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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Faster than the speed of light?

Scientists think they may have broken the light barrier. Over the course of three years, 15,000 beams of electrically neutral subatomic particles, called neutrinos, were fired from the CERN research facility near Geneva to the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy 500 miles away, a trip that takes light 2.4 thousandths of a second to make. The neutrino beams shaved 60 nanoseconds -- that's 60 billionths of a second -- off that time.

Think of the ramifications. Einstein's theory of relativity, which was based on the belief that the speed of light is a "cosmic constant," could very well be turned on its head.

Of course, the measurements still need to be confirmed and supported with sound theoretical analysis. Who knows? It may turn out that the guy running the stopwatch in Gran Sasso might have had an itchy trigger finger.

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