Flaws found in experiment of particles traveling faster than light
Physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research Institute (CERN) on the outskirts of Geneva suggested two possible problems with its device which detected particles called neutrinos travelling faster-than-light, according to the magazine Science on its online edition.
Neutrinos were arriving 60 nanoseconds faster than a light beam in travelling the same distance during the earlier experiment. The movement was captured by a scientific device called, OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-Racking Apparatus).
However physicists claimed that the surprising result was caused by a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos’ flight and an electronic card in a computer.
One of the researchers said these problems should not be considered as ‘errors’ but as ‘flawed device effect.’ A faculty member at CERN admitted that they are currently investigating the GPS connection, but added that such effect has not been officially confirmed.
OPERA team identified neutrinos travelling faster than light when it was sent 732km beneath the ground at the Elementary Particle Physics Laboratory located between the border of France and Switzerland.
Neutrinos were transmitted to the underground in a vacuum status because it had zero quantity of mass. Researchers measured the speed of the neutrinos with GPS and an atomic clock, and statistically analyzed 15,000 neutrinos to confirm the result.
However, since the result of the experiment was countering Albert Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity for the first time in history, researchers at CERN reflected willingness to receive criticisms.
Scientists were most concerned about the GPS system used to measure the speed of the neutrinos. The calculation procedures required the system to be utmost precise, even the influence of the Earth’s magnetic field on GPS had to be considered throughout the experiment, a scientist said.