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Faster than light neutrinos

  1. Jan 2, 2012 #1
    Those faster than light neutrinos were moving through a location of high gravity (inside the earth). In such locations space is contracted more than in empty space. Therefore getting from A to Z is a contracted distance. Question: could neutrinos move through contracted space at a greater velocity because they aren't very much affected by gravity?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2012 #2
    Good idea; but, according to general relativity, gravity doesn't effect only certain particles, it effects everything---thus your explanation wouldn't really make sense.

    Additionally, the GR effects you're describing are easily calculable, and are entirely negligible.
     
  4. Jan 3, 2012 #3
    does the fact that neutrinos are only weakly interactive change that?
    In other words, since neutrinos are weakly interactive they didn't know to slow down in the presence of relatively high gravity.
     
  5. Jan 3, 2012 #4

    Chalnoth

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    Not really. Gravity doesn't much care about how particles interact with other forces.

    Everything interacts with gravity in pretty much the same way. Neutrinos are weakly-interacting because they don't have any electric or strong force charge. They only interact through gravity and the weak nuclear force, both of which are exceedingly weak compared to the electromagnetic and strong forces.
     
  6. Jan 3, 2012 #5
    does weakly interacting also mean that they interact infrequently?
     
  7. Jan 3, 2012 #6

    Chalnoth

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    No, exactly the opposite. It means they interact rarely.
     
  8. Jan 3, 2012 #7

    phinds

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    Chalnoth, I doubt if you actually meant to say that rarely is the opposite of infrequently.
     
  9. Jan 3, 2012 #8
    How many experiments will need to be run until they can determine with a reasonable assurance that they are or are not travelling faster than light in this situation.

    They said they produced the same results since - but I ain't seen the world of science scrambling to alter light as no longer being the fastest travelling thing in the known universe.
     
  10. Jan 3, 2012 #9

    mathman

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    I think you should be aware that most of the physics community, including the experimenters, are skeptical about the result. They are looking at the details for possible errors, while others are trying to see if they can duplicate the results.
     
  11. Jan 3, 2012 #10
    It was duplicated i believe in Japan..

    But hypothetically, even with compelling evidence and most errors taken out of the equation I still think its going to be hard for alot of scientists to swallow as the truth even if there was little doubt. They would rather blame it on limited technology or something.
     
  12. Jan 3, 2012 #11

    Chalnoth

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    Ack, I read that as "frequently". Sorry!
     
  13. Jan 3, 2012 #12

    Chalnoth

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    No, it hasn't been duplicated yet. They're working on it.
     
  14. Jan 3, 2012 #13

    Pengwuino

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    Do you have any reference for this claim? I believe T2K is trying to look at this but they certainly haven't been able to yet.

    Do you have any real reasons to back up such a garbage statement?
     
  15. Jan 3, 2012 #14
    Can't remember where i read it - it was back in november regarding japan testing the experiment, maybe they are still doing calculations.

    From reading interviews alot of scientists are pretty happy to suggestion there is a error on our part rather than them being faster than light. They favour that notion over the possibility of neutrinos being at all faster.

    I personally would love neutrinos to be faster - it allows more questions to be asked. Which i find more exciting.

    But I believe it will take alot of time to actually convince some scientists there is no mistake on our part if the results did retain the same results.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  16. Jan 3, 2012 #15

    Pengwuino

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    Suggesting there is an error does not equate to blaming it on limited technology. They aren't exactly pushing the state of the art when they're doing these distance and time measurements.

    And the reason they favor the idea that there is an experimental error is because this would contract many experiments that say such a result is inconsistent.

    If 1,000 people tell you that a box is empty and 1 guy tells you that a box has an apple in it, what are you inclined to believe about the contents of the box? You'll be pretty inclined to believe it is empty until you use other methods to find out the contents of the box besides the one you're using now.
     
  17. Jan 3, 2012 #16
    But often favouring an idea can blur your vision from what is actually happening, to the point you dismiss what the facts are telling you.

    I believe this will be one case where it will take some time for them to accept what the facts are telling them (if they turn out to be faster than light). It will be slow to be accepted.
     
  18. Jan 3, 2012 #17

    Chalnoth

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    Yeah, well, I'm betting that we'll still be seeing people running on about FTL neutrinos ten or twenty years from now, long after the result has been disproven and the mistake found.

    The chance that this result is real is so remote that it almost isn't even worth considering.
     
  19. Jan 3, 2012 #18
    I hope its not disproven ! Thats not as exciting to me ! ^_^
     
  20. Jan 3, 2012 #19

    Chalnoth

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    Haha, well, it's best not to get attached to any specific result. To me, the really exciting stuff for high energy physics is likely to come when LHC turns back on in a year or two. Then we're likely to get a definitive confirmation or disconfirmation of the tentative detection of the Higgs announced recently, as well as proving entirely new regimes of energy that are likely to demonstrate completely new physics.
     
  21. Jan 3, 2012 #20

    Vanadium 50

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