Faster Than the Speed of Light?

Some months ago, news broke indicating that scientific measurements in Italy had determined that some neutrinos could travel faster than the speed of light. The media jumped on the hype bandwagon and declared the "death of Einstein's theory of relativity." Physicists (aka, the experts on these questions) were skeptical because ALL previous experimental and observational data, including neutrinos and light traveling from super nova explosions really really far away and reaching Earth at exactly the same time, confirmed Einstein's predictions, so they concluded there must have been some error in the measurement, the analysis, the equipment, etc. on which the Italians relied. Of course, there were also cultural reasons for doubt: as Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN indicated, "I have difficulty to believe it, because nothing in Italy arrives ahead of time." :)

News are starting to pop up everywhere now that there was indeed a glitch in the equipment. Still, whatever the real answer turns out to be, and since everyone seems to be paying attention to the story, this presents a great opportunity to learn some fundamental lessons not only about relativity and other ground-breaking research in theoretical physics and cosmology, but how science itself works and makes the tremendous progress it does, so let's watch this delightful documentary narrated by Professor Marcus du Sautoy:



Sometimes I do wonder whether these physicists are insane in the mem-brane :)
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