A Faster-Than-Light Particle Discovered?

Submitted by: canusuck 5 years ago Science
http://www.wltx.com/news/article/152409/363/Faster-Than-Light-Particle-Discovered-

Scientists may have discovered a faster than light particle which may under cut all of modern physics. Science FTW!!
There are 85 comments:
Male 987
It took me a long time to get my copy of the Fleismhmann-Pons paper on cold fusion in 1989 and when I did, it had been copied and faxed so may times it was almost unreadable. They published in an obscure Swedish journal.

The actual CERN Neutrino paper can be read at:
Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam
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Male 112
Damn! So the flash soon calls his super-speed high-five just the "neutrino-five"... How lame -_-`
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Male 12,365
Also, if they had mistakenly somehow used the distance on the surface of the Earth (how?), the figures would be out by a huge amount, far more than 60ns.

There are some possible mistakes, e.g. flawed statistical analysis of the results.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I think the most sensible thing to do is speculate on how they might have screwed this up.[/quote]

Which they`ve been doing for a while. They didn`t find anything. Now it`s open for anyone to test. Nobody else has good enough equipment yet, but they will soon.

[quote]Maybe that 454 mile figure they used was the distance along the surface of the planet, not the point to point distance between the two locations[/quote]

They measured the distance to an accuracy of +- 10cm. It took months. They were able to measure the movement of tectonic plates. They couldn`t have made such an obvious mistake without even noticing when checking the results for months on end.

[quote]maybe [..] previous experiments had the neutrinos traveling ever so slightly slower than the speed of light[/quote]

It was a shorter time than would be taken by an object travelling at c, not a shorter time than some other neutrinos.
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Male 914
Before everyone cums in their pants over this, I think the most sensible thing to do is speculate on how they might have screwed this up. Maybe that 454 mile figure they used was the distance along the surface of the planet, not the point to point distance between the two locations which would obviously be slightly less. And maybe the reason it took 60 nanoseconds less than they expected was that previous experiments had the neutrinos traveling ever so slightly slower than the speed of light because of Earth`s conditions between the two points or the way the neutrinos were fired.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I was reading an article about how some scientists are preparing a paper on how neutrinos `can` travel on a 2D plane if the results of this are true. They`d rather throw a completely idiotic notion into the mix of which they have absolutely no proof of instead of just going with the simplest solution to which they have no proof the opposite is true.[/quote]

Neutrinos travelling through different dimensional setups is a *simpler* solution than c being wrong.

You`re not understanding the relevance of c, are you?
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Male 12,365
[quote]GPS doesn`t demonstrate c at all.[/quote]

Since nobody has claimed that it does, what are you talking about?

[quote]You are still doing what everyone does, throwing out random info with no proof, saying it`s there somewhere but not able to identify it.[/quote]

You aren`t even reading the posts you`re replying to. No wonder you`re so confused.

You`re doing OK as a troll. If that`s your intention, well done. If it isn`t, oh dear. How can you know enough to be able to correctly use terms such as "reference frame" and yet know so little that you think c is just an assumption based solely on the limits of experimentation?
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Male 688
GPS doesn`t demonstrate c at all. And I`m not spending hours watching a television program not knowing which episode to watch.

You are still doing what everyone does, throwing out random info with no proof, saying it`s there somewhere but not able to identify it.

You`re a sheep following whatever standards science sets forth regardless of how ridiculous they are.

I was reading an article about how some scientists are preparing a paper on how neutrinos `can` travel on a 2D plane if the results of this are true. They`d rather throw a completely idiotic notion into the mix of which they have absolutely no proof of instead of just going with the simplest solution to which they have no proof the opposite is true.
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Male 12,365
I think that Fermilab works well as an example of the upgrading I was talking about. They already have MINOS, which is the same sort of thing, and they`re planning to upgrade it to reach the standard of the equipment used by OPERA at CERN.

You may have read that it will take at least months and probably years to test the results elsewhere. That`s because of the need to upgrade equipment to the standard used by the OPERA team at CERN. Who, unsurprisingly, didn`t just buy a GPS handset from a supermarket and use that.
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Male 12,365
I think it`s worth noting that 5 senior members of the team chose to not put their names on the release because they thought (correctly) that it would be presented as being more robust a finding than they think it actually is.

The actual paper and the actual comments from scientists on the team are much more cautious than the media portrayal of it.
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Male 12,365
[quote]They are using our GPS for both distance and timebase synch. We told people it was only good to about 50ns resolution. Cern is off by 60ns. Coincidence? Sounds more like they didn`t bother to read the user`s manual.[/quote]

Are you serious or just poking fun at me poking fun at you for your "Eurotards" comment?

I`m not sure if you`re joking or if you really are a nationalist bigot.
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Male 5,194
[quote]Maybe their next step should be to help the USA improve their equipment up to European standards[/quote]
Umm, "European" standards? They are using our GPS for both distance and timebase synch. We told people it was only good to about 50ns resolution. Cern is off by 60ns. Coincidence? Sounds more like they didn`t bother to read the user`s manual.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Everything is based on the assumption the the speed of light = C. This assumption arises because no one has observed anything faster.[/quote]

It`s c, not C. No, that is not pedantry. Accuracy matters in science.

More importantly, you`re wrong. No matter how often you call it an assumption, you will remain wrong about that. You`re like a creationist insisting that evolution doesn`t exist and thinking that it does is an act of faith.
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Male 12,365
[quote]"Experiments produce exactly the results predicted by the equation, i.e. it appears to be an accurate description of reality."

Please show me one. Everyone says this, but no one can show me one.[/quote]

OK. I`m now going to assume you`re trolling. You appear to have some knowledge of the subject, so you can`t be that ignorant of it. Therefore you must be trolling.

The entire GPS system is probably the best-known example, but there have been many others. It`s even been done for entertainment quite recently on the BBC science entertainment program "Bang Goes The Theory".
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Male 147
I would not be surprised if they found out the measurements accurate. After all, this is science: it evolves. What is said to be true now may not be true in the future; and it probably wasn`t in the past.

To me, the fact that singularities exist, and that all current theories boil down at extremely microscopic levels is a big sign that there may be more to it than we think. There must be something else missing in all our equations, since not everything works in all situations: being quantum physics a good example.
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Male 688
"Experiments produce exactly the results predicted by the equation, i.e. it appears to be an accurate description of reality."

Please show me one. Everyone says this, but no one can show me one.

Your equations, please show me one without it using anything related to the speed of light as a starting point.

THEY DON`T EXIST! Everything is based on the assumption the the speed of light = C. This assumption arises because no one has observed anything faster. The entire foundation of theoretical physics is based on an assumption with no proof to back it up. It`s the equivalent of believing in a god, you don`t know so you just guess.
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Male 12,365
[quote]More likely explanation for Cern`s result: Eurotards can`t measure time and distance.[/quote]

Maybe their next step should be to help the USA improve their equipment up to European standards so that the findng can be independently tested in the USA.

The CERN team has acknowledged the possibility that they`ve overlooked another explanation. That`s why they spent a long time checking before throwing it open to anyone with good enough equipment to test - they found their own results very surprising.

You do know that CERN is one of the leading research centres in the world, don`t you? Or are you really that parochial in your outlook?
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Male 12,365
[quote]what about tachyons?.....[/quote]

Not been shown to exist, despite decades of looking for them. They`re hypothetical. There`s an explanation as to how they could exist but be unable to convey information in any way, but it goes over my head.
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Male 12,365
[quote]No, not really. In SRT, if the velocity exceeds c, then you get the square root of a negative, which results in an imaginary number. This doesn`t exactly imply that we go back in time. It just means we don`t know what the hell happens.[/quote]

Which is why I said "could indicate". You can work it out and get the result that time moves faster than in a stationary frame of reference, i.e. you go backwards in time.

But I also said later it`s the wrong tool for the job:

[quote]The problem is that none of special relativity (including that equation) can apply to anything that can carry information of any kind and move faster than the speed of light, because special relativity says that is impossible.[/quote]

So yeah, we don`t know what the hell happens. If it can happen at all.
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Male 12,138
[quote]More likely explanation for Cern`s result: Eurotards can`t measure time and distance.[/quote]
Quite possibly. However, if the converse is proved true, then us "Eurotards" might be on to something.
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Male 5,194
SN1987A detected neutrinos coincident with the light. More likely explanation for Cern`s result: Eurotards can`t measure time and distance.
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Male 527
If you put a value of spatial speed higher than c into the equation, it produces values that could indicate moving backwards through time.

No, not really. In SRT, if the velocity exceeds c, then you get the square root of a negative, which results in an imaginary number. This doesn`t exactly imply that we go back in time. It just means we don`t know what the hell happens.
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Female 119
what about tachyons?.....
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Male 2,229
this is just a preliminary announcement, there still needs to be an independent conformation of the "discovery"
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Male 12,365
[quote]"I can`t understand how we think the neutrinos would travel back in time."[/quote]

The effect of movement in space on movement in time is described by an equation that`s part of special relativity.

Experiments produce exactly the results predicted by the equation, i.e. it appears to be an accurate description of reality.

If you put a value of spatial speed higher than c into the equation, it produces values that could indicate moving backwards through time.

The problem is that none of special relativity (including that equation) can apply to anything that can carry information of any kind and move faster than the speed of light, because special relativity says that is impossible.
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Male 12,365
[quote]If you look at a star far far away, you`re seeing the unobstructed light that was sent from it many many many years ago and the star could be gone by the time you are just seeing it, if you could travel instantaneously to the location of the light, I don`t see how people think you would go back in time when the image you were seeing was from many many many years ago. You would in fact see what is now there as time is independent from the speed of light.[/quote]

i) If you could travel any distance, let alone light-years, instantaneously, you would not be travelling through space. So it wouldn`t apply.

ii) What you see people thinking is not necessarily how the universe works. I think it`s fair to say that most people don`t think about how physically moving changes their motion through time, but it does.
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Male 12,365
[quote]m stood for miles, not meters. I assumed you would have got that.[/quote]

I did understand that you were using non-standard notation for casual units. c isn`t 186,000 miles per second either. Since you were being so precise in your conclusion, a very rough approximation for c wasn`t good enough.

[quote]The only reason that it`s assumed you can`t travel faster than light is because it hasn`t been observed that anything can.[/quote]

No, that isn`t the only reason. It isn`t even a reason for that "assumption" (which isn`t an assumption).
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Male 688
"I can`t understand how we think the neutrinos would travel back in time."

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
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Male 688
"True, but c isn`t 186,000 m/s.

All current knowledge does indeed state that something *can`t* travel faster than c. It`s not a matter of "wow, you`d need a really powerful engine to go faster than that". It`s "you can`t go faster than that, not at all, not by even the tiniest amount, ever". It`s an absolute limit, not an engineering problem."

m stood for miles, not meters. I assumed you would have got that. The only reason that it`s assumed you can`t travel faster than light is because it hasn`t been observed that anything can.
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Male 688
"c is *far* more fundamental than that. Moving faster than c in space does imply moving backwards in time. Either that or special relativity is wrong. I`m not sure which would be more strange. It`s been tested so many times in so many ways that it would be very strange for it to be wrong in any way. "

In this regards, SR is wrong! If you look at a star far far away, you`re seeing the unobstructed light that was sent from it many many many years ago and the star could be gone by the time you are just seeing it, if you could travel instantaneously to the location of the light, I don`t see how people think you would go back in time when the image you were seeing was from many many many years ago. You would in fact see what is now there as time is independent from the speed of light.
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Male 688
"it would violate causality - the effects of something could occur before the thing itself occurs. "

One of science`s flawed theories, at least as it relates to C. Light only transmits an image, it doesn`t transmit time or effect the action taken, time has absolutely nothing to do with the C.
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Male 688
Kain1: You`re confusing what relativistic mass actually is, the mass doesn`t actually increase it only appears to depending on the reference frame. Everyone simply assumes that C is independent of this making it the highest speed attainable. Which is just ridiculous given everything in the universe we don`t understand and haven`t seen. To be independent from relativistic mass a photon would have to have no mass and the fact that a photon can be slowed down through a different medium and has a maximum velocity should be enough proof that it has a mass regardless of how small it may be, if it has a speed it therefore has a mass and is therefore not independent. This means, any object with a smaller mass can move faster and an object with no mass can move instantaneously and would never stop and would not be observable.

Mainstream science has quite a few incredibly flawed theories that everyone seems to believe for some reason.
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Male 7
Speed is relative
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Male 792
Bwa-hahaha! Simbosan, that reminds me of another joke:
Bar tender says, "What`ll you have?"
A neutrino walks into a bar.

We have to remember that the study of particle physics is only studying the minute scale of the entire universe. We know nothing about gravitational physics, strong-force nuclear physics, or electro-magnetic physics.
If the world would have embraced Nikolai Tesla instead of Einstein, we`d have an understanding electro-magnetism.
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Male 159
Neutrino!
Knock Knock
Who`s there?
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Male 3,061
Here`s some further reading on this subject.
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Male 17,512
davymid: Most people didn`t get that joke, but some of us did. hehe.
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Male 15,832
Supernova 1987A proved that neutrinos travel at the speed of light. That event happened ~168,000 LY away, and the photons and neutrinos got here at the same time. If the neutrinos had traveled as fast as the CERN team claims, they would have beaten the photons here by nearly 4 years.
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Male 525
Xkcd is taking a cynical approach.
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Male 1,744
[quote]*IF* proven true, then it`s similar to finding out that we got the value of Pi wrong.[/quote]
That`d be pretty big as well, but I`m gonna have to say this is/could/will be muuuuuuuuuuch bigger
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Male 12,138
[quote]But seriously... just 60 nanoseconds faster?! It`s not exactly `smashing` past the speed of light![/quote]
True, but you`re missing the point. *IF* proven true, then it`s similar to finding out that we got the value of Pi wrong. That`s pretty monumental.
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Male 13
ummm... does anybody realize that this "discovery" is far from proven. the result has not yet been replicated elsewhere and the scientists who observed these results are skeptical themselves. a huge discovery like this occurs within the scientific community every year or so but very few turn out to actually be true. the result was likely do to a technological flaw or something
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Male 12,138
A neutrino walks into a bar.

Barman says, "Hey, we don`t serve your types in here!"

Neutrino says "Hey, I was just passing through!"

Yeah yeah, I know. I`ll get my coat. Taxi for Davymid!
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Male 5,016
In any case we allready knew that what Einstein have created was a "Theory" and not a "Theoreme" so i`m not surprised if we have found something that can pass this "Theory".
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Male 1,646
No; they just have to change the rate of the speed of light now. the speed of light is the limit; it just isn`t right.
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Male 527
I`m not convinced that something travelling faster than c can violate causality. If you are observing an event, the neutrinos get to you faster than seeing the event itself. According to STR, though, as neutrinos approach c, their length goes to zero, their mass goes to infinity, and time seems to stop for them. STR can`t calculate what happens to them after they go superluminous, but the more I think of it, the more I can`t understand how we think the neutrinos would travel back in time.
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Male 17,512
This doesn`t surprise me at all, there has been mounting speculation that special relativity might be in error. Now that we know neutrinos move faster that light, there will have to be a lot of adjustments made and earlier theories revisited that were discarded because of the light speed limit.
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Male 12,365
[quote]Just because something can travel at 186,000 m/s doesnt mean something can`t travel at 186,001 m/s or faster.[/quote]

True, but c isn`t 186,000 m/s.

All current knowledge does indeed state that something *can`t* travel faster than c. It`s not a matter of "wow, you`d need a really powerful engine to go faster than that". It`s "you can`t go faster than that, not at all, not by even the tiniest amount, ever". It`s an absolute limit, not an engineering problem.
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Male 12,365
[quote]All light does is transmit an image, it doesn`t effect time in ANY WAY! If a photon is has traveled 100 light years away and someone sees it, they see the image from 100 years ago, lets say that person travels instantly to where the photon originated, he DOES NOT go back in time!!!!!! He merely travels to the point the photon originated from in the same time frame as when he left.[/quote]

c is *far* more fundamental than that. Moving faster than c in space does imply moving backwards in time. Either that or special relativity is wrong. I`m not sure which would be more strange. It`s been tested so many times in so many ways that it would be very strange for it to be wrong in any way.

Unless neutrinos travel in some way other than through space as we know it. Wormholes, different dimensions, something.

Of course, it could be an unknown factor skewing the results. One experiment is only one experiment.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I think this statement is only correct assuming the speed of light really is the limit.[/quote]

It isn`t actually the speed of light per se. It`s a constant that isn`t really related to light. It`s just that light travels at that speed. It`s derived mathematically (i.e. in a manner that can be proven correct) from some fairly simple assumptions about nature and from a multitude of repeatable observations.

If it isn`t the upper limit, some very fundamental changes would be needed. For starters, it would violate causality - the effects of something could occur before the thing itself occurs.

[quote]But seriously... just 60 nanoseconds faster?! It`s not exactly `smashing` past the speed of light![/quote]

It`s about 13,000 mph faster, but if it was 1 mm per millenium faster it would still be a huge amount.
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Male 687
it could technically be true
neutrinos have m=0 so E= 0 x c^2= 0 ... well 0.000000000000000000000000000001...but if they had no mass at all they could go at infinite speed`...or at least that`s the way i see it...i may be wrong
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Male 725
Where would we be without the agitators of the world attaching the electrodes of knowledge to the nipples of ignorance?
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Male 588
[quote]And to go past the speed of light would take more than an infinite amount of energy.. which obviously doesn`t make sense...[/quote]

I think this statement is only correct assuming the speed of light really is the limit. In any case, not to diminish its significance, but I don`t see any practical application for this discovery.
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Male 4,746
Way to soon to be treating this as real. The implications, if it were, make my head swim.
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Male 5,811
Well, depending on how you look at the problem it can be considered the appearance of greater mass. Since momentum in Einstein`s equation is defined by the relationship of gamma*mass*velocity, and gamma being a relativistic factor you could think of gamma*mass as a new mass.
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Male 280
Oh IAB, you are always so cute when you are trying to embrace science.
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Male 1,471
"Just because something can travel at 186,000 m/s doesnt mean something can`t travel at 186,001 m/s or faster. "

You obviously don`t know what you`re talking about..

The problem is mass.. The faster an object is moving, the more mass it has.. this effect isn`t felt in day-to-day life, but is nevertheless proven.. When it travels at close to the speed of light, its mass increases enormously quickly, making it harder and harder to accelerate..

In theory, it would take an infinite amount of energy to get a massive particle to reach the speed of light..

And to go past the speed of light would take more than an infinite amount of energy.. which obviously doesn`t make sense...
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Male 25,416
And the point is?....
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Male 381
Can anyone else agree that this is just a huge holy s**t!?!? Like who would have thought we might prove Einstein wrong?
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Male 165
@McGovern1981 - That`t not entirely true. You need a waypoint to be open from the past and then you can send messages to the past but anything before that waypoint is opened cannot be done. See video for further explanation.

time machine
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Male 688
"Which in theory means that time travel is now possible"

NO!!!!!!!! I HATE YOU PEOPLE! Learn some science.

All light does is transmit an image, it doesn`t effect time in ANY WAY! If a photon is has traveled 100 light years away and someone sees it, they see the image from 100 years ago, lets say that person travels instantly to where the photon originated, he DOES NOT go back in time!!!!!! He merely travels to the point the photon originated from in the same time frame as when he left.

Just because something can travel at 186,000 m/s doesnt mean something can`t travel at 186,001 m/s or faster.

The awesome part of this WHEN it`s finally proven and accepted and possible is you will be able to observe the past by simply travel far out into space and having a very powerful telescope assuming your view isn`t obstructed by planets or other celestial objects at certain angles.
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Male 5,016
"But seriously... just 60 nanoseconds faster?! It`s not exactly `smashing` past the speed of light!" 60 nanoseconds seem to you so irrelevant, but you must think that this experiment was made on a distance of 454 miles. If you start to think bigger and about Universe distances this can make a really BIG difference.


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Male 878
I had a car like this. The thing to do is get someone to follow you down the road while you travel just over the speed of light and get them to tell you what their speedo reads.
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Male 15
if you don`t think that 60 nanoseconds is "smashing" the cosmic speed limit, then you obviously don`t know how important the speed of light is to modern physics. 1 attosecond faster should not be possible let alone 60 nanoseconds! if this is confirmed, history has been made today.


also what a perfect day for Fringe to premiere!
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Male 14,330
@Draculya

Nope :-( there is no traveling back only forward.
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Male 314
A particle traveling at the speed of light should take 2.437 ms to travel 454 miles. They`re saying it traveled 60 ns faster than that. That`s 0.0025% faster!
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Male 1,136
Why isn`t this bigger? If this is real, physics have entirely changed
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Male 328
@kalimata

It is actually possible that the particles can simply travel so quickly that they cut their way through space in order to travel faster than the speed of light. That would keep the speed of light as the fastest speed in the universe, but also means that we may one day be able harness that ability to teleport anywhere in the universe in the blink of an eye.
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Male 3,482
Well, it`s pretty much always been accepted that Einstein`s theories would only work under the usual conditions that were, and still are, recognized on the majority of Earth.

Once we started actually REACHING the speed of light, things were almost certain to change, seeing as how that`s a whole new playing field of science outside standard Earth-bound physics that we`d never had the chance to experiment with in his time.
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Male 328
@Kalimata

No, they just got readings 60 nanoseconds faster than they should have. The speed of light is not instant.
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Male 14,775
Does this mean we can travel back in time and assassinate Rebecca Black before she has a chance to record Friday?
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Male 661
Here`s my question though. Does this mean that the Italian lab started getting readings 60 nanoseconds before the other lab "fired" the stream? Or are we looking at a particle which travels outside our universe for a time before dropping back in, allowing for a "faster than light" speed?

Anyone got any specifics?
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Male 2,516
I hope it`s not like the "magnetic monopole discovered" fiasco
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Male 5,811
"But seriously... just 60 nanoseconds faster?! It`s not exactly `smashing` past the speed of light!"

Science fail
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Male 2,586
But seriously... just 60 nanoseconds faster?! It`s not exactly `smashing` past the speed of light!
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Male 2,376
finally tacheon particals!!!!
star trek has known about this for ages.. same with krot from k-pax.. this is nothing knew everybody on his planet knows this.. just like every child on earth knows that the earth orbits the sun. its common knowledge to them
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Male 2,586
Which in theory means that time travel is now possible
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Male 7,378
I told you so.
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Male 1,442
In your face Einstein! E=MCWRONG!
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Male 4,594
Also faster than the speed of light is how fast my wife can spend $20.00 at a goddam garage sale.
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Male 37,902

Star Trek has known this for a long time.

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Male 2,372
Does that mean that we finally get to divide by zero?
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Female 812
It was bound to happen some day
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Male 1,745
i hope this is true
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Male 808
Link: A Faster-Than-Light Particle Discovered? [Rate Link] - Scientists may have discovered a faster than light particle which may under cut all of modern physics. Science FTW!!
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