Einstein wrong about speed limit?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hi. Just read this article regarding test with neutrinos that suggest they travel faster than light.

www.theprovince.com/technology/test+suggests+Einstein+relativity+theory+wrong/5733221/story.html[/URL]

I'm wondering if this apparent breaking of the speed limit might be due to "quantum tunneling"? Or perhaps something specific about the underground nature of the experiment?

I suppose these folks have considered every possibility, but i found this interesting, and quantum tunneling came to mind.

Anyway, the neutrinos are recorded going [I]slightly[/I] faster than light speed, but if true this would have major implications for physics and cosmology.
 
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  • #2
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My understanding is something like this:

-There is a universal speed limit which cannot be exceeded by any objects/particles that have mass. All massless particles travel at this speed.

-We believe light to be massless, and that it therefore travels at the massless-particle speed. Therefore we colloquially call it the "speed of light".

-If it should be shown that another particle travels faster than light, this means that 1) our current measurements of the massless-particle speed are wrong; it's actually slightly faster than we thought, and 2) Photons (light particles) actually do have a tiny amount of mass, and therefore travel slower than this speed limit instead of exactly at it. A better name for it would be "speed of neutrinos" or whatever.
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
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All discussion on the OPERA result are confined to a single thread in the Relativity Forum. Please post in that thread.

And no, this has nothing to do with quantum tunneling.

Zz.
 

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