Scientists at the Geneva-based CERN physics lab have clocked subatomic particles called "neutrinos" going faster than the speed of light, something which, under Einstein's special theory of relativity, is impossible. Says the BBC:
The speed of light is the Universe's ultimate speed limit, and the entirety of modern physics--as laid out in part by Albert Einstein in his theory of relativity--depends on the idea that nothing can exceed it.Says the Atlantic Wire:
Understandably, reports are using adjectives like "baffled" and "astounded" to describe the scientists. "This would be such a sensational discovery if it were true that one has to treat it extremely carefully," a theoretical physicist at CERN named John Ellis tells the AP. CERN found that a neutrino beam fired from a particle accelerator near Geneva to a lab 454 miles away in Italy traveled 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light, a difference that is statistically significant even with the margin of error. The lab's researchers have checked and rechecked their work and are still asking scientists in the U.S. and Japan to confirm the results. What hangs in the balance? Oh, just the laws of nature and our understanding of the universe.But we must remember that, even though one of the bedrock theories of physics may now being hanging in the balance, we must not think that the findings of science can be questioned (in the sense of, like, actually questioning them) or that anyone who questions the certainty of these theories is not a blithering ignoramus, which, of course, we know they must be.