Author Topic: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.

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Hidoshi

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CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« on: September 22, 2011, 05:55:47 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15017484

I, for one, am excited about what this may yield. I love Einstein, but I'm sure even he would be incredibly happy if this were to pan out.

CDFN

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 06:01:43 PM »
Interesting.

Quote
particles showed up a few billionths of a second sooner

The kind of accuracy we're talking about here is mindblowing. Billionth of a second, holy shit.
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Yggdrasil

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 06:03:13 PM »
This is pretty fasinating stuff. Kinda scary too.

Kevadu

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2011, 07:32:15 PM »
I'm a physicist and I would suggest taking a result like this with a grain of salt.  A timing measurement like this over that kind of distance is an extremely hard thing to do.  Actually getting the time accurately is the easy part, the problem is with knowing the exact distance travelled with the necessary precision.  Even the authors of this result don't seem to have much confidence in it.

Unfortunately, details are scare at this point.  They say they want to publish something, but I looked on the arxiv and it doesn't look like they've put anything out yet.

But the BBC article really glosses over the problems.  Love their scare quotes on "systematic error".  Sorry, but systematic errors are everything in an experiment like this.  Science magazine has a more balanced view.

MeshGearFox

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2011, 07:58:51 PM »
Did anyone else ever think that "nothing is faster than the speed of light" was sort of arbitrary anyway?
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Kevadu

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2011, 08:21:47 PM »
Did anyone else ever think that "nothing is faster than the speed of light" was sort of arbitrary anyway?

Not really, no.

'Speed of light' is just a name.  It's better to think of it as there being an inherit top speed in the universe, and light just happens to go at that speed because photons are massless.  Other massless particles also travel at the 'speed of light'.  It's just that photons were the first massless particles to be studied.

kyuusei

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2011, 08:22:30 PM »
I have to agree - if there are systematic errors, or ANY errors, that could negate the entire finding. Especially with a number so small. Until they can rule those errors out and their results hold up, then I'll get excited.

MeshGearFox

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2011, 11:38:39 PM »
Maybe this particle just made the photon slower by association, somehow.

Sort of how your mom makes everyone around her thinner by association, somehow.

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Yggdrasil

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2011, 07:16:46 PM »
There was going to be a live stream today about this for what I've read in a few sites, didn't watch it though. :(

MeshGearFox

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2011, 07:56:00 PM »
btw, cern are major dicks. If they were REALLY confident about this, they would've announced it on Einstein's birthday.
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Kevadu

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2011, 08:50:37 PM »
Nobody is "really confident" in this.  Not even the people presenting it.  Whatever gave you that impression?

The media frenzy is amusing, though.

MeshGearFox

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2011, 08:56:54 PM »
Nobody is "really confident" in this.  Not even the people presenting it.  Whatever gave you that impression?

The media frenzy is amusing, though.


I didn't get that impression. It's just that when CERN IS confident about something, they always announce it at the douchiest possible time.

Probably cause they're french idk.

Also.

If they have a press conference and it DOESN'T start with that dude that looked like Gordon Freeman breakdancing way the fuck out to Beastie Boys - The Sounds of Science, then fuck physics.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 09:04:25 PM by MeshGearFox »
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Kevadu

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2011, 09:07:55 PM »
If they have a press conference and it DOESN'T start with that dude that looked like Gordon Freeman breakdancing way the fuck out to Beastie Boys - The Sounds of Science, then fuck physics.

That's fair.

CDFN

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Re: CERN researchers upset physics as we know them.
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2011, 06:20:43 AM »
They made it very clear in the article that they have doubts about their results and want other people's opinions, they didn't come accross as arrogant to me.
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Yoda

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