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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.


    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


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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.

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