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Sep 24

[Redacted] Project – FTL

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Not “For The Lose…”

Earlier this week, I had all these weird flashbacks from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…specifically the side characters, the Neutrinos. Why? Because they’re awesome. Well, not the characters so much, but the subatomic particles.

Ice Cube being a lab in the south pole...

Click the pic for an awesome page about detecting neutrinos!

First off, neutrinos are weird.  They’re like electrons, but do not carry an electric charge and thusly aren’t affected by the electromagnetic forces that act on electrons. Neutrinos are affected only by the weak sub-atomic force, and are able to travel through matter without being affected by it, though they do interact gravitationally with other particles (yay for non-zero mass!).  They come in three flavors (muon, tau, and electron neutrinos), and can switch between them, or oscilate between flavors.

Now, these are all over the place, all the time.  They emit from the sun, 65 billion of them hitting every square centemeter that is in a line perpendicular to the sun every second.  They simply pass harmlessly through us.

So the researchers at CERN were trying out their OPERA (Oscillation Project with

I'm assuming they didn't just pee off the ledge, but I gotta think it's tempting.

The Gran Sasso National Laboratory of the Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics

Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus…evidently they didn’t want it to be OPETA), and got some rather interesting results. You can read them here.  If that’s…dense…here’s the important bit.  The neutrons were measured to have travelled just a little bit faster than the speed of light.

The news went crazy.

So…now what?  They test, retest, wait for others to retest their tests and retests.  No scientific discovery can go without vast scrutiny.  Because if this turns out to be correct, there’s a lot of science that will have to be rewritten. Causality, for one.  Relativity kinda breaks down, too.

What does it mean in the future, if they’re correct?  Of course I’m going to assume it’s going to lead to time machines, starships, and teleporters.  Yup.

There are a ton of links imbedded into this article, which is why this post is so short for something that is potentially so awesome.  Check them out, and leave a reply with what you think!

If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my lab.  Ignore the noise, and I’ll cover the higher water bill.

 

 

 

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