around the Earth” thing. Like I’ve said before… the best thing we can do as a science community is to never hold a truth; rather, keep ideas that work and always try to improve or even disprove them. Like springboards… Cause no matter what we think we know now… it will all be laughable in the future.
As such, even these findings you have to consider as a stepping stone. We have the data, we’re trying to root out anything that could potentially be flaws in the logic, but as of right now, we can’t really find any. But that doesn’t mean it wont all turn out to be a function of some kind of quantum mechanic that we don’t know about… and even then, no matter how you look at this news, it still opens up a whole new realm of theories and suppositions and all that jive these sciency folk like to dabble in. Just… really great stuff man! Really great!
Oh, and btw… I put up a bunch of avatars in the Swag page! Buuut I’ll post them here for poops and laughs: