Just a few words of introduction to this most devastating news for the icons of modern science. Marilyn vos Savant holds the Guinness world record for the highest IQ, presently at 228. Working for Parade magazine, she was once posed with this question:
“What one discovery or event would prove all or most of modern scientific theory wrong?”
The question was posed by a Jennifer W. Webster in the May 22, 1988 issue. Ms. Savant’s answer was:
“If the speed of light were discovered not to be constant, modern scientific theory would be devastated.”
As for what Ms. Savant said in the past that she might now apply to the fact that E ≠ mc2, she once stated: “I’m beginning to think simply that mathematics can be invented to describe anything, and matter is no exception.” (Mario Livio, The Golden Ratio, 2002, p. 245).
Now, I hate to say “I told you so,” but I did tell you so. In fact, this breaking of the speed of light was just a matter of time. We predicted it in my book Galileo Was Wrong: The Church Was Right (GWW). It all stems from the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment (MMX). Einstein himself said: “If Michelson-Morley is wrong, then Relativity is wrong” (Einstein’s words to Sir Herbert Samuel on the grounds of Government House, Jerusalem, Israel, cited in Einstein: The Life and Times, p. 107). What Einstein meant was that if his interpretation of MMX was wrong, then his whole theory would be wrong. Well, in GWW, we stated over and over again that Einstein’s interpretation was definitely wrong, and this is proven by the recent neutrino experiments. We stated in GWW that MMX showed a small but real presence of ether. Einstein misinterpreted MMX and concluded that there was no ether, which resulted in him postulating that: (a) space was a vacuum and the speed of light through that vacuum would never change, and (b) that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light. The reason Einstein made this misinterpretation of MMX was because he assumed as his foundational fact that the Earth was revolving around the sun at 18.5mps instead of not moving at all. In fact, he knew that one of the solutions to MMX was to conclude that the Earth wasn’t moving. Michelson himself admitted this to be the case when he wrote: “This conclusion directly contradicts the explanation of the phenomenon of aberration which has been hitherto generally accepted, and which presupposes that the Earth moves” (Albert A. Michelson, “The Relative Motion of the Earth and the Luminiferous Ether,” American Journal of Science, Vol. 22, August 1881, p. 125). But neither Einstein nor the rest of the scientific community wanted to go in that direction. As his biographer put it: “As Einstein wrestled with the cosmological implications of the General Theory, the first of these alternatives, the Earth-centered universe of the Middle Ages, was effectively ruled out” (Einstein: The Life and Times, p. 267). The cost for this was high. It would require the total upheaval of science. It would require the speed of light to be unsurpassable; require time to dilate, mass to increase, length to shrink, and twins to age a different rates. It was just a matter of time before this haunted house of mirrors was exposed to be fallacious. The neutrino experiment is just one in a long line of falsifications of Einstein’s theory. The neutrino experiment just happens to be one of the more precise and verified. This means that modern science has no explanation for MMX, and the only one remaining is the one that Einstein decided to reject – that the Earth is not moving. Once again, modern science has vindicated Holy Scripture.
As we would expect, the science community is trying its best to downplay or dismiss the neutrino results. But they really can’t. The results were not just from one experiment. According to the article below there were 16,000 trials of the experiment, and all 16,000 showed that the speed of light was broken by the neutrinos. It’s time for science to go back to the drawing board.
Neutrino OPERA experiments
After 3 years of data taking in the CNGS neutrino beam from CERN with the OPERA detector at LNGS, and several months of analysis and checks, a really unexpected result has come out last week: the time of flight of CNGS neutrinos detected by OPERA appears to be shorter by 20 parts per million as compared to that of light. The researchers, after a careful scrutiny of statistical and systematical errors have decided to publicize this astonishing anomaly with a series of seminars and with a paper recently appeared on the archives. The goal is to go along with a broader evaluation of the community with the hope of collecting ideas, proposals and eventually to trigger independent measurements for the understanding of the effect, and hopefully to lead to its confirmation.
The OPERA detector at LNGS was designed for the study of neutrino oscillations in appearance mode, but it is also well suited to provide a precision measurement of the neutrino velocity over the 730 km baseline of the CNGS neutrino beam sent from CERN to LNGS through the Earth’s crust. A time of flight measurement with small systematic uncertainties was made possible by a series of accurate metrology techniques to which contributed various specialized European institutes. The data analysis was based on a large sample of about 16000 neutrino interaction events detected by OPERA. The sensitivity of the measurement of (v-c)/c is about one order of magnitude better than previous accelerator neutrino experiments, notably the MINOS experiment in the NuMI beam from Fermilab. Just to give a feeling of the level of accuracy reached by the researchers, the baseline of nearly 730 km was determined with a global uncertainty of 20 cm, while the time of flight measurement is affected by a total error of ~10 ns.
The results indicate for CNGS muon neutrinos with an average energy of 17 GeV an early neutrino arrival time with respect to the one computed by assuming the speed of light in vacuum of (60.7 ± 6.9 (stat.) ± 7.4 (sys.)) ns. If we transform this measurement into a relative difference of the muon neutrino velocity with respect to the speed of light one obtains: (v-c)/c = (2.48 ± 0.28 (stat.) ± 0.30 (sys.)) ×10-5, with an overall significance of 6.0 σ. The dependence of this time anticipation on the neutrino energy was also investigated yielding a negative result, within the statistical errors.
Despite the large significance of the measurement, the confidence of the Collaboration on the data analysis, and the many check conducted to look for instrumental effects and systematic errors, there is a potentially great impact on physics that motivates and justifies great care and prudence. For this reason, on the one hand the OPERA researchers will continue their studies aimed the investigation of possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly, and on the other hand, they will improve their measurement by increasing the statistics and by trying to have a better assessment of the present systematic errors.
Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit
Published: September 22, 2011
Roll over, Einstein?
The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit — the speed of light — that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.
If true, it is a result that would change the world. But that “if” is enormous.
Even before the European physicists had presented their results — in a paper that appeared on the physics Web site arXiv.org on Thursday night and in a seminar at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, on Friday — a chorus of physicists had risen up on blogs and elsewhere arguing that it was way too soon to give up on Einstein and that there was probably some experimental error. Incredible claims require incredible evidence.
“These guys have done their level best, but before throwing Einstein on the bonfire, you would like to see an independent experiment,” said John Ellis, a CERN theorist who has published work on the speeds of the ghostly particles known as neutrinos.
According to scientists familiar with the paper, the neutrinos raced from a particle accelerator at CERN outside Geneva, where they were created, to a cavern underneath Gran Sasso in Italy, a distance of about 450 miles, about 60 nanoseconds faster than it would take a light beam. That amounts to a speed greater than light by about 0.0025 percent (2.5 parts in a hundred thousand).
Even this small deviation would open up the possibility of time travel and play havoc with longstanding notions of cause and effect. Einstein himself — the author of modern physics, whose theory of relativity established the speed of light as the ultimate limit — said that if you could send a message faster than light, “You could send a telegram to the past.”
Alvaro de Rujula, a theorist at CERN, called the claim “flabbergasting.”
“If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything,” he said, adding: “It looks too big to be true. The correct attitude is to ask oneself what went wrong.”
The group that is reporting the results is known as Opera, for Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Tracking Apparatus. Antonio Ereditato, the physicist at the University of Bern who leads the group, agreed with Dr. de Rujula and others who expressed shock. He told the BBC that Opera — after much internal discussion — had decided to put its results out there in order to get them scrutinized.
“My dream would be that another, independent experiment finds the same thing,” Dr. Ereditato told the BBC. “Then I would be relieved.”
Neutrinos are among the weirdest denizens of the weird quantum subatomic world. Once thought to be massless and to travel at the speed of light, they can sail through walls and planets like wind through a screen door. Moreover, they come in three varieties and can morph from one form to another as they travel along, an effect that the Opera experiment was designed to detect by comparing 10-microsecond pulses of protons on one end with pulses of neutrinos at the other. Dr. de Rujula pointed out, however, that it was impossible to identify which protons gave birth to which neutrino, leading to statistical uncertainties.
Dr. Ellis noted that a similar experiment was reported by a collaboration known as Minos in 2007 on neutrinos created at Fermilab in Illinois and beamed through the Earth to the Soudan Mine in Minnesota. That group found, although with less precision, that the neutrino speeds were consistent with the speed of light.
Measurements of neutrinos emitted from a supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud in 1987, moreover, suggested that their speeds differed from light by less than one part in a billion.
John Learned, a neutrino astronomer at the University of Hawaii, said that if the results of the Opera researchers turned out to be true, it could be the first hint that neutrinos can take a shortcut through space, through extra dimensions. Joe Lykken of Fermilab said, “Special relativity only holds in flat space, so if there is a warped fifth dimension, it is possible that on other slices of it, the speed of light is different.”
But it is too soon for such mind-bending speculation. The Opera results will generate a rush of experiments aimed at confirming or repudiating it, according to Dr. Learned. “This is revolutionary and will require convincing replication,” he said.
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
Correction: September 22, 2011
A previous version of this article misspelled Alvaro de Rujula's last name.
A version of this article appeared in print on September 23, 2011, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Tiny Neutrinos May Have Broken Cosmic Speed Limit.