Monday, September 26, 2011

Fast neutrinos are possible

Steve Landsburg compares believing that neutrinos go faster-than-light with believing that the South won the American civil war.

This is crazy. I very much doubt that neutrinos go faster than light, but it is possible.

The Standard Model of particle physics said that neutrinos are massless, and go at the speed of light. The model says that there are three kinds of neutrinos, the usual plus two others.

Light and neutrinos from the 1987A supernova were detected on Earth at about the same time, indicated that light and neutrinos go at the same speed, or nearly the same speed.

Measurements of solar neutrinos only found a third of those predicted by model nuclear reactions in the Sun. After many years of debate, this was eventually resolved by saying that the neutrinos have mass, and they oscillate into the other two kinds of neutrinos. This was contrary to the Standard Model.

A bunch of physicists in recent years have pursued theories of Lorentz-violating neutrino oscillations.

Thus we really cannot be sure that neutrinos obey the laws of relativity.

Physicist and Einstein worshiper Brian Cox says that the experiment might prove extra dimensions and be the most profound of the last century. Cox is an example of Einstein's bad influence.

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