# The speed of light may have been broken.

Discussion in 'Physics & Math' started by Pincho Paxton, Sep 22, 2011.

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3. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member

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We can't really prove that the universe is infinite. In light of this, a more fair question to ask might be whether or not any galaxies in the visible universe (the part we can currently see) are moving away from us faster than the speed of light.

Surprisingly, the answer is yes! Ned Wright's Cosmology Tutorial has a calculator which allows you to compute many quantities, including distance, for different models of the universe and for galaxies at different "redshifts" from us (the redshift is an experimentally easy-to-determine property of the galaxy's light that tells us how much the universe has stretched between the time the light was emitted and the time it was received). Using the best observationally-determined values for the universe's rate of expansion, acceleration and other parameters (which are the default inputs for the calculator), I found that if you use a value of around 1.4 for z (the redshift), you get the required distance of 4,200 megaparsecs. Therefore, any galaxy with a redshift greater than 1.4 is currently moving away from us faster than the speed of light.

http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?

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Faster Than Speed of Light

It's not Superman -- but the neutrino. Here's the claim:

"A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos - tiny particles that pervade the cosmos - were fired over a period of three years from CERN towards Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.

Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds - or 60 billionths of a second - less than light beams would have taken."

(CERN scientists 'break the speed of light')

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8. ### Telemachus RexProtesting Mod StupidityRegistered Senior Member

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It's funny, but I have a natural inclination that leads me to suspect an error will be found. It's huge news if the result stands up, of course.

9. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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Duplicate threads, yes, but why the hell is the other thread in Pseudoscience? This claim by CERN is LEGITIMATE. They aren't saying they've broken the speed of light, per se, they're asking for others to help them locate why c has not been broken.

10. ### wlminexBannedBanned

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Perhaps the neutrinos were accelerated to near the speed of light . . . . and Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction 'shortened' the distance of travel (relatively. of course!) . . . and the neutrinos "appeared" (to the observers) to arrive earlier than anticipated.

11. ### Telemachus RexProtesting Mod StupidityRegistered Senior Member

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Since space can expand faster than the speed of light, that is not surprising. The sad news is that those galaxies may eventually slip over the light horizon, never to be seen by humans again. The observable universe will get smaller and smaller as things move too far away for their light to reach us.

Though perhaps this new result offers some (highly speculative) hope that such a thing won't happen.

12. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Uh, yes of course. And the scientists at CERN wouldn't ever think of that.

13. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Possibly because it was Pincho that posted it therefore it could because:

A) he's a crank and he's used to posting in Pseudosci, or

B) he's a crank a considers real science to be Pseudosci, or

C) he's a crank and has no idea what he's doing.

14. ### OnlyMeValued Senior Member

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How did they synchronize their clocks? Did they synchronize both before and after each event? We are talking timing the one way travel time of a neutrino. That would take two clocks and some way to connect the two in real time. Or timing the neutrino time while simultaneously the oneway light time.

Best I could figure is that they could use a fiber optic connection between the two clocks but then measuring the exact length of the fiber and knowing that its refractive index does not vary at all would be critical. The fiber could not be the same length as the neutrino path since the neutrino would be moving in a straight line where the fiber would be subject to physical limitations in installation.

They could not have used a direct laser through air beam as 500 miles is far past the horizon. Even then the refractive index for air fluctuates depending on temperature.... At a 60 nano second time frame I just cannot see how they could calibrate and synchronize clocks to within that accuracy.

This was a UK new paper article anyway, anyone know if Murdock owns it?

15. ### EmilValued Senior Member

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LOL...Any other possibility?

16. ### Motor Daddy☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼Valued Senior Member

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Whoops, there was Einstein's universe and my universe. His is proven wrong, and mine keeps on ticking!

It was only a matter of time (double pun intended).

17. ### OnlyMeValued Senior Member

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Oh, so that's it they used your clock!

18. ### EmilValued Senior Member

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It is not necessary if at the same time send light and compare the time of arrival (the difference between them).

19. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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So basically it's a reversal on the ole "kill the messenger when you don't like the message"?

20. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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It's been reported in at least two UK papers (the other thread has a link), and no, the Telegraph is owned by the Barclay Brothers not Murdoch.

21. ### DywyddyrPenguinaciously duckalicious.Valued Senior Member

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Huh?
All I did was posit possibilities for Pincho choosing to post the other thread in Pseudosci.
You'll have to ask him to get the actual reason.

22. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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I don't get the Murdoch reference. It is a Republican conspiracy to topple Einstein's Relativity or something?

23. ### RJBeeryNatural PhilosopherValued Senior Member

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You're presuming that he posted it originally in Pseudoscience? Maybe you're right but I had presumed it got moved there.