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Einstein wrong about speed limit?

  1. Nov 18, 2011 #1
    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.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 18, 2011 #2
    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.
     
  4. Nov 18, 2011 #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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