Lightspeed Here We Come

September 23, 2011 at 9:16 am | Posted in Science News | Leave a comment

In the Star Wars Universe, a ship is said to travel through hyperspace at “lightspeed” even though it is actually traveling much faster than the speed of light, something which is suppose to be impossible to do in real life. Well now we may be one step closer in making that leap. Swiss physicists at the CERN laboratory have discovered particles that are moving faster than the speed of light. Up until now it was thought that nothing moved faster than the speed of light. In fact part of Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity is that maximum speed is finite “No physical object or message or field line can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.” The speed of light itself is measured to be 299,792,458 meters per second in a vacuum and is believed to be the maximum speed at which all energy, matter, and information in the universe can travel.

Until now.

The Super Proton Synchrotron at CERN (Organisation Européenne pour la Recherche Nucléaire aka European Organization for Nuclear Research). It's a lot like a Death Star superlaser.

The physicists at CERN observed neutrinos traveling a distance of 454 miles at a speed 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light. The observation was part of the OPERA experiment which sends neutrinos in between the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland and the LNGS laboratory in Italy, the largest underground laboratory in the world. At CERN the Super Proton Synchrotron (SPS) shoots stream of neutrinos at the LNGS facility where their neutrino detector picks up the particles. Since neutrinos are electrically neutral subatomic particles, they are able to move through matter in such a way that it’s nearly identical to a vacuum (thus the facilities are able to shoot them at each other through mountains and solid earth). As of now this is a pretty big discovery and CERN has made it’s findings public in an attempt to invite scrutiny from the scientific community so the information can be fully analyzed and verified.

The neutrino detector for the Opera experiement at LNGS. The CERN SPS's Alderaan.

In fact they are actually doing a live webcast today which you can view here. In the meantime, expect to see lots of science articles on the subject as humankind takes another step toward the speed of light and beyond.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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