Faster Than Light Neutrinos Confirmed?

Over at his new digs at Forbes, Alex Knapp passes along some intriguing new information about a report that shook the scientific world in September:

The OPERA collaborative in Italy, which stunned the physics community in September by claiming they had detected neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light, has completed a second run of tests in the hopes of reducing the uncertainty of the result. They have submitted their findings for peer review, but the group has stated that they have confirmed their earlier result, and again detected neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.

There are still a lot of questions about these results, and the way the follow-up experiments were conducted, which Alex details. However, it leaves open the intriguing possibility that science is about to be turned on its head.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. steveegg says:

    Unless they ran the second set of experiments in the opposite direction or otherwise corrected for the effect of using GPS to time the experiment, it’s going to be a bit hard to take this seriously.

  2. Vast Variety says:

    I’ve been following this a little bit lately. If it works out to actually be true it could reshape our understanding of the universe.

  3. Franklin says:

    @steveegg: Even so, it’s the same people doing the same test. It really needs an entirely different group to replicate before we can get closer to determining the validity.

  4. John Peabody says:

    I will write this comment in 2033, but make it appear on November 18, 2011! (those were the good ol’ days!)

  5. Hey Norm says:

    This morning I also got to where I was going 60 nanoseconds earlier than I should have.
    I’m just sayin’…

  6. @Hey Norm:

    Funny. I always seem to be 60 nanoseconds behind.

  7. Hey Norm says:

    @ Doug…
    Me too…and that has definitely been peer-reviewed.

  8. sam says:

    Here’s a rebuttal, from MIT’s Technology Review: Faster-than-Light Neutrino Puzzle Claimed Solved by Special Relativity

  9. grumpy realist says:

    Remember Carl Sagan’s “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    I’m still waiting to make sure this isn’t all due to some clown confusing yards with meters somewhere.

  10. grumpy realist says:

    Actually we have a good cosmological counter-example, which was the reception of neutrinos at roughly the same time as visible light from the center of a supernova. If neutrinos were as superluminal as claimed, they should have arrived four YEARS earlier at our detectors.

  11. michael reynolds says:

    Okay, I’m going to settle this myself. Now, where did I leave my jar of neutrinos?

  12. Franklin says:

    @michael reynolds: Nevermind those. I’ve got some here, I’ll send them over and you time how long it takes. Sending them at 2:35pm from Michigan.