Friday, September 23, 2011

Is the speed of light really the universal speed limit?

The insight that the speed of thought is faster than light came to me a long time ago. The speed of thought, or the imagination, is faster than light because it can take you anywhere in fractions of a nanosecond.

Now it seems that at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research, they have had Puzzling results because it appears subatomic particles have exceeded the speed of light. Neutrinos sent through the ground from Cern toward the Gran Sasso laboratory 732km away seemed to show up a tiny fraction of a second early.

This puts a spanner in the works of conventional physics since the speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit according to Einstein's theory of relativity, and much of modern physics depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it. Of course, we are now in the realm of subatomic particles where the rules are beginning to appear quite different.

Naturally, the traditional physicists are cautious. "We tried to find all possible explanations for this," said report author Antonio Ereditato of the Opera collaboration. "We wanted to find a mistake - trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't," he told BBC News. "When you don't find anything, then you say 'Well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'"

Of course, I rather enjoy the fact that conventional physics could be limited in its scope.

1 comment:

  1. And this is precisely why science and faith are not even in the same ballpark. Science posits based on observable phenonmena. When new evidence is uncovered it welcomes it.