Defying the Laws of Physics

Leah Canonico

Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light – at least that’s what physicists have believed and trusted since Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, proposed over 100 years ago.

However, little particles dubbed “neutrinos” are making a 454-mile underground trip faster than they should, and they have scientists up in arms. To the disbelief of scientists around the world, these particles can travel faster than the speed of light, which is 300 million meters per second.

The results come from the OPERA experiment, which sends  neutrinos from CERN in Geneva to the INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy.  After analyzing the results from over 15,000 particles, it appears the neutrinos are crossing the distance at a velocity 20 parts per million faster than the speed of light.

By making use of advanced GPS systems and atomic clocks, the researchers were able to determine this speed to an accuracy of less than 10 nanoseconds.

Under the “special relativity” theory,  if something travels faster than the speed of light, it goes backwards in time.  If these neutrinos can really move faster than the speed of light, a whole new world of scientific possibilities arises with opportunities that are only dreamed of and depicted  in sci-fi movies. If the speed of light really has been surpassed, time travel becomes a very real and relevant possibility.