February 23rd, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Oops! Speed of light may still be the limit

By Christopher Cottrell, CNN

It could have shaken the very cornerstones of modern physics but - oops! - it experienced some technical difficulties. An experiment suggesting that particles could travel faster than the speed of light had some potential flaws, scientists announced Thursday.

The contemporary understanding of how the universe works is based on Albert Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity, which says the speed of light is a constant that cannot be exceeded - it's the universe's speed limit. To go beyond it would be to look back in time, the late German physicist said.

Scientists at OPERA – which stands for Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Racking Apparatus – were surprised last year to find that tiny particles called neutrinos were arriving at their destination faster than expected. They were tasked with tracking tiny particles as they soar through 730 kilometers of solid rock between a particle accelerator at CERN in Geneva and the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy.

The team then turned to the scientific community to confirm its results. Several institutions around the world are working to replicate the experiment.

But experts at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva said Thursday that their possible discovery might have been tainted by loose wiring.

Specifically, a loose fiber optic cable that synchronizes an external GPS signal to the master clock of its OPERA experiment might have caused their speed measurements to be off.

This important component, however tiny, helps keep the clock accurate to the nanosecond, or one billionth of a second.

CERN said in a statement Thursday that the clock “may not have been functioning correctly when the measurements were taken,” which could have caused the scientists to underestimate the time of flight of the elusive, faster-than-light neutrinos.

But another possible explanation is that an oscillator used to mark start and stop times for GPS synchronizations – basically, a very accurate stopwatch – malfunctioned and led scientists to overestimate the neutrinos’ flight time.

Either way, CERN says it is planning new tests for May to verify the cause of the mistake and determine just how this would have affected measurements.

“This is the normal process. This isn’t the first time that something could have affected the results,” Marsollier Arnaud, a press officer at CERN, told CNN. “They would like to redo the measurements with these two things properly calibrated.”

Only then will the thinkers at CERN know for sure whether a faulty oscillator or a loose cable affected their results. But even then, their findings will remain mere speculation until confirmed by other scientists.

“Only another measurement by another experiment can confirm or kill the measurements,” Arnaud said. “So even if they do all the checks they want, as long as they’re the only ones doing this measurement, we’ll still have doubts.”

Brian Greene, theoretical physicist at Columbia University, told CNN Light Years earlier this month that while it’s technically possible that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light, it is very unlikely.

“I would bet just about anything that those experiments will not hold up to the kind of scrutiny that they need to be given to be believed,” Greene said. “There’s a huge amount of experimental evidence against the possibility that something would go faster than the speed of light.”

But Greene added that one of the most remarkable things about theoretical physicists is their ability to come up with new ideas when faced with data that runs afoul of widely accepted beliefs.

“They need to have completely independent confirmation by a separate experiment ideally using different experimental methods," Greene said. "And if that were to happen, that would make many of us sit up in our chairs or maybe even fall off our chairs."

In the meantime, CERN said there is enough to do to prepare for May.

“It’s a complicated experiment – there are many cables, computers and clocks and all these things,” Arnaud said.

CNN's Elizabeth Landau contributed to this report.

Follow @CNNLightYears on Twitter

soundoff (494 Responses)
  1. goofball66

    Light speed is a hoax.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • captainroadbeard

      the Uncertanty Principle is a hoax. Only apes destroy what they measure.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • DOah!!!!

      All Science is a hoax!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
      • Johns George Vanderbilt

        These are the kind of ignorant comments that make America look stupid and naive.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
      • metaphorical

        How can you be sure that DOah is an American?

        February 24, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
      • urmomlol

        If Jesus had wanted us to travel faster than light, he would have told us how when he wrote the bible!

        February 24, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
      • tif31

        @ urmomlol
        Jesus didn't write the bible.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
      • EnKiu

        Jesus did not tell us how to do FTL travel. Jesus wanted us to find FTL travel all by ourselves... and if we can not, Jesus wanted us not to have it. It is a Divine IQ test.

        February 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • tcspins

      People who have achieved the highest degree (so far) of evolution understand that science is the true source of knowledge. For those who question the validity of science, think about this (yes, think) – reseach science strives to understand the universe and all the biologicals that inhabit it through rigorous testing of hypothesis. Applied science takes those results and creates ideas and things (like computers). Some of those things are good (the Internet) and some are bad (the internet) but that speaks to human frailty and not the validity of the science. Therefore, if science were not real, no one (including anti-science idiots) would be able to express their opinion on the Internet because science is the reason it exists. Last time I checked, the Internet was not created within the biblical 7 days.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • NotaUS

        god and religion is an illusion made by man, based on the fear of death and nothingness, and a way to keep man away from doing bad things like murder..because then you will go to hell and not heaven when you die...etc

        science is all based on seeking proof...and no scientist has ever proven that god exist

        February 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
      • zozo

        Yep.. that's why a great scientis once said:
        “A little science estranges a man from God. A lot of science brings him back.”
        (I am sure you can google and find out who the guy was who said this)

        February 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
      • slicky

        And no scientist has proven that God doesnt exist.. according to your argument, he must exist because of the failure to prove his nonexistance. dumb ass.

        February 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • NotaUS

        @slicky
        i guess you misread, i said: 'and no scientist has ever proven that god exist' NOT '...that God doesnt exist'
        scientists are not trying to roll him OUT of the universe...but prove if hes actually IN the universe

        February 24, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • dr André Kruger

      These comments make Americans look stupid and naive

      February 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • HurtfulTruth

      You ARE aware that LIGHT travels at "light speed"........right??!!

      February 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • PABLO

      Even thought your comment makes no sense Goofball, what is the truth?

      February 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
    • nicko_paul

      1905 Einstein Brain vs a Billion Dollar Instrument together with Scientists from all walks of life.

      It's like Einstein vs the World.

      Einstein proved his Theory of Relativity with no help from any high tech equipments.

      CERN has difficulty in analyzing and interpreting what they had just discovered using their state-of-the art LHC.

      What's the verdict here?

      February 24, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
      • Easternsailor

        You are right! Einstein Theory of Relativity is for those anti-Christ. In Physics, the machine need energy to run and its equation never like that! Einstein is the false prophet and kill so many man, women & children from the WW II and until now and we are human and we are suffered from Radiation from Atomic Bomb! The Atomic Bomb is damaged the Ozone and the freezing cold from space make the weather more unpredictable and in the summer it can not block the harmful sun's ray as it's used to!

        February 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  2. Doc Brown

    The speed of light is <=88mph! How else would I have gotten Marty back to 1955?

    February 24, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • goofball66

      By hitching a ride on Santorum's campaign bus.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:14 am |
      • John in Houston

        Normally I dislike political commentary in non-political stories but that made me laugh out loud...

        February 24, 2012 at 11:32 am |
      • NTAC

        Well played goofball66. Good stuff.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
      • scuba

        LOL! Awesome!

        February 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
      • Rich

        Yeah, wrong place, but a great comment. Made me chuckle.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
      • booyeah!

        Hahaha, Fantastic goofball!

        February 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
      • Jack Be Humble

        I'd rather ride in the kennel on top of Romney's Station Wagon... but sadly, Mormons never exceed the posted speed limit, so 88mph is out of the question.

        February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • Bruce Rubin

        Good comeback

        February 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Bubo's Girl

      I love that!

      February 25, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  3. ArchieDeBunker

    This article illustrates very well how the scientific method works – with scientists checking each others' work and all points of view being considered and tested. In contrast to this is the way the "junk science" about global warming is being conducted. The folks that so desparately want you to believe that Global Warming is a real threat to life everywhere and is caused by man burning fossil fuels violate many of the most important precepts of the Scientific Method: 1) they started out with the conclusion that Global Warming is far greater than has been demonstrated, 2) they had already concluded that this warming is caused by man's activities, 3) they continue to cherry-pick the data and throw out any piece of data that contradicts the conclusion they had already made before they started, 4) they refuse to publicize ALL the data – only that which supports their conclusions, 4) they refuse to consider the work of opposing scientists, 5) their "colleagues" are politicians who want to use the manufactured Global Warming Crisis (AHHHH!) to give the Government more power to dig into the pocket books of citizens – illustrating a time-proven truth that whenever politicians get into bed with "scientists" the "baby" that is created is always a monster, and it's the citizens who end up getting the shaft.

    February 24, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Jim

      Pursuant to the scientific method, please produce some evidence to back up your claims.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:00 am |
      • We read

        Jim,
        Get your head out of the sand! Global warming and cooling has been happening forever. Today it is big business cashing in on fear tactics!

        February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am |
      • Jim

        We read: I believe that you're the one with your head in the sand.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • JoJo Bindings

        Lack of evidence does not always equate to lack of truth. Conversely, following the scientific method and producing evidence does not always lead to reliable facts. In other words, your *religion* of science is not the ultimate source of truth.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:58 am |
      • ArchieDeBunker

        Jim – the evidence is right before your eyes – or rather it's NOT before your eyes – an that's the problem!! Go back through all the archives of CNN, NBR (National Biased Radio) or any other news source you can find and locate any (even 1) article where the Global Warming lobby has carefully analyzed any of the many papers, books, speeches, etc. that give very good, sound, scientific (with mathematics – yeah! actual mathematics!) evidence to show that man-caused global warning is impossible. Find an article on any of the news sources that specifically shows how the scientific method has been used to disprove these inconvenient facts – Global Warming has never come after a buildup of CO2 in the history of the planet – the waming always causes the buildup of CO2; the volumetric analysis of CO2 produced from fossil fuels as a fraction of the total amount atmospheric gas is so miniscule that it could not possibly be responsible for any sort of global warming; although the amount of ice in the arctic may be decreasing, the amount of ice in the antarctic is increasing. No, rather than discussing these things and being totally forthcoming with their own methods of analysis of data from NASA and other sources, the Global Warming crowd simply acts as though anyone who doesn't believe their conclusions is simply daft. This avoidance of any serious discussion of the opposite point of view is, in itself, evidence that Global Warming "scientists" are trying to obscure the facts and force us to accept a theory that is FAR from proven.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Drowlord

      I wouldn't call it junk science. Unfortunately, it's one of those areas where science, politics, and money are tightly entangled. Parts of the scientific community have agreed to fraudulently exaggerate elements of it. Parts of the scientific community have agreed to mislabel elements of it. A lot of fraudulent work has been done to support it. A lot of research has been funded to debunk it. There are good reasons to mistrust any angle on the topic.

      Overall, I'd say that most scientists believe that we have climate change, and that at least some aspects of it can be directly attributed to human endeavor, and that climate change poses some risk to ourselves and the biosphere. And that appears to be the best information we have on the subject, and we should act accordingly.

      However, I would really like to see science on the topic that is clearly untainted by money and politics done by reputable scientists (i.e. not PhD candidates with a degree in "environmental" anything - who effectively have a degree in political action, rather than science) and not funded by energy companies or Greenpeace.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • Dave

      I'll bet who you work for explains your own biased view...who do you work for?

      February 24, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • JohnW

      When you consider that 98%+ of scientists working in the field believe global warming is real and that we're accelerating it, if not causing it, I would have to say that your reasoning is seriously flawed. Most scientists that speak out against it are working in fields unrelated to climate, being funded by oil/tobacco companies (or several Koch industries), or in many cases both. Do a little research that isn't cherry-picked yourself and you'll see the truth.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
      • Ally

        I've bene hearing that 98% stat floating around lately. I don't know where it came from, but I work in the field. And if I had to put a number out there I'd say maybe 30% of my collegues think man-made global warming has been proven.

        The biggest problem IMO is the media. People that don't study weather and climate write articles with half truths and full on inaccuracies and the public has nothing else to go on.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
      • Norm

        The key word is "working". Of course they support it because it puts food on their table. And they'll continue to support it as long as there's money to be had with more research grants and speaking fees and book deals.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • tffl

      JoJo Bindings – science, with its emphasis on evidence and explanations is _much_ more likely to find actual truth then your religion of *religion*, which just presents untested (and untestable) statements (often statements of a fairly extreme nature that wouldn't pass an Occam test) as facts, and demands that you accept those statements as true with no justification...

      February 24, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
    • Jake Ryan

      That's all well and good, minus the fact that global warming and climate change have been happening on Earth since it's inception. It may not be caused by humans to the extent that the media sometimes makes it out, but we are definitely speeding up the process.

      At any rate, this article is about the speed of light so I say we focus on that.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Willsee

      ArchieDeBunker, exactly what does your opinion have to do with measuring the speed of neutrinos? The fact that you posted your rant on a random topic proves that all must ignore your opinion. Go post your rant on some right wing political site.

      February 24, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Thirstycamel

      I'll tell you what's faster than the speed of light – biased political commentary unrelated to the article in nearly every comment section on the internet.

      February 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
    • D3nn1s10

      Okay, you may not believe in Global climate change. There is different facts to support that climate change is normal in earths history, but at the current moment it is being accelerated. If you still don't believe that, okay. Though I personally believe, and I hope you believe in it too, is that we would all like to have cleaner air for our children and their children after, and to preserve the earth to accommodate our growing population. And in order to do that we must make a change of our actions, so we can have clean air, and to accommodate our population, and to prevent/stop global change (in your case as you don't believe it, just a safety measure to make sure we don't go down that road). I hope you like I, want to see our children to live a better and healthier lives.

      February 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
      • Ol' Yeller

        What! Save the environment for my children and grandchildren and take a hit on profit margins today. That's a tough one; so you must be a communist pinko, treehugging, lib.

        February 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • D3nn1s10

        i'm sensing sarcasm

        February 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • John

      You have no buisness talking about science when all your rediculous points come from a poltical drug addict on am radio.

      February 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  4. Deliveranc_e

    Is what their saying is, that the neutrinos, jumped before the start pistol sounded, or that the light had a slow start off the starting line.. I think thats what they said........ REMATCH.......

    February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • speed matters?

      Men are always getting there too fast. Let women perform the experiments and make the measurements and we'll come up with the real answer. How fast are your nutrinos?

      February 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
      • theseconddavid

        Let women perform the test and all the results will be faked.

        February 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
      • Deliveranc_e

        {{{{{{{{ FALSE START EVERYTIME }}}}}}}}}}}}

        February 24, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  5. Brian

    Light speed is to slow, we need "Ludicrous" speed

    February 24, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • BOBO!

      Naw, man. We need Ludacris speed!
      ♫ Move, bιtch! Get out the way! ♫

      February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • Mike

      The neutrinos have gone plaid!

      February 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  6. lot27a

    I'm wiling to bet everyone on responding to this article is way smarter then me....soooooo, I'll have to defer to Sheldon Cooper to get the straight poop on this...

    February 24, 2012 at 10:21 am |
    • Leonard

      And that poop will be at precisely 8:20am

      February 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  7. EdR

    So what happens to light in a black hole? Does it go backwards towards the center of black hole? Isn't light then traveling faster than light as we know it? In fact its traveling so fast it physically traveling backwards in space and time? Its it still even light?

    February 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
    • haldan

      My understanding is that light from a Black Hole doesn’t travel at all. It is trapped by the massive gravity and can not escape it. So... if that is true, then light is not being made to move any faster, but rather slowed to a stop.

      Or the space around the black hole is being stretched by gravity at such a rate that it exceeds the speed of light and light can not pass through it. Keep in mind the expansion of the universe is about space expanding, and not necessarily about the movement of objects through space itself. Some scientists have theories that some of the space in our universe actually expands faster then the speed of light, making anything on the other side of that expansion forever invisible to us.

      Again, we are NOT talking about the movement of OBJECTS, but rather the expansion of space between those objects, so the light speed barrier law is not broken here.

      Or, another way to look at it is having two spaceships traveling at the speed of light moving in opposite directions. Form the relative perspective of the first ship, the second ship is moving away from it at 2 times light speed, but neither ship is moving faster then light.

      Now don’t ask me if I understood any of that, because I am still trying to wrap my head around it. This is all from research I needed to do for a story I was writing.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:13 am |
      • Hadenuffyet

        Another simple concept , point two lasers at each other and fire them off simultaneously , the space between the beams collapses at 2X light speed.

        February 24, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • guitarharry

        I think Einstein used a hypothetical scenario similar to yours where he described a train moving close to the speed of light; the lamp on the front the engine should then be sending a stream of light out faster than the established speed of light, but somehow that is not what would happen. I don't quite understand it, but that is what Einstein proposed with his theory, counter-intuitive as it is...

        February 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
      • Steve

        "Or, another way to look at it is having two spaceships traveling at the speed of light moving in opposite directions. Form the relative perspective of the first ship, the second ship is moving away from it at 2 times light speed, but neither ship is moving faster then light."

        No, not quite. In either ships' frame of reference, the other ship is still moving at less than the speed of light, because as their velocity changes, their perception of time and space change. Time dilation and length dilation. It's an insanely interesting thing to think about, once you (sort of) understand the theory.

        February 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
  8. Ron

    idiots

    February 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Chuck

      Ha I actually always wondered that – glad I'm not the only crazy one!

      February 23, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
    • Azo

      Can't refute that logic.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  9. NEAL KELLEY

    Quantum computers here we come.. answers at the time problems are presented..

    February 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  10. mike

    If something moves faster than the speed of light and travels into the past, how do you time it?

    February 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Jean-Luc Picard

      Simple:
      WARP Factors 1-9.5

      February 24, 2012 at 10:24 am |
  11. srichey

    Looking forward to May.

    February 23, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Andrew

      This reminds me of the time we were doing experiments at Argonne National Labs near Chicago. I incorrectly measured the length of a coax cable by about a foot, meaning that signals were arriving about a nanosecond later than we thought. It screwed up the whole experiment, and the lead professor reamed me out. Boy was that embarrassing.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
      • Storms

        Nerd problems...

        February 24, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  12. Mark from Canada

    Nah: "Nah. Most of science, like all endeavors in life, is about positing a conclusion and trying to prove it's true. That's why factions arise in scientific communities where each side believes their theory is right and the other's is wrong. It isn't until neutral third parties pick which side is right that any "progress" is made."

    boy, this poster is ignorant about scientific philosophy. Is this what America does? First off, scientists don't posit conclusions they arrive at them after conducting critical tests. They don't believe their theory, they accept those that have been corroborated. Moreover, they don't prove their hypotheses, but falsify them. Factions occur in science precisely because that is what makes it a healthy dialectic for understanding the nature of the world around us.

    February 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Miami

      Rosenberg and Popper could not have said it better Mark.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  13. EdR

    I don't know what the big "oops" is? I don't think they ever claimed they had the final answer. They just reported on what they observed and opened their results to scientific scrutiny. That's just the way the scientific process works. No "oops" required.

    February 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Lokari

      Exactly. This is how science works. Ideas are tested, tests are reproduced, data is checked. Even the scientists involved in these results were skeptical of them, which is exactly why they published their findings – so other scientists could attempt to reproduce them.
      It dismays me how many apparently anti-science people crow about events like this, as if such experiments were somehow a failure or condemnation of science. Do they not realize this is actually a triumph of the scientific process? This is how it's supposed to work.

      February 24, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • oops

      The media made the oopsy. They stretched it into the "conclusion" that c was no longer a constant (but is still a consonant). Shame on the media.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  14. Liz the First

    Things are only impossible until they're not. how far have we come in the over a hundred years since Einstein wrote this theory? if he were alive today, he might have to disagree with himself. i do believe someday humans will unlock the secrets of warp drive. almost every other technology Gene Roddenberry dreamed up has been invented. they're even working on transporter tech. it'll be interesting to see which one is achieved first.

    February 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • kermit

      right... I seem to recall a transporter depicted in the movie "The Fly". Seems like a great idea!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • egel

      Einstein was wrong lots of times. Everytime he was proven wrong he was hugely embarrased
      So yeah until it can be proven that e=mc2 in macros and quantum physics, its still just an unproven theory

      February 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  15. Pquant

    I find this problem very believable, as my own watch has occasionally throughout my entire life caused many difficulties related to being late to work. There were in fact days when, according to my watch, I had arrived several minutes sooner than the control clocks my employers were using. But really, I still question the famous old equation when it comes to recent advances in quantum mechanics. If an electron can be anywhere (and in effect everywhere) within moments after being initially located, then what's time got to do, got to do with it? What's time – in the quantum realm – but a second hand sentiment? Seriously, please... someone?

    February 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • jim

      If I knew the answer to that, I would be lying on a beach somewhere spending my Nobel Prize money.But Einstein did prove that time is not the real, absolute thing we percieve it to be. There is no such thing as an hour, or a year, or anything, it merely depends on your motion relative to others and the gravity you are experiencingl. If you are on the earth and measure the speed of light, c, it moves 186000 miles in one second. If you are on a speceship hurtiling away from Earth at half the speed of light, and shoot a llight beam ahead of you and measure its speed, common sense would tell tell you ithe lightbeam should only travel 93000 miles in a second because the ship is already going at half light speed. Wrong. You would still measure it shooting out in front of you at 186000 miles per second. That seems impossible and it makes no sense, but it is true. The trick is that time itself slows down on the spaceship (relative to the guy on earth).But the people on the spaceship would experience time moving along normally. And the thing is, both measurements of time are equally valid-no one can say that the earth clock or the spaceship clock are measuring the "real" passage of time.There IS no REAL passage of time. There are an infinite number of possible measuremenst of a given time unit. And they are all equally valid.
      This seems very weird (it is weird) but Einsteins equations have been proven correct over a hundred years of experimentation. Its a strange universe, and our perception ov reality is very very inacurrate and limited.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
      • Postal

        Truth is, time does not exist. It is our method of measuring the rate of the natural phenomenon around us. The truth is, if you are travelling at a constant speed of 100,000 miles per second, and that speed is constant, are you moving? or is everything else around you moving in the opposite direction? Light travels out from its source at a given speed. If you are moving 180,000 miles per second and shoot a light beam forward, it is travelling at light speed relative to its source. Others would perceive it differently, not because it is travelling faster or slower than the speed of light, but because they are moving relative to the source of the light.
        However, when it comes to time, time does not exist. It is a human-created element that is used to measure the reactionary processes of everything around us. Atoms oscillate at certain rates. Things age at certain rates. We take an oscillation that we can reproduce and use it as the basis of measuring the rate that other things change. Nothing more.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  16. Argle Bargle

    How completely silly. Of course there are things that travel faster than light. Man simply lacks the scientific knowledge to detect and measure them. Just as there are things too fine for man's eyes to perceive does not mean they are not there.

    February 23, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Really really?

      Don't tell us! Tell those clumsy scientists that have wasted their entire lives immersed in study and research for no good reason! You owe it to them for since you operate at a higher level than they could ever hope to.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • AmericanSam

      How do you know? Einstein didn't think so.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
      • EdR

        I know nothing about this.. but just using some common sense. If a black hole has enough force/energy to prevent light from escaping then there is obviously a force that is greater than the energy represented by the speed of light. So it seems to be self evident than that light light speed does not represent pure energy and therefore there may well be some other form of energy that travels faster than light. But what do I know.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
      • Lokari

        @EDR – one does not apply 'common sense' to black holes. Black holes defy anything that might be called common sense. Black holes are understood only through extremely complex mathematics. You can't base any conclusions about them on the plot of a 1970s Disney movie.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Bob Joe

      We got a nuclear physicist over here!

      February 24, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • kermit

      huh?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  17. KnowsMore123

    Another complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile millions have no job and no food. Just lock this CERN thing up and throw away the key and stop wasting time and money.

    February 23, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Yeah. What has science ever done for us?

      February 23, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • shawn l

      Tax payer money? idiot, it's not even in the USA.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
      • Alfie A. Neuman

        Don't they pay taxes in Switzerland, too?

        February 23, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Mike

      Tax payer money? How stupid can u be?

      February 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Really really?

      I believe KnowsMore was referring to the complete waste of tax payer money spent on his education.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • nachubang

      Close up CERN??? They created Internet......

      February 24, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  18. John_Dunkel

    If you travelled at the speed of light and cracked a whip. Wouldn't it be faster than the speed of light since the velocity increases with the length of the whip?

    February 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • jake

      A better question is if a photon is travelling at c in one direction, and another at c in the opposite direction, does each photon see the other as travelling at twice the speed of light?

      The answer is no, to understand why look at the wikipedia entries for "relativity." It took me a few months to wrap my dumb brain around the ideas but it is pretty cool once you do.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • California Prisoner

        I would think that at the same moment you see the oncoming particle, it would be hitting you head on.

        An interesting thought is that, if you are on the roof of a train traveling at 100mph and you throw a baseball forward, the ball will travel at 100mph + your throwing strength. Lets say 150mph total. But, if you turn on a flashligh while on the train, the beam of light travels at the speed of light. 180,000 mph. Not 180,100 mph as it would seem. No matter what, the speed of light = c. nothing else.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • KingsX

      Look at it this way, if you are travelling in a car going the speed of light, and you look into a mirror, will you see your reflection? Since you are going that fast, the light from your face won't reach the mirror right? Wrong, the speed of light goes the speed of light, relative to the speed you are currently going. So if you are traveling in a car, going the speed of light and flashed a flashlight at the dash, it'll still reach the dash at the speed of light, regardless of how fast you are traveling. You can't look at the speed of light as flexible, you have to wrap your head around space and time as the flexible ones.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Andrew

        You CANNOT go in a car at the speed of light.

        February 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
    • Freelance Minion

      No, I'm not sure I understand it myself but Einstein's work and a century of follow up by every physicist tell us that if you could race away from me at the speed of light and shoot a light beam in front of you that beam would race from me at the same speed as you,
      MORE weird, if I shoot two beams of light opposite directions each at the speed of light from me they are racing away from each other at... the speed of light, NOT twice the speed.

      Fun huh?

      February 24, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • kermit

      no. perhaps you should read something on physics before posting.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  19. nrt

    Scientists after re-checking the wires and computations: "D'OH!!!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  20. Roy

    Loose wire??????. Come on. How many billions spent on this?

    February 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • pherz

      I don't think they built this accelerator for this experiment only :)

      February 23, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • shawn l

      Not our billions, the swiss paid for it. And the whole thing cost to build it is around the same cost to build three stealth bombers.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
      • Really really?

        Actually, 21 European member states funded CERN.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  21. dr. sheldon cooper

    please correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't the big bang theory, not the tv show, based on the idea that bang was so big that matter did travel faster than the speed of light at inception, then slowed down sometime afterward?

    February 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Fisixs

      Never heard of such a theory. That would be a new one.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • Sean

      No, matter never traveled faster than the speed of light. According to the theory, space expanded faster than the speed of light. There's a difference. Then again, it's a theory. At least scientists base their theories on observations and forethought.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
      • SciGuy

        Right, Sean. We know that no scientists ever have prejudices or precious theories that they will support at any cost.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
      • Ian

        SciGuy, if you are referencing the Theory of Evolution, then you are not even wrong; that has nothing to do with this, and has been solidly been proven to be true.

        February 24, 2012 at 10:36 am |
      • Sean

        @ SciGuy
        No one suggested otherwise simply that they base their ideas on observations and forethought. Why are you so defensive? Did a scientist steal your girlfriend?

        February 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • Ian

      No, according to that, nothing went faster than the speed of light, which means that the vacuum of space expanded faster into whatever our universe is or isn't in, not the matter.

      February 24, 2012 at 10:34 am |
    • Chi-Easternsailor Tran

      The Big Bang theory is dumb! If it explode then there is nothing left in the universe! Is it logical?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
  22. me

    I always try to beat the traffic light. Does that count?

    February 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  23. tom hoffelder

    Just another example (the original reports) of everyone (scientists, the media, everyone) being wrapped up in sensationalism, instead of waiting to see what the real story was, like everyone use to do.

    February 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Postal

      Look at a 1970's encyclopedia set and you'll see just how accurate things "used" to be...

      February 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Sean

      That's the beauty of science, it has no ego. It will revise itself again and again, as needed, as we obtain more knowledge through its practice.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
  24. pherz

    Also in Russia it is well-know that vibration phases can exceed "c" (speed o light) it was observed as cherenkov radiation indicating that C is actually not the absolute speed of electromagnetic vibration.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • pherz

      Correction .. this type of radiation is actually sub-light speed nevermind.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  25. pherz

    Pretty sure Einstein accounted for the possibility of quantum particles/phenomena that would not be applicable to 'universal laws' i.e. tachyon but never ventured to prove them.. which means, they probably do exist but we haven't figured out where yet.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  26. James

    The one thing these Scientists forgot is that we cannot do a physical experiment 100% accurate regardless of equipment or method. It is called margin of error.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • pherz

      I think that is along the lines of 'observer paradox' which speculated about a limit to classical physics simply by trying to observe any scale physical phenomena. But these guys seem to have an inference program which skirts around that limitation Einstein noted or somebody.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • reveriejake

      Actually they did consider that. I dont remember the numbers exactly but it was something like the neutrinos travel ~60ns faster than the speed of light over the given distance with an error of +/- ~20ns. It was stated in the report of the original discovery.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
  27. Hot Eggs

    Whats the point of this? 10 years from now, there will be a new theory!

    February 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • bs

      You do realize that the special theory of relativity is 107 years old, right?!?!

      February 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • guest

      Well apparently Einstein's theory has stood for over 105 years, so I'm not quite sure what you're expecting 10 years from now?

      February 23, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
      • Postal

        Newton's theory was valid from 1687 and was superseded by Einstein's theory for more accurate calculations over 200 years later...perhaps Einstein's is only a "more accurate" method of calculating these things, but it isn't absolute and now is the time for another revelation...

        February 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Yossarian

      There have been new theories every year. Doesn't mean they're good ones, though.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
      • Freelance Minion

        NO, there may be new HYPOTHOSES every year, maybe new crazy guesses. But to a scientist a "theory" is an idea that has been testedand retested and subjected to the fire or criticism and challenge and finally emerged with as many questions as possible answered. The theory can be open to revision and may have huge portions ammended (as Newtonian gravity did after Einstien) but it is not entirely replaced every year.

        February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Eric

      It would have just been easier to say "I dont understand how science works"

      February 23, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • pherz

      The point is that the Universe would not merely still be some fixed and predictable computer essentially but far more complicated than that.. perhaps perfectly complicated meaning there's no exact history or future we can foresee other than physical predictability. It could also mean that there is no universal physics but just relative localities with properties... so the deeper into the Universe you go the more exotic it would get perhaps.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Yeah. Let's just give up on science. It's not like it does anything for us, right?

      I take it you left this comment by rubbing a couple sticks together, right?

      February 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • JT

      You're obviously one of those who doesn't even know what a scientific theory is. Go back to the second grade and take a basic science class.

      February 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  28. Anomaly

    If an object is stagnate in one set spot while the universe speeds past at the speed of "light" then would that mean our perception of it's speed isn't accurate because we havent considered a nonmoving universal particle as light passes by it, if our universe our solar system is also moving then wouldn't that movement effect the actual speed we think light is moving? If you drive 45 miles an hour and a car passes you at 60 miles per hour then wouldn't that equation also apply to our percetion of the "speed of light"

    February 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • scott

      No, it doesn't apply – that's what makes relativity so fascinating.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Postal

      That's the catch with "relativity"...it is relative to the observer. Whatever else is moving is irrelevant.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • Steve

      I'd start by reading "Relativity" by Albert Einstein. He wrote it for laypeople to understand.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • kermit

      NO

      February 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  29. Greenspam

    The only thing faster than light speed is Romney's changing his position to get elected.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • adormon

      Wrong forum for that political hack rhetoric.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
      • kjazz

        Says who? You? He/she can say whatever, even if it's an off-the-cuff, smartass, only somewhat amusing political joke. So lay off. No one appointed you the Gestapo of this forum, so chill. Besides, it was sorta amusing. More than I can say for your dry remonstrance.

        February 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
      • Mance Lotter

        wrong, i did appoint him Gestapo

        February 23, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  30. soicanleavecommentsonblogs

    We would know it was successful before it occurred?

    February 23, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • chris

      Brilliant

      February 23, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  31. bullet1

    These hotshot scientists should live up to what scientists are, by their very calling supposed to do, and that is make sure before you publish. or, measure twice, cut once.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • George

      If you can do better .... go into science. I don't think you will!

      February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • DougieT

      Even so, I'm jealous. Those folks get some really cool toys to play with.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • amphiox

      Actually, they did. They basic thesis of their original publication was "we almost sure we've made a mistake in our measurement here, but we've checked everything we can think of and can't find the source of the error, so we're publishing the results for the entire scientific community to see and help with the error hunt".

      So perhaps they missed out on one of a billion sources of technical error here. They're human.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • kermit

      I don't understand ... I cut it twice and it's still too short!

      February 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  32. Jesus Cristo

    E=MC2 has no relation with the speed of light! they give Einstein too much credit! In actuality he worked in the patent office he could have stolen the idea.... you never will know...

    February 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • bullet1

      Yeah, right. How many degrees in physics do you have? Every scientist in the world has tried to disprove Einstein's theory and have come up short, but you know the answer. La Te Da

      February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Learn your physics

      Wrong. The C in E=MC^2 is "the speed of light"

      February 23, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Me

      That is ridiculous. You clearly don't know enough to even comment on this.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • charlie

      kind of like christians did with the bible, stole the ideas.....

      February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Lomez

        11 comment lines in and we've already covered politics and religion... in a science article. Bra-vo, morons of the universe!

        February 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • George

      I agree ... E = MC2 is a relationship between matter and energy and assumes the constant of the speed of light......... the speed of light being as the limit was discussed in another part.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • chris

      Epic fail! Guess what the C stands for you dolt.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • amphiox

      E=mc2 comes from GENERAL relativity. The speed of light in a vacuum being the universal limit is from SPECIAL relativity, which Einstein developed first.

      Actually, E=mc2 is a DERIVATION, or consequence, of the assumption that the speed of light in a vacuum is the universal limit. The one follows from the other.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • kermit

      and what do you think C represents?

      February 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  33. Steve

    You would think these people have never heard of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. How could they think that they could accurately measure such speeds?

    February 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • George

      That is position ... and energy ... not speed!

      February 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • kermit

      that refers to position of a particle at a specific moment in time.

      February 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  34. Barb

    When it was first announced, they did so to ask the scientific community to help discover if it was possible, or if something wasn't reading properly. They ASKED for help in finding the truth. Why make a big deal about it because it's very likely that it was false readings on a piece of equipment when they even said it could have been something like that?

    February 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  35. RDW

    "CERN said in a statement Thursday that the clock “may not have been functioning correctly when the measurements were taken,” which could have caused the scientists to underestimate the time of flight of the elusive, faster-than-light neutrinos.

    That would mean the particles were actually traveling faster than originally thought."

    When distance is fixed, under-estimation of time leads to overestimation of speed. For example: I live 20 miles from the office. I estimate that it took me 20 minutes to arrive at work, and assume that I've traveled 60 miles per hour. I later discover that my trip actually took me 30 minutes, which means that I actually only traveled 40 miles per hour.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Prasad

      Sloppy reporting by CNN. If the time-of-flight is underestimated, the speed is overestimated (as you point out).

      February 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  36. Marcia

    i drove faster than light to get to work today! So....I know it can be done!

    February 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  37. Tom

    "...which could have caused the scientists to underestimate the time of flight of the elusive, faster-than-light neutrinos.

    "That would mean the particles were actually traveling faster than originally thought."

    Uh, bad writing here. Underestimating the time of flight would mean that the time was greater then originally thought and the particles would be travelling SLOWER than originally thought. Between two fixed points in a straight line, an increased time of flight is the result of a slower speed, not a faster one.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  38. waka waka

    The bartender says, 'hey! we don't serve neutrinos here!'
    A neutrino walks into a bar.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Haha

      Nice... best joke I've seen on here. Clever.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • damniel

      Hilarious!

      February 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • lp

      lol, nice.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  39. John

    I believe that when people report seeing ghosts wearing old fashioned clothing, that they are actually seeing via a warp in space/time. (Everyone knows ghosts don't wear clothing). Or, perhas many people are just on drugs?

    If this is rue, then why doesn't the opposite occur and people report seeing people/events in the future?

    February 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • JonPeter

      ...because future events haven't happened yet? If we could accurately see future events, then the universe would become determinant.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • amphiox

        Maybe the universe IS determinant.

        Time (ha) will tell....

        February 23, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  40. willy

    So, what if a particle that has no mass is excelerated past the speed of light? Infinity times zero. I'm pretty bad at math.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • asdfasdf

      they have that – it's called light! light has no mass, but oddly it does have momentum. this is due in part to that funny thing you mentioned about that zero times infinity thing. in short, you would only be able to measure the mass of a photon of light if you yourself were traveling at exactly the speed of light, but that can never happen. physicists call this the photon's 'relativistic mass.'

      February 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • todd in DC

      When you multiply a number approaching zero by a number approaching infinity, the results vary. If, for instance, a number is approaching zero logarithmically, and another number is approaching infinity linearly, the product of the two would be infinite. If one number is approaching zero factorally, and another is approaching infinity linearly, their product would be zero.

      It really does depend. Sorry, this is about as simple as I can make the concept.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • sharath

      All it means is they accelerated not only the particle but the space around it. Which in turn concludes 2 things
      1. space is not emptiness.
      2. matter that can interact with space is made up of the same "thing!"

      February 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • willy

      Thank you guys! I do find all this interesting.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • amphiox

      Basically, there are grades to the infinitesimally small, and grades to infinity. Some infinities are bigger than others, and some infinitesimals are smaller than others.

      But per relativity, all mass-less particles move at the speed of light, and cannot be accelerated. The pure math of relativity actually doesn't disallow something from moving faster than light. But that thing would have to have a negative mass, would be moving backwards through time, and would never be able to slow down to a speed slower than that of light. (It was from contemplating this mind-bending set of mathematical paradoxes that the theoretical particle called the tachyon arose, to the delight of sci-fi fans and writers everywhere.)

      But basically, negative mass is a non-sensical concept. Which doesn't necessarily mean that it can't exist, as lots of nonsensical thing actually do exist. But lots more non-sensical things really are non-sensical and don't exist. They may have laughed at Galileo, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  41. JC

    I am confident that, by the time I die, scientists will have discovered that virtually everything we have been told is wrong. By definition, an object which occupies a space and has a measurable duration cannot be infinite. Light has a speed limit; one which can be measured. It actually takes light time to go places, therefore simply traveling at light speed does not violate the passing of time. Traveling faster than light still has duration. Certainly, the faster you go, the more close to instantaneous you get, but simply passing light speed does not mean that you will reverse time. I deeply suspect that we will discover that there are particles out there that are faster than light. Our equipment may not detect them, it may be in the distant future that we identify them, but there is no reason why, in a universe powered by gravity, those particles cannot exist.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • G.R.

      You really think all of that will be accomplished in just 9 days, 2 hours, and 23 minutes?

      February 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • asdfasdf

      read the theory of relativity. 'time' isn't just some thing that passes, like some mystical universal force that causes clocks to tick forward and babies to age – time is CREATED by matter and energy! in short, things don't occupy space and time, they make it space and time, and time is simply a concept we apply to processes and changes. the theory of special relativity is based on the principle of equivalence and maxwell's rules of electrodynamics, and it logically follows from those 2 tenets that the speed of light is constant independent of one's frame of reference, and that no matter can exceed it. it's not just simply a matter of "going faster" the only way to overturn relativity in theory is to overturn these basic postulates. again, read the theory!

      February 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • amphiox

        An observation of a single particle with mass moving through spacetime faster than light, as this neutrino finding would have been if it held/holds up, would not overthrow relativity (your relativistic-dependent GPS unit will not immediately stop working the day such a discovery is made!). It would merely suggest that relativity is a "special case" subset of a grander and wider set of theoretical laws, just as Newton boils down to a "special case" subset of relativity.

        The "special case" in both instances being everything human beings had ever experienced up to that point in time.

        February 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • ajk68

      Actually with general relativity it is theoretically possible to exceed the speed of light. This is the whole premise of the Alcubierre warp drive (this is not just sci-fi) – read the wiki page. Note – it is theoretically possible – not practical.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • amphiox

        The relativistic speed limit in relativity applies only to objects with mass moving through space-time. It doesn't apply to anything else. Spacetime itself can expand and contract without limit to speed. This is critical to the inflationary model of the universe, and is the theoretical underpinning of the "warp" drive. (Basically, with a warp drive, you actually DON'T MOVE AT ALL. Instead you grab the spacetime between you and your destination and shrink it up really, really fast, and take the spacetime between you and your origin, and stretch it out really, really fast. Essentially you're grabbing your target and pulling it to you, moving the whole universe around you, while you stand still.)

        The energy required to do such a thing is, as one might expect, cataclysmic in scale.

        February 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
      • kermit

        but you are not increasing the speed ig light, you are folding or warping time and space.

        February 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • amphiox

      "Wrong" is really the wrong (ha!) concept here.

      What we are talking about in science is always DEGREES of wrongness, and DEGREES of rightness. No scientific idea is 100% right, but very few are 100% wrong. Newton was wrong, but that doesn't mean that F=ma is not very close to right, and it doesn't mean that using purely Newton's math (no Einstein at all), NASA can't send a space probe to Mars and have it accurately arrive on target within a 24 minute window (NASA doesn't use Einstein's theories for any missions out beyond the orbit of Venus, as they don't have to. Einsteinian effects from solar gravity don't become significant until you get that close to the sun. In other words, Einstein might be more right than Newton, but Newton is still very right by itself, and Einstein probably isn't completely right either, but the parts of Einstein that are right won't suddenly become wrong the day we find a theory even better than relativity.)

      Or to put it more simply, the hypothesis that the earth is flat is wrong. But it is also right enough that one can use it to draw accurate maps of cities and provinces, and build buildings within a certain size range on its surface that won't fall down. The hypothesis that the earth is round is ALSO wrong, but it is MORE right than the hypothesis of that the earth is flat. The hypothesis that the earth is an oblate spheroid is EVEN MORE right, but also not completely right, and therefore, wrong.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  42. andyst

    The speed of light is contant and time is the variable.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  43. DougieT

    This story reminds me of the time that these two atoms were sitting at a table having lunch when one of the atoms said to the other one, "You know, I lost one of my valence electrons while sleeping last night". The other atom asks, "Are you sure?" And the first atom replies, "Yes, I'm positive".

    February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Bobob

      A neutron walks into a bar and asks for a beer. The bartender gives him a beer, and the neutron asks, "how much?" The bartender replies, "no charge."

      February 23, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Peter

      Very funny

      February 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • kermit

      LMAO

      February 24, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  44. Jonesin

    If the neutrino is travelling faster than light, the very fabric of time is disrupted – what's it matter if your clock is off since it wouldn't be reliable anyway

    February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  45. willy

    I thought so! It was just an excuse for them to get away with speeding! I knew it wasn't allowed.

    February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
  46. emc2

    Okay, so if these particles travelled faster than speed of light, then they must have also travelled back in time, right? If they DID go back in time, then the question is by HOW MUCH. So, for example, if they travelled 1.5 * c, and the light travels this distance in let's say 1 second, then the time it took them to reach destination should be (1 sec / 1.5) – (1 sec * 1.5 – 1 sec), which would have been approx. 0.166 sec.

    First part of the equation before the minus sign calculates how long it took particles to reach destination, the second part after the minus sign compensates for the fact that they also went back in time.

    so basically T = (t / (v/c)) – (t * (v/c) – t)

    where
    T = time it takes the particles to reach the destination
    t = time it takes light to reach the destination
    v = speed of particles
    c = speed of light

    If they traveled twice the speed of light, then (1 sec / 2) – (1 sec * 2 – 1 sec) = -0.5. So they would have arrived before they were transmitted. Neat way to send messages to yourself from the future!

    The article doesn't say what the supposed speed of these particles was, but since the article hints that they arrived only mimimally faster than expected, it could have been maybe something like 1.1 * c. It would then point to possible error in measurements due to faulty cable or whatever.

    It would be great if someone could check and correct my calculations (I am no physicist). How fast would they have to go to arrive at the destination EXACTLY at the same time they were emmited? Little bit over 1.5c I suppose.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • jsc

      I have emailed your calculations to the OPERA group for confirmation

      February 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
      • Jason

        trolololol

        February 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Stewie

      I guess you watched Steins;Gate

      Cuz w/e you just mentino actually match the anime series in Steins;Gate

      February 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Steel

      That's not quite the way it works. Assuming that both the transmitter and the receiver are in the same frame of reference (stationary relative to each other), then even a faster-than-light particle will arrive after it departed. Faster-than-light travel would permit the particle to arrive before it departed only in a frame of reference traveling at a substantial velocity relative to the transmitter, and the amount of time would depend on both the velocity of the particle and the velocity of the receiver relative to the transmitter.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • emc2

        Interesting, thanks for the explanation. Actually I just looked up the speed of Earth orbiting the Sun, as well as speed of our galaxy as it moves through the space. The second is much faster, possibly around 600 km/s. Still only a fraction of 300,000 km/s. If that somehow affected the result of the OPERA experiment, it was not by much I suppose.

        Another interesting experiment would be to have a transmitter and receiver traveling through space at substantial speed towards each other, while the transmitter shoots particles (for example a laser beam) at the receiver. The speed of the particles relative to the receiver would exceed the speed of light, wouldn't it? I suppose that's what you meant by frame of reference.

        I guess we will know more after the next OPERA experiment in May. It's really exciting, hopefully other researchers will confirm the results.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Mobes

      If I will be able to send messages to myself from the future, how come I haven't gotten them yet?

      February 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • emc2

        Because you don't have the receiver :-) As soon as you get one, you will get your messages, hopefully the ones about the stock market. Sorry, couldn't resist, but seriously, I don't think it will ever be possible.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
      • chris

        AT&T charges extra for that service.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • ajk68

      Dude, you need to learn special relativity. d=rt doesn't work when calculating in multiple reference frames. That's why it's called relativity.

      February 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
      • emc2

        Thanks for good advice, I really loved physics in high school. Unfortunately I don't have now the time to take classes or even treat it as a hobby. I wish OPERA researchers luck, glad someone is doing something exciting.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  47. Brad

    And so begins the diabolical cover-up of the recently invented neutrino-particle radio, which can send messages backwards and forwards in time...

    February 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Typinator

      Sub-space message coming in. Would you like to take it in your ready-room?

      February 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  48. homer

    BORING

    February 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Typinator

      The CERN accelerator is a doughnut homer – doesn't that make it more interesting?

      February 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Rodknocker

        Doh!

        February 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  49. Allen

    Fact is that any matter going near the speed of light, that matter slow down in time. That was base on atomic clock move at space in a high speed and come back out of sync with the other atomic clock. The idea or theory is that any energy that push a matter past the speed of light will bend space, create door to dimension, time travel, etc. Then we get all this sci fy show.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Postal

      Not fact. Fact is that the clocks came out of synchronization. Theory is that time slowed. Possibility that the environment that one clock was placed in caused a difference in the oscillation rate of the molecular structure used to calculate the passage of time. This means there was a perceived slow in time, but not an actual slowing of time. That begs the question, though, whether that perceived slowing of time because of the altered state of the particles would also translate to a similar change in the molecular behavior of all matter. If so, then in theory, time could be "slowed" by "speed" or certain environments, but that is a misnomer. Time is not slowed, only the molecular functions of atomic and subatomic particles are slowed. Thus, time does not exist. It is a human construct. What exists is the molecular progression of atoms and subatomic particles. We simply have created a method for counting or measuring that progression and have called it "time".

      February 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
      • Mike B.

        I'm no physicist , but I DO know the proper use of the phrase "begs the question"...learn this before posting ANYTHING !!!!

        February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • Postal

        I'm sorry...
        "Begging the question is similar to the fallacy of many questions: a fallacy of technique that results from presenting evidence in support of a conclusion that is less likely to be accepted, rather than merely asserting the conclusion. A specific form of this is reducing an assertion to an instance of a more general assertion which is no more known to be true than the more specific assertion."
        Seems to me that my presenting evidence in support of a conclusion that is less likely to be accepted would easily describe the comment that I made that asserted certain unknown "reasons" for time change than what is generally accepted. But then, I may be wrong...

        February 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
  50. LWJR

    Ok, Star Trek is dead. Why look for life on planets we have no possibility of ever visiting on a spaceshuip (which cannot be constructed). Warp back to reality and cut the govt funding for nonsense research.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • Allen

      Because the human race is doom if we stay on this planet. There is a limit to the planet on resource and unless human race learn to produce an other source of energy and resource, we have to travel and tera form other planet.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • latuya83

      What an ignorant comment, do you have any idea how many new technologies that we use on earth today were discovered thanks to the space program? We might not be going very far in space yet, but the residual from their research has help humanity and many other ways.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • speedfreak

      The fact of relativity is that you CAN travel almost instantly to any place in the universe (excluding practical limits on your ability to survive near infinite acceleration and deceleration). Thus, given sufficient energy for acceleration and technology to survive it, nothing prevents you from visiting anywhere you want as fast as you want. Of course, once you get there and come “home” to Earth, those of us here will have aged greatly. This comes from the essence of relativity -no matter how much you accelerate, you can always accelerate more in YOUR frame of reference; only the outside observer sees you limited to light speed from their frame.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • jsc

      Of course it's impossible to construct a spaceshuip. Who ever heard of a spaceshuip?

      February 23, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Steel

      First, these experiments aren't about life on other planets; they are about the fundamental nature of the universe, including here on Earth. Second, considering that technological development is perhaps the single largest driver of economic growth, government funding of scientific and technological research is money well-spent, even from a thoroughly practical perspective. Third, the amount of government money going to scientific research is extremely small compared to the budget as a whole, most of which does not contribute significantly to increased production in the long term.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Dan, TX

      There could be habitable planets in the alpha-Centari group. It would take less than 1000 years to get there. At 0.1x the speed of life (conceivable technology) it would only take 40-50 years to get there. Not impossible, just very very improbable.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rahul

      People like the poster here were the same that told newton, einstien, galileo, copernicus, et al that they were just wasting their time. Do everyone here a favor and don't comment on a topic that you don't understand.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • George Smoot

      If we only did "applied research," we would still be making better spears.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  51. Brad

    The problem is, the speed of light is variable dependent on gravity. So in the presence of a large gravity field, something traveling at the 'speed of light' outside of the field is going faster than light to those within the field.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • MC

      No, half-wit, that is not the problem. The problem was a loose cable.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  52. Q

    As usual, a science blog turned into a philosophical blog. Would that be considered magic or by design. We cant even get past fossil fuels and war. And we debate the equation of the nature of the universe. It is entertainment I suppose.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  53. Dr. Sheldon Cooper

    Ah...you guys fell for one of my classic pranks. BAZINGA!!

    February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • Leonard Hofstadter

      Sorry Sheldon, it's all true. Amy and I checked it out.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  54. longtooth

    Proof that things happen faster than the speed of light. My wife knows I'm wrong before I do something.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Sean

      Maybe you are just slow.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Hadenuffyet

        Maybe you aren't married.

        February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
      • Sean

        Try again

        February 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  55. wow

    I am glad to see the scientific method being followed. The scientists put this information out a long time ago and asked for individuals to comment on possible problems with the findings and methodology. I cannot begin to imagine how complex the machine is and to have one small wire possibly invalidate a tremendous finding must be infuriating. However, that is how science is done. You put out your findings and hope they stand the test of time. We will see what comes of the new experiments and the many others to follow.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • bud in NC

      whoever left that wire loose, should be made to stand in the corner for ten minutes plus the time of his miscalculation. And no Tv all week, and no desert.

      That should make everything alright.

      February 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • Marine5484

        Depends on which country the scientist is from.......if it is Germany they will be executed at dawn...they do not tolerate mistakes like that.

        February 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  56. gmg

    Can someone please make Nah go away? Just take a break or something.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  57. Mike

    Reading this article, I often wonder if we misunderstood Einstein’s intent, when he said that the speed of light is a constant that cannot be exceeded – to go beyond it would be to look back in time. Did he really mean that achieving speeds in excess of the speed of light will result in time travel, or was he saying that we would “observe” events that have already occurred in the Universe as a result of exceeding the speed of light.
    When we observe stars, we are looking at history, because their light takes several light years to reach us. Betelgeuse in the Constellation of Orion is some 640 light years away. If Betelgeuse suddenly exploded today, we wouldn't know about it for close on 640 years. But, if we travelled from Earth to Betelgeuse in a ridiculously fast 30 minutes, we would see history unfold right in front of our eyes. When we reached the vicinity of Betelgeuse (and hopefully missed and survived the explosion), we would be looking back at our own Sun as it appeared 640 years ago (minus 30 minutes travelling time). But, did we achieve time travel? Or, did we just overtake light particles from our own Sun, and reach Betelgeuse 640 years (minus 30 minutes) before they did? And, if we turned around and travelled back to our own Sun, when we arrived, would we not then see Betelgeuse still in existence some 640 years ago (minus 2 x 30 minutes travelling time, minus time spent in the region of Betelgeuse)?
    I'm not a physicist, and cannot pretend to understand the physics of the universe. But, if it were possible by some process to overtake the speed of light particles, would we really be achieving time travel?

    February 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
    • Allen

      From what i know, going fast will slow time. The idea was that an atomic clock was place in space traveling around the earth at really fast. The clock come back a few second slow. Then hollywood took that theory and make time travel.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • Stephen

        Allen, I thought it was anti-submarine planes over some Eastern United States Bay flying for 15+ hours with a special clock on board? I don't know.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Subspace

      According to the theory of relativity (E=MC(2)) time (T) becomes negative when your speed accelerates beyond the speed of light. The problem though is that at the speed of light (C), your mass becomes infinite, so something with mass (like a human or space ship, could never get to the speed of light. If you could somehow jump the speed of light and go faster, your mass becomes ok but time becomes negative – time travel.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  58. daeh ttub

    For those of you that never shared a dorm with theoretical physicists, this comes as absolutely no surprise to us friends of geeks. Brilliant minds often have problems with the most basic practical applications like neatness, bathing, and keeping the most basic everyday items working. I wonder how many unpaid intern/geeks/Post-Docs are working at CERN. They've already had one major explosion due to another goof. Here's wishing them continued successs and SAFETY as they continue to push the envelope of discovery. Wear your safety goggles and hard hats...

    February 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  59. Uncle Al

    Sloppy data connections happen. Correction and public notification are ethical and laudable. Theorists abundantly "proved" the absurd inaccurate observation, on arXiv. Physical theory desperately needs pruning, for it utters jibberish without guilt. Dissing *special* relativity is a fool's errand. Special Relativity is physics on a topologically trivial Lorentzian manifold with a metric whose curvature tensor is zero. This is a perfectly diffeomorphism-invariant condition and does not require any particular coordinate choice. It is invariant under the full group of diffeomorphisms. The Poincare group is the group of isometries of the metric in special relativity.

    To criticize is to volunteer.

    General relativity is not sacred. Einstein-Cartan-Kibble-Sciama gravitation ignores the Equivalence Principle. EP = true is relativity. EP = false has testable EP, hence relativity, violations. One ECKS emergent observable is newly interactive: physical chirality. Relativity has no defense – violation without contradiction.

    Crystallography illuminates. Chemically and macroscopically identical single crystals in enantiomorphic space groups are EP-violations: gamma-Glycine [space groups P3(1) versus P3(2)] or alpha-quartz [space groups P3(1)21 versus P3(2)21]. Good observation prunes theory. Somebody should look,

    Existing apparatus, commercial materials, 70-year old classcial theory. What is not to like?

    February 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  60. Mike

    The next time a cop pulls me over for speeding, I'll be sure to remind him that there may be some "loose wiring" in his radar gun that caused it read my speed faster than it actually was.

    February 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
    • Hugo

      Let us know how that goes...

      February 23, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Lean6

      Or just tell him that he's a professional liar and thief or "revenue generator" for his jurisdiction, which is 110 percent truth.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • Ca Ed

        Generally, when I get pulled over my goal is to get out of the ticket.

        However, in your case you seem to want to accelerate the process and see what punishment or response you can garner.
        Rather than verbalizing your assertions to illicit a response try this; step out of your vehicle in traffic, tell the officer he is a pig/wimp/money-grubbing-civil-servant that you pay for, and attempt to throw the first punch.

        I feel that the above will provide the maximum pleasure/pain ratio that you seek.

        PS. You might attempt a high speed pursuit but there is a possibility that the officer will back off and allow you to go about your business thus depriving you of the interaction that you wanted in the first place.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Answerman28

      Once I beat a ticket. My argument was that I wasnt speeding and unless you are on a perfectly straight road, there is no way a radar detector can be correct if you cant first somehow also calculate in the length and geometry of the curve. I think the judge may have just been sick of listening but I got off and all I lost was a days pay from work to go fight it.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • Robert

        You plead your case to an idiot then because everyone knows that the curve causes your speed to be recorded lower than you're actually traveling. The speed on the gun is always less than your actual speed unless you're traveling directly at it. That being said, speeding tickets are all about revenue and have no effect on public safety.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • Sean

        @ Robert
        To be fair he said he argued that the radar gun was not correct. Not that it showed a higher speed than he was going. In a legal since this is all one needs. If you can prove the evidence against you is not accurate then you have reasonable doubt.

        But then again maybe i'm reading to much into it.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  61. EdR

    If time travels in waves, just like a radio or broadcast TV signal, or light for that matter, and these particles travel in more of a straight line, maybe they are not faster than the speed of light, rather literally traveling through time. no?

    February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • binky42

      We are always traveling through time.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
      • EdR

        are we traveling through time.. or on time? Like a surf board floating on a wave of time, or cutting through time like a torpedo?

        February 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • EdR

        what you may perceive as traveling through time is one time wave overlapping with another time wave.. like throwing two rocks in a clam lake at the same time. The waves intersect.. so it looks like one is traveling through the other.. but nothing on the surface of either wave is traveling through time itself.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • dunno

      time is not matter and does not "travel".

      February 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • EdR

        time is not matter.. and does not travel, but matter travels on it.. or through it.... just like distance.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
      • dunno

        no, matter travels distance measured by time.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • EdR

        depends on the definition of time I guess. Is gravity a unit of measure? How about space?

        February 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
      • dunno

        gravity is a force. space is area occupied by matter.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
      • BryanP100

        Time is a measurement, "a second" is the same as "an inch" in that regard and will not change much like an inch will always be an inch.

        If we learn to travel faster than light, time will not go backwards... it will just take less time to get places.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
      • Sean

        Dunno is correct.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • Mondoshawan

        Time not important. Only life important.

        February 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
      • EdR

        Maybe the reason we haven't been able to solve some of the biggest questions about the universe and the nature of time and space, or what gravity actually is.. is because we are so sure about the answers that we think we already have.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • Hugo

      Time is just one of the dimensions.

      It might be possible that the particles took a "shortcut." I don't know if this is possible in physics. It makes sense (at least to me) in mathematics.

      Consider a 2D Earth. Calculate the time it would take for a particle, moving at the speed of light, to travel from NYC to Alice Springs along the surface of the Earth. Now, calculate the time it would take if the particle were allowed to travel through the core of the Earth (and still travel at the same speed). Shorter distance, same speed, less time to complete.

      This is pure speculation and I don't really plan to defend this hypothesis. Just something I thought up in response to your post.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
      • dunno

        time is a unit of measure.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Hugo

        dunno, yes time is a unit of measure also.

        My example of cutting through the Earth is from Stephen Hawking. Right or wrong, perhaps you should read his book.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • dunno

        yes I read it. Brilliant man, butvnot the only game in town.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm |
  62. bc

    Oops! CNN falls prey to sub-standard journalism (again)!
    Paragraph 9 is incorrect. Assuming the statement in paragraph 8 (that the error "caused the scientists to underestimate the time of flight" of the neutrinos) is correct, this would overestimate their velocity. Paragraph 9 incorrectly states the opposite.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Grieg

      You beat me to it. I was just going to point that out.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Physicist

      Foot, meet mouth.

      To "UNDERestimate" the neutrinos TIME OF FLIGHT would be the same as concluding they traveled FASTER than light.

      The shorter the "time of flight", the faster something is going. If you underestimate, you are estimating the time of flight is LESS than it actually is, which concludes the speed is FASTER than you estimated.

      Therefore paragraph 9 correctly correlates what paragraph 8 states. There's no error there.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
    • randomname

      Incorrect. If you're not sure how long something is in flight and you underestimate how long it took, it's like saying you think your flight from Los Angeles to New York took 8 hours, until you later found out it actually took 9 hours. You underestimated how long it took, ergo it's moving faster than you think (less time of travel). The article is poorly worded, but correct.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
      • Eclectic Dreck

        The statement is, in fact, correct. It is pretty simple: If something moved 1 meter in 1 second (actual flight time) but, thanks to measurement error, I calculated it took .5 seconds, I have underestimated the time of flight. This means, because of my measurement error, I have arrived at the conclusion that my rate of travel is 2 meters per second. Thus my underestimation resulted in the conculsion that the object moved faster than it really did. If I instead measure that the object took 2 seconds to move one meter, I could arrive at the conclusion that it traveled at .5 meters per second.

        Underestimation of the time, in short, means I conclude something took less time to travel a given distance thus meaning I conclude it is going faster. Overestimation means it took longer to move a given distance and thus moves slower.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
  63. KTzen

    So Nah, finally you slip – "If it had no substance then how could they miss a point that doesn't exist? Contradiction one." You are simply restating the question posed to you – and basketcase's point entirely! That is your contradiction to explain, esp. as you had previously stated in reference to your CAP post: "As said above, you evidently mistook the point of the post."

    Oh how the Mighty have fallen! nah-nah--nah-nah-nah !!!!

    "...who art in nah nah, blessed be nah nah...."

    February 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  64. palintwit

    Physicists at the prestigous Sarah Palin University have determined that the speed of light is directly related to the wattage of the light bulb.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
    • palintwit

      Ergo, a 25 watt bulb is slower than a 60 watt bulb. A 60 watt bulb is slower than a 100 watt bulb. And so on...

      February 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Allen

      Could be intense of the light. Some sensor could only pick up a minimum of the light radiation. The different in watt could have a different initial rate of energy. So it could be the first set of light radiation that touch the sensor was to weak to trigger it.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • Sean

      @ palintwit
      The question now is can she see the light bulb from her house or is it moving to fast for her.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
  65. Mike

    There was a young lady named Kite
    Whose speed was much faster than light.
    She left home one day
    In a relative way
    And returned on the previous night.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • kermit

      I love that ... thanks

      February 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  66. Max

    The saddest part about this whole discussions is how information regarding an experiment turned into a religious debate.
    Just for kicks, someone tell me where it says God placed the speed of light as the speed limit. If you can't find it, then why is God even mentioned. Why does religion hate science and science hate religion? Why can't they both be right for that matter?
    I think they can. Maybe God gave us science so that we can better ourselves, or would the religious only, rather live in filth, hunger and disease, all things science brought to the lives you live everyday. And as for science beating up religion, where is that written? In fact, based on science, God could very well exist as he/she/it can not be proven or dis-proven.
    The only area that seems to keep this idiotic argument alive is Creationism. There is no amount of time given to say how old the Earth or the universe is. Days are used. Some argue that a day is 1000 years, but in some cases it is just that, one day, so who is to say which measurement was used where? Then there is the most important of all the items that seem to be overlooked, Day 7. God rested. How long did he rest? It doesn't continue with day 8, so why would anyone assume ANY number. Perhaps he rested for 1 Billion years. How long was Adam alone? How long were he and Eve in the garden before taking the apple? It doesn't say, so why is it assumed that there is ANY number given to the age of the Earth?
    The next argument will be ages given. I find flaw in that as he was immortal before his indiscretion. Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”
    So, there is NO AGE GIVEN TO THE AGE OF THE EARTH IN THE BIBLE.
    One last note. The argument over dinosaurs. If you want to play both sides, it's easy. Adam and Eve were in the garden of eden. They bore no children until AFTER the apple so hence there would be no MANKIND to be found mingled with the dinosaurs.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:49 pm |
    • binky42

      Religion and science can co-exist very well if people stopped reading the Bible literally. The Bible is full of contradictions anyway. If God intended for the Bible to be taken literally, why would He make it so contradictory?

      February 23, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
      • Allen

        It can if they want to, but i believe that religion people cannot accept any thing beside their religion, because they spend their whole life worshiping something or someone that not their. Plus Religion is always about making money. Do you see the amount of money the priest and clerk make. Tax free, millionaire who need to only read one book, no wonder they fight so hard to make everyone believe it.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
      • Hugo

        Allen, religion is ALWAYS about making money? That's a pretty broad statement. I don't suppose you are willing and able to back that up with sufficient evidence...

        One or two cases doesn't demonstrate that always is true.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • Hugo

        Allen, what about people who change their religion? I knew a woman (now deceased) who was born a Mormon. She wanted nothing to do with the Mormons once she was an adult. She ended up getting a court order to stop the missionaries from entering her property.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • H in Texas

        Oh that one is easy to answer: Because "God" didn't write the bible. It is a compilation of many people's works that was cobbled together and translated by others and depending on which interpretation/compilation you are reading has different content. So "God" didn't mean for it to be taken in any particular way because the invisible imaginary guy didn't have anything to do with it. Heck if you wanted to pin someone down as having the biggest impact on how the bible you read today is meant to be taken why not pick Constantine? He started the council that eventually took over and picked through the material that would be in it.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
      • Sean

        >Religion and science can co-exist very well if people stopped reading the Bible literally.

        That is the latest trend in a desperate attempt to preserve old superst.itions in the face of modern science. Many Christians today however still believe it to be factual in the most literal sense as it has been taught since the first printing. A relatively short time ago had someone said this they would have been burnt at the stake by their fellow Christians.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Max

      typo correction: All things that science brought RELIEF to the lives you live everyday. Missing that one word made all the difference in my point.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Mark

      Dinasaurs could have possibly been mentioned in the Bible in the book of Job or atleast described a beast similar to one. It takes more faith to believe in some of the science of man than creationalism. Science has yet to prove how something comes from nothing. Look around, look at the cells inside the body. How can all of this and the compexity just have happened and happened without a creator.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • H in Texas

        LOL, so since you can't conceptualize how it could be then it was "created' by invisible men in the sky? The hole that religion plugs gets smaller and smaller by the second and at every turn people defend it saying "well that's not what my religious text meant, what they REALLY meant was ". Someday very soon they will complete the puzzle and I will be waiting on the edge of my seat to hear the new excuse from religion why there still was an invisible sky king that made it all.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
      • Sean

        @Mark
        >Science has yet to prove how something comes from nothing.

        That’s not what science says actually. You assume there was a time when there was nothing. If you are referring to the “big bang’ the most modern addition to the theory (that I am aware of) is there wasn’t just ONE big bang but a continuing cycle of expansion and collapse. But you’re right we don’t know for sure so let’s just make something up like an all powerful jew god in the sky.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Mark from Canada

      Religion and science can co-exist, but the postulates of religion are both absurd and untestable. Moreover, the two are diametrically opposed in the way they explain the world. One purports to have an explanation that is external to verification and will have its members condemn you if you disagree with their dogma – that's religion. Science, in contrast, seeks explanations through critical theory, constant inquiry, and will try to understand why you have a different conclusion and how you arrived at it. If you are a religious scientist, then you don't understand the whole of science, but you can certainly practice it. If you are an agnostic or an Athiest scientist, then you have a good understanding of the philosophy as it relates to our place in the universe. Perspective people. We are a lonely planet in the cosmos. Only human vanity could think ourselves so important to have an explanation for the whole when we've only explored a tiny portion of this atom of dust in relation to the universe that's out there. What a vacuous line of thought religion is, what a waste of human capacity for critical thinking, and what a waste of a life.

      February 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  67. Mr. Grumpy

    Someone hand Nah a medal. At least one person recognizes that scientists are human and not gods. They carry their own set of biases, beliefs, and all the other less than desirable attributes of humans (greed, desire for power, jealousy, etc.) Anyone who has studied the history of science realizes this.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  68. ygbfsm

    So their loose wiring 'experiment' was repeated 15,000 times for higher accuracy, eh? Perhaps they could send a technician with a screwdriver back in time to tighten the errant loose wiring? The definition of insanity is to repeat the same actions over and over, expecting to see different results the 15,000th time before tightening-up loose wires..

    February 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  69. Nate

    Jesus existed. It's historical fact. I get a kick out of comments from those trolling, saying he never existed. We have more valid evidence for the existence of Christ than any other ancient historical figure.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • binky42

      What? If you take the Bible, and other non-contemporary religious writings away, there is very little historical evidence for Jesus. His character is probably an amalgamation of several different people from around that era. The Qumran Scrolls, which are some of the earliest associated Christian texts, don't even mention Jesus by name.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
      • Chris Johnson

        All true, though the Qumran scrolls are Jewish, not Christian. Most historians say Jesus' existence may be probably, but you can't prove it.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • bc

        The Dead Sea Scrolls were (mostly) written before the time of Jesus. How could they mention Him?

        February 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • becauseican

        umm.. duh! haven't you ever heard of the shrowd of Turin? All the proof you need right there, buckaroo.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
      • I = rubber, U = glue

        Is that the shroud of Turin that they allowed 3 different independant groups to use carbon dating with the results showing the approximate the age of the material to be 700 A.D.?

        Jesus was wrapped in materials that did not exist when he supposedly died. Just another miracle I suppose.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • M

      Really? How about you site one single piece of historical evidence to back up this claim. Good luck.....there is none!

      February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Les

      OK, He existed, a lot of people existed... None of them were the son of GOD.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • RonBurgandy

      Nate, were you there to witness? Or did you do carbon dating on some skull you found? Or you just pulling it out of your A...

      February 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • Allen

      You do know that in the dark age, church was willing to do anything to protect their religion, so they burn all book disprove their religion.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Robert

      sorry but that's just a patently false statement. Study some other religions and you'll find that Jesus is nothing more than an amalgamation of far older religious figures from other belief systems.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • darwin

        Notice how Jesus name keeps being brought up in this discussion. After all, he is the only "God" who got up off his throne and came down to Earth.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  70. Joshua Ludd

    And once again... science looks at the evidence and self-corrects. This would have shaken some of the most basic pillars of physics, which I and many scientists and other science geeks found that idea fascinating, and I'm sure that while this is a bit reassuring its also a bit of a let down.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
    • binky42

      I don't see this as a complete dismissal of the results. What if they fix the calibration issues, run the same tests, and get the same results? I'm willing to bet these technical issues were very minor.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  71. oton

    I REP

    The brainy comments at this blogs are missing a much more prosaic truth:

    NOT ALL SCIENTISTS ARE HONEST

    These CERN guys, which attained a result against an enormous amount of other evidence, being the discrepance micro-minimal, should have done what any mathematics pr physics pre-guadate student would have performed

    To check all the measurements parameters

    Some of this implies a difficult task, but it is really a joke that one of these was a ... loose wire!!!

    But instead, they published the results with the clear intent to attain fame.

    Obviously, the speed of light figure in vacuum itself 299,792.458....7. is not written in stone, it could be, using ever more precise instruments, 299,792,458....8.. !!!!, which would mean nothing regarding Einstein's theory

    By the way: over-science and physical ailments sometime converts scientists in BUFFOONS, as in the case of the great Stephen Hawking, an existence of GOD denier, by saying 1) "The world was created from...NOTHING",.and when confronted with the consequent ridicule, changed it: 2) "World was created by GRAVITY.... ", forgetting to say who created Gravity...!!! These being statements so anti-science that even the most fanatic fundamentalist would not dare to compete with (in reverse)!!

    (Hawking later tried to ammend, by telling that he was not denying the existence of GOD, only the one of a PERSONAL GOD. Of course, this is a complete different isssue!)

    February 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • MarkinFL

      Since that is exactly what they did, thus finding a loose wire, I do not see what the problem is here. Also, this is not your home computer we are talking about. finding that loose wire is not a matter of peaking under a desk.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      They did check all the instruments, that's how they found the loose wire. They went ahead and published their findings anyways because of such the large implications that the results had on the scientific community. They knew it would take some time for others to set up the experiment and gave them time to do so as well as telling them to please test the results because they haven't yet finished checking everything.

      You're getting angry about things you don't understand. And about the beginning of the universe, every theory holds the same weight because we know so little about it. What we do know is that the universe is able to work on its own without a god so when it comes to theories about the origin of the universe, the better ones are the ones that never bring god into them at all.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • magnus

      Incredible that they would publish their findings that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light without checking their equipment. I agree that they were more interested in fame rather than establishing a control group. What a let down.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
      • A scientist

        They didn't publish these findings. They got a shocking result that they couldn't explain, so turned to others in the scientific community to help find an explanation. Despite yours and others' attempts to find something nefarious or unethical here, they did exactly what you would hope a scientist would do when they got a shocking unexplained result.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • Les

      There is as much evidence for GOD as there is for UFO's. Prove me wrong.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • binky42

      Les – we know there are other planets in our universe which could support life, so the idea of UFO's isn't that far-reaching. Belief in God can only be taken on faith, so evidence isn't required.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • nogod

      It's a shame how scientist and anyone else for that matter have to tip-toe around the subject of God. Hawking should have just man upped and said flat out that there is no God and only the ignorant believe their is. The intelligent that claim to be faithful only use religion to control the ignorant. It is astonishing how people can close their eyes to the truth because it contradicts what their mommies and daddies taught them.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
      • Robert

        Hawking did no such thing because it's not possible to prove the non-existance of anything. At best one can assume god's non-existence because it is just makes no sense and there is a complete lack of evidence to support the existence of any god. Many of us reached this conclusion long ago. It's an act of futility to try and convince those who's stability rests upon the existence of a god that he isn't real. They need him to be real far too much to allow themselves to ever see the fallicy of it all.
        Give up, walk away, leave them to their delusion.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
    • A scientist

      Your bashing of these scientists might be more meaningful if you had your basic facts correct. They did not publish their results. They got an unexpected result that they couldn't explain, so turned to the scientific community for help. Rather than publishing the results, they asked other scientists to look over the results and try to identify a problem that they might have missed. Opening their results up to scrutiny is exactly what I would hope a scientist would do in this situation.

      February 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  72. oton

    The brainy comments at this blogs are missing a much more prosaic truth:

    NOT ALL SCIENTISTS ARE HONEST

    These CERN guys, which attained a result against an enormous amount of other evidence, being the discrepance micro-minimal, should have done what any mathematics pr physics pre-guadate student would have performed

    To check all the measurements parameters

    Some of this implies a difficult task, but it is really a joke that one of these was a ... loose wire!!!

    But instead, they published the results with the clear intent to attain fame.

    Obviously, the speed of light figure in vacuum itself 299,792.458....7. is not written in stone, it could be, using ever more precise instruments, 299,792,458....8.. !!!!, which would mean nothing regarding Einstein's theory

    By the way: over-science and physical ailments sometime converts scientists in BUFFOONS, as in the case of the great Stephen Hawking, an existence of GOD denier, by saying 1) "The world was created from...NOTHING",.and when confronted with the consequent ridicule, changed it: 2) "World was created by GRAVITY.... ", forgetting to say who created Gravity...!!! These being statements so anti-science that even the most fanatic fundamentalist would not dare to compete with (in reverse)!!

    (Hawking later tried to ammend, by telling that he was not denying the existence of GOD, only the one of a PERSONAL GOD. Of course, this is a complete different isssue!)

    February 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • binky42

      It was their professional duty to announce the results, so other scientists could check the findings as soon as possible. Anyway, they released the findings in arXiv, which is a non-peer reviewed open access forum for pre-publication. It's not like the findings were set in stone and gospel as soon as they were announced.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
  73. KTzen

    Theoretically speaking, nah-nah - nah-nah-nah !!!!

    February 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  74. Nah Nah

    Theoretically speaking, nah-nah - nah-nah-nah !!!

    February 23, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  75. mstrawl

    On a good day I'm faster than the speed of light.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Lucifer

      Your wife also said that, thats why she has me over three days a week...I take my time...

      February 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  76. justmeanddog

    300,000 km per second is the maximum velocity of Light in a vacuum. I’m pretty sure that the maximum velocity of light through solid rock is zero. I have no clue what the Maximum velocity of Neutrinos through solid rock is. Also what happens if a Neutrino hits another Neutrino going in another direction and is deflected slightly? I am assuming that Neutrinos are flying through Earth in all direction not just in the same direction as the ones whose velocity they are trying to measure.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • binky42

      "I have no clue what the Maximum velocity of Neutrinos through solid rock is." – It's close to the speed of light. Because Neutrinos have practically no mass they're hard to slow down or stop. It would take a wall of lead about a lightyear thick to stop a neutrino.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
      • justmeanddog

        “It would take a wall of lead about a lightyear thick to stop a neutrino”. Or, and I am only guessing here, the ability to accurately predict the exact path of the Neutrino and put a much thinner piece of lead in its way?

        February 23, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • magnus

      the scientists did not claim that neutrinos travel slower than the speed of light, but rather they claimed it traveled faster. That was the point. Instead of controlling for their results, they published it quickly hoping for fame.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • Michael G.

      "I’m pretty sure that the maximum velocity of light through solid rock is zero."

      Maybe if you're talking about an effective speed for visible light. "Light" consists not only of visible light that we can see, but all wavelengths of light. The effective speed of visible light through solid rock may be zero, but the speed of any given photon of light in solid rock would certainly not be zero. Since photons are packets of energy, and these can be absorbed by molecules, the close packing of molecules in solid rock would prevent a given photon from traveling far (depending on the wavelength of the photon, and the wavelengths that the material absorbs at) before being re-absorbed by another molecule...

      As for what happens if neutrinos collide, at speeds approaching the speed of light (in a vacuum), it takes exponentially more energy to increase your speed further. So, even a highly energetic collision between neutrinos would not change their speed much. On top of that, neutrinos have such a tiny mass that, in the off-chance that they "collided", a "highly energetic collision" might not be as energetic as you'd expect given their speed.

      Take this all with a grain of salt, as I'm not a quantum physicist (just a meteorologist :P ), and this is all from "memory".

      February 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  77. RckyMtnGrl

    Only one way to settle this as I can see: Einstein vs. Jesus, Thunderdome-style.

    Now how to get them there...

    February 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • binky42

      Probably wouldn't be much of a fight – they were both pacifists.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • RckyMtnGrl

        DOH! Point for binky42. I should know better than to attempt to contribute to religio-scientific debate. Back to Sudoku I go.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Lucifer

      Einstien bows down at Jesus feet and says thank you father for the knowledge you bestowed apon me. Your the creator of all things and all science is as you made it.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • binky42

      Einstein was Jewish.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
      • Obvious

        So was Jesus.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • magnus

        so was jesus

        February 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • magnus

        binky just got OWNED by two people simultaneously.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
      • Heywood Jablome

        That's funny, so was Jesus.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • DrMatrix

        Jesus was Jewish... On his mother's side, at least...

        February 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Sudoku is better than Religious arguements ....... or is it?

      uhhhhhhhhhhh i think i love you :P

      February 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  78. Say What?

    They spent a lot of money and time..and they didnt bother checking before they did any testing?? Seems they arent too bright...

    February 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • binky42

      Way to oversimplify the most complex machine human beings have ever created.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • kls817

      I agree; they should have done some seriour error analysis, especially when they claim to overturn one of the most fundamental concepts in physics.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • Get a Clue

        "they should have done some seriour error analysis, " Did you happen to read the article? It's about serious error analysis.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
      • magnus

        Getaclue cant write anything without sarcasm. sorry, but if your data comes back stating that neutrinos travel faster than the speed of light, they should have done all the error analysis prior to submitting their results to a journal. they were more interested in fame than anything else. You do your controls BEFORE you publish, not after. Getaclue go suck it

        February 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • blah9999

      Why don't you go work for CERN, since you're obviously brighter than they are. You alone should be responsible for calibrating and configuring the miles of wires and cables that are part of that system.

      idiot

      February 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  79. MattB

    My daddy drive big truck.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  80. binky42

    They were going to find some little technical fault, but it still doesn't mean their findings were wrong. People have speculated for years that space-time is porous, and low-mass particles may be able to slip through and find mini-worm holes to travel around. We don't completely understand what happens when a neutrino switches type.

    They wouldn't have to re-write Einstein's laws for this to happen – just build on them a bit by turning theoretical physics into probable physics.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Say What?

      watching too much of sci-fi doesnt make anything real

      February 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • binky42

      You do understand that the concept of worm holes comes from theoretical physics and not Star Trek, right?

      February 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • Get a Clue

        Actually, using a wormhole as a shortcut through space is Joe Haldeman's idea from THE FOREVER WAR.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
      • binky42

        Errmmm....wormhole theory has been around since the 1920's. That book was written in 1974.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        The American theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler coined the term wormhole in 1957; however, in 1921, the German mathematician Hermann Weyl already had proposed the wormhole theory, in connection with mass analysis of electromagnetic field energy.[11]

        February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • magnus

      also, if worm holes are real, then it does not mean that it travels faster than light. one has nothing to do with the other. something can travel through the curvature at the speed of light and appear in a further distance because of the worm hole but yet it did not exceed the speed of light.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm |
  81. Robert

    Jesus said, "In the mouths of two or more witnesses is every word established."

    February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • There. Are. No. Gods!

      jesus never existed, these scientists however do. You can cram your silly fabled religious nonsense, and TRY to read somethings at this blog and understand the REAL world around you.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • Nah

        there: "jesus never existed, these scientists however do. You can cram your silly fabled religious nonsense, and TRY to read somethings at this blog and understand the REAL world around you."

        Nah. Jesus the historical figure existed. There's enough archaeological evidence to prove this. From graffiti in Rome around Nero's death, to Roman accounts of problems with a man from Nazareth, to Josephus's accounts, etc.

        I'm sorry you conflate his actual existence with his supposed divinity. Seems to indicate a weak and shallow cutting intelligence on your part.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • binky42

        There was also graffiti in Rome about Romulus and Remus. Did they exist too?

        February 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
      • Nah

        binky: "There was also graffiti in Rome about Romulus and Remus. Did they exist too?"

        Yes, thousands of years after the fact.

        Circu- mstantial evidence can never prove something absolutely true. Requiring infinite rigor when it comes to history would be self defeating. You would have to reject the fact that Caesar himself even existed. After all, how do we know he was alive? Because there are monuments built to him and people wrote about him? Hah.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • Lucifer

        Yes my son, Jesus never existed...please spread that word as my work is coming together perfectly.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Les

      There is as much proof for GOD as there is for UFOs. Just because Jesus existed, does not make him the son of God. I respect your beliefs, but the article is about men trying to figure out how the world works. Just think how much further along we would be, and how many fewer wars there would be without the belief in an Imaginary Deity. I will believe in God when you show me plausable evidence of God's existence.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  82. JJC

    @NAH – I believe it is you who do not understand. You keep claiming that your point is that people "It's the tendency to believe that modern scientific conclusions are (once again) inviolable and categorically true". What you don't understand is that everyone is basically saying, "Show us the proof". Who does this? Most people love when there is a scientific mystery. I know of not a single person or society that, as you put it, "It's the tendency to believe that modern scientific conclusions are (once again) inviolable and categorically true". Please stop repeating that no one understands your point and you shoudl address their point.

    February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Nah

      jjc: "Please stop repeating that no one understands your point and you shoudl address their point."

      Sorry, but "their" point is inextricably linked to "my" point because "they" were "responding" to my point. If they didn't understand the criticism, how is that my fault?

      No one is disputing whether or not the scientific method is good or leads to overall accurate results, the point was how CNN's militant atheist commenters take an (ironically) fundamentalist stance on modern science, as if it answers all questions and it conclusions are all true.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • JJC

      "It's the tendency to believe that modern scientific conclusions are (once again) inviolable and categorically true. The people who believe this (most of society) are no better than fundamentalists."

      While your point is accurate that if someone believed that modern scientific conclusions are inviolable and categorically true they would be no better than the fundamentalists, the point you are missing is that everyone is saying "...and?"

      Whats your point? Who does this? It seems you are just trying to troll. You statement claims that most of society does this, yet you cannot support your claim. This is where people are arguing with you. You have no support for your claim and just seem to want to try and appear smart.

      Thanks for playing though.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  83. enricorosan

    According to a catholic friend of mine: Nothing is faster than the speed of light except God, but the problem is he is so fast you can't find him .

    February 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  84. i_know_everything

    god never wanted anything to travel faster than light ;)

    February 23, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Lucifer

      Yes he did....to escape the darkness

      February 23, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
  85. Sheldon (The Big Bang Theory)

    Neutrinos are obviously faster than the speed of light.....BAZINGA!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  86. JimmyW

    Religion and science are two completely different systems for gaining knowledge, and we shouldn't confuse them. Religion doesn't use the scientific method because for the most part its domain is beyond the measurable. Science obviously doesn't accept a dogmatic approach. The problem is that people often confuse the two–such as the debate over evolution.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • binky42

      Neither religion nor science is about knowledge. Religion is about truth, and science is about fact.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • UncleM

      Relgion is about lies – god, creation, al that made up stuff.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
      • Lucifer

        Its all truth and fact...God created science and allows man over time to see and find out how he did things. Science is just Gods tool to communicate with mankind other then the bible. Only man has gotten much of it worng and try and claim it is scientific fact when it is the lies

        February 23, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
      • MarkinFL

        Lucifer, naturally you are lying...

        February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  87. The Choobs

    Nah, I may be a buffoon, but I'm pretty sure my car will start when I turn the key if it's in good working order (science), that my TV will turn on when I click the remote (science), and that this post will go online when I click "Post." etc. Name calling may be effective in some circles, but science is based on rep[eatable facts and observations that yes, sometimes need refining and evolving, but overall adhere to a very strict structure of consistency. So disparage it if you will, but you're uising science (the Internet ) to get your point across, aren't you?

    February 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Nah

      choobs: "Nah, I may be a buffoon, but I'm pretty sure my car will start when I turn the key if it's in good working order (science), that my TV will turn on when I click the remote (science), and that this post will go online when I click "Post." etc. Name calling may be effective in some circles"

      Using fallacies may be acceptable in some circles (buffoons) but it won't prove your position.

      That one part of science is right, accurate or true (electronics in a t.v. remote) has no bearing on whether or not science is right in any or all of its other parts (e.g., whether the speed of light can be exceeded).

      Pretending one has a bearing on the other is like saying, "Jesus the man existed as a historical figure. Therefore the entire Bible is true." Or like saying, "Euclidean geometry is true. Therefore Aristotelian physics is true."

      I hope you see how weak the argument you've given is.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • so

      And science uses nature to do all these wonderful things. The things you can see and those that you cannot see. Of which we can say, science did not create from nothing. Look beyond what you can see and touch!

      February 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • binky42

      "...and that this post will go online when I click "Post.""

      This uses WordPress. You have to have a certain degree of faith in WordPress in order for it to work correctly. lol

      February 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  88. JimmyW

    Well then how do you explain warp drive? huh? These people are really dumb. They must be liberals or conservatives or something.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Darw1n

      Lol, nice.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  89. DP

    @NAH. I don't remember anybody saying that science is never wrong, as a matter of fact, they quite often correct themselves after further study. Flat earth (6000 year old earth, that is) believing people like you need to admit that you're wrong (but never will because the church and it's sheep never admit mistakes)...

    February 23, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Nah

      dp: "I don't remember anybody saying that science is never wrong, as a matter of fact, they quite often correct themselves after further study. Flat earth (6000 year old earth, that is) believing people like you need to admit that you're wrong (but never will because the church and it's sheep never admit mistakes)..."

      Aww, how cute, an ad hominem :)

      No one said science is never wrong. It's the tendency to believe that modern scientific conclusions are (once again) inviolable and categorically true. The people who believe this (most of society) are no better than fundamentalists.

      Thanks for playing, though.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
      • na-na-boo-boo

        I see the point you're trying to make and how badly you're trying to come of as smart. What you are leaving out however, and most likely on purpose, is that science more often than anything else gives us categorical truths. That alone should separate that sort of "fundamentalist" from the other ones.

        Of course science isn't always right, but it almost always end up there in the end. What other way do you have to find your "truths."

        February 23, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
      • Nah

        nah: "What you are leaving out however, and most likely on purpose, is that science more often than anything else gives us categorical truths. That alone should separate that sort of "fundamentalist" from the other ones. ... Of course science isn't always right, but it almost always end up there in the end. What other way do you have to find your "truths.""

        Oh dear. You contradicted yourself in three whole sentences.

        Science cannot give "categorical truths". As an epistemological problem it's just not possible. At best we know when theories are "false" (after they've been disproven), but any current theories that "work" are only provisionally true.

        It's enough to point out that the entire history of science has been filled almost exclusively with falsities. From inherent motion, to geocentrism, to phlogiston, to etherial theory. That we believe we know that modern science has given us the correct answers isn't enough to say that what we know now is "categorically true". If you honestly believe that, you're no better than a religious fundamentalist.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
      • na-na-boo-boo

        How is that contradicting. I believe that science has given us some categorical truths. You don't. Yet I'm the fundamentalist, you're not of course.

        I believe science almost always ends up in the right place. I.e. I believe a line of questioning can be finished and thus be a "categorical truth." Not contradicting.

        Yes there has been falsities, but how do we know that they are falsities? Cause they have been corrected...and how have they been corrected? Science. Would we even have these discussions without science?

        It took me a while to realize how much of a troll you were, but when you started talking about how science had proven that the "historical jesus has existed" vs "romulus and remulus" I laughed a little bit. You trust science to tell you that the graffiti about jesus was actually written during that time period and the graffiti about romulus was added later (cause indeed you use that as an argument, and you wouldn't use any fallacies right)?

        The sad thing, for myself, is that I started out so much closer to your point. "There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophies."

        In the end I believe that being a scientific fundamentalist is, slightly, better than other versions of fundamentalism. You don't. SImple as that

        February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Dr. Knowit all

      Just as those who now claim "Climate Change" instead of "Global Warming" all while true believers have not changed their stance once and said "man / CO2 does not affect the climate to those extremes". Hmm, how do you score that one ?

      February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  90. David

    "CERN admitted in a statement Thursday that the clock “may not have been functioning correctly when the measurements were taken,” which could have caused the scientists to underestimate the time of flight of the elusive, faster-than-light neutrinos.

    That would mean the particles were actually traveling faster than originally thought."

    Ummmm, no. If they underestimated the *flight time* originally, the particles were actually traveling slower than originally thought. Speed = distance/time, not time/distance.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  91. Axemaster

    Wow. As a physicist, I find the tone of this article pretty offensive. CERN never "claimed a discovery", they the scientific community for help with a result they didn't understand. Using phrases like "admitted in a statement" implies some sort of bungling or wrongdoing when there was none.

    Moreover the writing of the article reveals the ignorance of the journalist. When will CNN hire scientists to do their science writing, instead of english majors? It's a real problem for their credibility.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • David

      As a physicist, you should also find what CERN did to be offensive. The scientific community can be asked for help without calling a press conference and declaring your results to the world for 15 minutes of fame.

      Now in this comments section you can see what debacles like this do to the public's perception of science.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
      • bfpiercelk

        I don't recall CERN calling a press conference displaying their results. What I do recall was an overzealous media (CNN) creating an article filled with hyperbole and conjecture.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • David

        I would think that the hyperbole in my post was obvious, but obviously it wasn't.

        CERN published their paper before asking for any peer review and representatives gave several quotes/interviews to news outlets. The appropriate action would have been to handle this issue quietly until they were certain of their results. Their public cry for help was damaging and the results are evident today.

        It is worth noting that CERN submitted the paper in question to a journal, but just couldn't resist self-publishing it and announcing their results in a press release (available on CERN's website still) before it had the chance to undergo peer review. There is no other possible justification for risking this type of embarrassment other than for the temporary notoriety they received.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • MandoZink

      What about the ignorance of the person who did the video. That neutrino appears to be represented as having 3 quarks, not an elementary particle as it should be.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • elandau

      Hi, I've removed the word "admitted" because it's true that no one claimed to definitively prove that particles go faster than the speed of light. Independent verification is needed, as the experts say.

      If you see any outright errors in the story itself, please let us know specifically what they are.

      I majored in Anthropology.

      Elizabeth Landau,
      CNN

      February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
      • David

        I did point out an outright error in the story, but it is still there.

        The observation that overestimating the neutrinos flight time would mean the neutrinos were travelling faster than originally reported was false, because an underestimated flight time would actually lead to an abnormally high reading, meaning the neutrinos were likely going _slower_ than expected.

        February 23, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Axemaster

        Thanks for making those changes. You have my praise for the rest of the article. It is well written, and as far as I can tell, accurate. Perhaps you could satisfy my curiousity though – how many science writers does CNN have who are actually scientists? I'd be interested to know the breakdown between "social scientists" like yourself and "physical scientists" like me.

        In either case, good work and thanks for getting back to me. Forgive my flaming!

        February 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  92. Jokersmoker

    186,000 mile per second....It's not just a good idea...it's the law.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Leroy Jenkins

      LOL : )

      February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Tony

      Hehe

      February 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
  93. Anne

    I have a lot of respect for science and for most scientists, but, science is about acquiring knowledge and seeking to understand and explain. Science never actually "proves" anything, because "scientific proof" is simply what most scientists in a field believe. So, is it possible for something to travel faster than light? I believe so. Would that prove Einstein wrong? No. It would simply mean that Einstein's principles only apply under some ( most normal ) conditions. There is always a caveat. And the more we understand, the more we realize that everything has to be reinterpreted in "light" of deeper, broader understanding. Besides, we have already "proven" that time and space are illusions.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Nah

      anne: "Science never actually "proves" anything, because "scientific proof" is simply what most scientists in a field believe."

      Exactly. Science follows Popper's approach: like a glowing grail, we never know that a scientific theory is true, we merely know it's "false" when its light burns out. And in the history of science, there are innumerable extinguished grails lying on the ground.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • sam

      "Science never actually "proves" anything, because "scientific proof" is simply what most scientists in a field believe."

      I just...I can't even. There's nothing to do but shake one's head sadly after a line like this.

      February 23, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  94. Dennis Jones

    You just can't beat a good old number 2 pencil.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Leroy Jenkins

      You just can't beat a good old number 2...period

      February 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  95. Spartacus

    Nah – the big difference between science and other disciplines is that science is isn't afraid to admit it is wrong.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Nah

      spartacus: "Nah – the big difference between science and other disciplines is that science is isn't afraid to admit it is wrong."

      You mistook the point of the post.

      Anyone who dogmatically holds up science's modern conclusions - and pretends they're inviolable and authoritative - is a buffoon. In fact, they're no better than the religious fundamentalists they (so often) despise.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Andy

      You mean like climategate?

      February 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
      • Spartacus

        You can't judge all of science by a small group of people's actions. I'm not defending individuals, just the fact that the scientific method is the best process we have to discover the truth's of the universe.

        February 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  96. irish man

    "Remember kratos, you have the power to control TIME ITSELF... ", Gaia said to Kratos

    February 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  97. HALE SCIENSE

    all hale science indeed!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  98. Ren

    2nd party verification.

    Religion, are you writing this down?

    February 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Nah

      *yawn* Troll harder.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Robert

      They already beat you to the punchline: "In the mouths of two or more witnesses is every word established"

      February 23, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  99. DisReverent

    I had read this tomorrow, and knew it already.

    February 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • D987654321

      hahahaha. That's awesome.

      February 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
  100. Nah

    OH. MY. GAWD. SCIENCE IS NEVER WRONG. ALL HAIL SCIENCE!

    February 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • Scott

      Science is often wrong. Then it adjusts to explain discrepancies caused by new information. That is why it's science: because it realizes when something is wrong and attempts to explain it instead of remaining stubbornly fixed.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
      • Nah

        As said above, you evidently mistook the point of the post.

        Anyone who dogmatically holds up science's modern conclusions – and pretends they're inviolable and authoritative – is a buffoon. In fact, they're no better than the religious fundamentalists that they usually despise.

        February 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • johann1965

      At least science welcomes criticism and review. Funny how religion can't say the same.

      February 23, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Nah

        johann: "At least science welcomes criticism and review. Funny how religion can't say the same."

        Lol. Right. Criticism and review. Like Galileo received from the scientific community when it dogmatically held onto Aristotelian physics? Or what about the scientific community that guffawed at germ theory? What about oxygen theory? What about atomic theory?

        February 23, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Leroy Jenkins

        Hear Hear......Right on the money Johann, science evolves at the same rate as humanity, religion does evolve, but at a much, much slower rate!

        February 23, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • Louis

        Nah – the scientific community accepted all of these ideas now didn't they? And in actuality, back in Galileo's day, there was no "scientific community", there were philosophers and theologians but science and the scientific method, as we know it today, didn't really exist. Galileo himself helped established it and showed it's power. Eventually the philosophers time were forced to accept it and become "scientists". Today's scientific community welcomes discourse and error, it is what enables progress. Postulate, test, adjust, re-postulate, re-test, etc. until slowly reality is revealed. Elegant and powerful.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
      • Nah

        louis: "Today's scientific community welcomes discourse and error, it is what enables progress. Postulate, test, adjust, re-postulate, re-test, etc. until slowly reality is revealed. Elegant and powerful."

        Please. The scientific community goes through paradigm shifts. One generation dogmatically holds onto its conclusions until the next generation rejects them.

        That's been seen in even the last 200 years. From germ theory to oxygen "theory" to the Big Bang to evolution.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • The Choobs

      Nah, II'm assuming your use of all-caps and irony means you have little faith in science...correct? If so, it shows how little you understand science, which is a process of trial and error and moving towards repeatable and verifiable results. These scientists only reported they SEEM to have found a result showing particles moving faster than the SOL, and they were so committed to finding out how real the data was that they and many other scientists around the world have been working very hard to see if indeed it can be repeated and verified, and are quick to report when facts seem to indicate otherwise. That IS science. (And for you naysayers out there, the same process has concluded man-made global warming is real BTW; global warming is not the theoretical result of just one experiment or set of research numbers, but THOUSANDS of similar, repeated, and verified studies reaching the same conclusion. And any opposing data is considered, reviewed, and explored to see if it changes the consensus. In today's news, such actions debunked a theory based on one experiment; with global warming, no opposing theory seems to hold verifiable and repeatable water.)

      February 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • Nah

        choobs: "Nah, II'm assuming your use of all-caps and irony means you have little faith in science...correct?"

        Yeah. That's what it must be. It wasn't mocking irony at all.

        "If so, it shows how little you understand science, which is a process of trial and error and moving towards repeatable and verifiable results."

        Nah. Most of science, like all endeavors in life, is about positing a conclusion and trying to prove it's true. That's why factions arise in scientific communities where each side believes their theory is right and the other's is wrong. It isn't until neutral third parties pick which side is right that any "progress" is made.

        Your naive and idealistic view of science is cute, though.

        "global warming"

        Who said anything about global warming?

        Much less, you prove the point with this assertion. That you believe that global warming is categorically true and/or man made shows you've given up your idealistic view of science: that every conclusion must always be tested. After all, there may be fundamental flaws in the study (i.e., weak temperature and atmospheric models), incorrect data, incorrect data input, and so on.

        Good job.

        February 23, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • basketcase

      When you write a sarcastic troll post with no substance in all caps, you can't blame others for "missing the point."

      February 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • Nah

        If it had no substance then how could they miss a point that doesn't exist? Contradiction one.

        If a post is sarcastic, and you're intelligent, how could you miss the meaning? Fallacy two.

        If the post is written in all caps, how does its content change in any way? Fallacy three.

        February 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • rufus

        Why do people get so bent about all CAPS!? They even call it SHOUTING. why not get annoyed when people type all lower case letters without proper capitalization? It is all too PC for me.

        February 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
      • v1ze

        "If a post is sarcastic, and you're intelligent, how could you miss the meaning? Fallacy two."
        "If the post is written in all caps, how does its content change in any way? Fallacy three."

        Those are contradictory statements.
        Fallacy 2 is assuming the reader is 'reading between the lines' yet Fallacy 3 is saying you can't read between the lines. Which is it?

        February 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
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