I guess I'm hallucinating again, but I see lines:

reminds me of rocks at the edge of a frozen lake, pushed up in a line as the ice expands.

Original image stolen from James Canvin UMS

Superluminal travel

Researchers at CERN have announced that measurements over the last 3 years indicate that muon neutrinos travelled faster than light between CERN and a nearby location.


There are 3 "flavors" of neutrinos, the electrob neutrino, the muon neutrino and the tau neutrino.

There have been hints over several years that one of these may travel faster than light. For example, an experiment a few years ago measured the mass-squared of one type of neutrino as negative, although the error bars were large enough that the true value could have been positive. Of course, a negative mass-squared implies an imaginary rest mass, which implies the particle is a tachyon.. Theoretical particles called tachyons with imaginary "rest mass" would have to always be traveling faster than light.

There have been several criticisms of this new result. One is that it contradicts Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, but actually it doesn't if particles with imaginary rest mass (tachyons) are possible.

Another criticism is that the reported speed was correct, then the neutrino signal from the 1987 Supernova event would have arrived about 4 years before the light signal, but it was only observed to occur a few hours before, which was easier to explain away. However, this criticism assumes all neutrinos are faster than light, but the current result only applies to the muon neutrino. It is known that neutrinos oscillate between the different flavors over long distances, and if the speed of the other neutrino flavors was slower than light, then the total traverse time might average out to near light speed.

The interesting possibility for this blog is that a confirmed superluminal measurement would cause a revolution in Physics that might lead to new space travel technolofy.