Not so fast after all

  1. I came here thinking you would already be discussing. It is a just a rumor, but don't we love them ? Let us keep an eye, or an ear, on what will hopefully come out soon.

    Error Undoes Faster-Than-Light Neutrino Results
    Faster-than-light neutrino result reportedly a mistake caused by loose cable
  2. jcsd
  3. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    We're waiting for a formal announcement (press release) from CERN.
  4. Wise attitude. I am really just teasing, because this announcement will probably take a while. Despite the surrounding noise (which I am contributing today), CERN has been very cautious.
  5. In before the CERN faster then light cover up conspiracy theories.
  6. Would not that be about 10 [itex]\mu[/itex]s-light apart ? Where does your wife say you are ?
  7. Tell them a "neutrino walks in bar" joke. Meet somebody who works at CERN.
  8. Timbuctoo is in Westampton, just about 500 nanoseconds from Hainseport. My wife thinks I'm in the living room. Actually, I'm in the family room, but it's not prudent to contradict her so I'm moving.
  9. Borek

    Staff: Mentor

  10. So my theory that the speed of light is actually d has been exploded?
  11. explocec.
  12. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since the initial announcement, my bet has been on a detector error. Would this count as a detector error, or some other type of error? I just want to know if I can collect my bets if this ends up being the official explanation. :biggrin: (Oh, wait, I didn't actually place any cash bets...drat! I guess I don't care then. :frown:)
  13. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I'd call it a system error. Apparently the detector worked fine, but the transmission of the information was delayed.

    There is a good reason that PF has a relatively strict prohibition on overly-speculative posts.
  14. Moonbear

    Moonbear 11,955
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Drat! Oh, wait, I didn't bet any real money, so it's all good. :biggrin: Really, the biggest mistake they made was the big press release of the initial report before they went through and double checked all of these systems for errors. On the other hand, it's a good lesson for the public about scientific method and that nothing is a foregone conclusion until it has been checked, checked again, and checked some more. And, even then, it's not a foregone conclusion.
  15. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    The authors reported concerns about errors. I seem to remember some experimenters not putting their names on the released report. Quite a few folks here expressed the concern about error and the need to check each and every detail. Of course, others started speculating about FTL this and that, or the demise of special relativity.

    I wonder if scientists succumbing to the pressure/temptation to be the first to announce a discovery - or to publish?
  16. DaveC426913

    DaveC426913 16,351
    Gold Member

    I am not surprised that the results turned out to be wrong. I have a lot of confidence in our current theories and the results they've been giving.

    I am surprised that the error turned out to be something so embarrassingly avoidable.

    I had assumed that a research team doing experiments like this (that will be scrutinized by the whole world) would be diligent enough to have more than one independent measurement system. I'd think they'd see a discrepancy in their two measurements and quickly get to the root of it. Surely they didn't just trust all their hardware software and processes without checks and balances?

    I guess the answer is: yes they did and it is commonplace.
  17. Me too. Special relativity has withstood every experimental test for over a hundred years. I don't know of any other theory that has done so well for so long.
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